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Back Talk with Josie Morway

Juxtapoz // Saturday, 30 Jan 2010

How do you feel right now?

Wonderful! Maybe a little sleepy; probably because I forgot my glasses this morning. Eager to get back to work on the unfinished painting for Thinkspace, since I really haven't figured out the background. Seriously craving some unsalted nuts.


If you could wake up in a different place tomorrow morning, where would it be and what would you do?
I'd be in 1985, in summer, shoeless, on the island my parents used to take me to when I was a kid. Just to look around again.


If you lost your creative skill, how would you see yourself making a living?
So many ways. Urban planning, GIS, population data analysis, organic farming, professional cycling/triathlon, archiving, conservation science, linguistics, translation, bartending. Though any one of those probably requires creative skill.


If you could punch one living contemporary artist, who would it be?
Whichever one threatened my family, ran a cyclist off the road with their car, or hurt an animal. Outside of that I'm pretty unlikely to punch anyone. Unless they want me to and we're going to have a nice little sparring match.



Was your first kiss worth writing a song about?
I'm willing to bet I DID write a song about it at the time. In retrospect Doug was a terrible kisser, and had no business telling me I was. 

At what point were you particularly happy?
I've been lucky to have a really happy life. This past Sunday around 9pm when I was sharing a vegan chocolate cupcake in bed seems like a pretty good, simple example. I'm also profoundly happy every time I finish a job, find the perfect combination of words to explain something, or find myself sitting in a strange town, looking out on a scene I've never seen before.

No regrets allowed, but there must have been one?
I regret time wasted on worry, hesitation and self-doubt, but I try not to regret it too often lest I someday have to regret time wasted on regret.



What trait do your friends have in common?
Um... Friendship with me.


If you had to evacuate your home or studio, what's the one thing you would grab?
One arm full of cats, one arm full of the laptop where all the photos and writing are stored. That is, assuming my partner could walk on his own accord, otherwise I'd trade the laptop for him. There's absolutely no chance I'd grab important documents, my ID or credit cards, as I've never remembered those things on the way out of any house in my life.


Greatest love of your life?
Jay Nutini, hotrod builder, cyclist and organic juicer extraordinaire.


What is your favorite vice?
My favorite vice is a compound vice made of three components; drink, misbehaving and sandwiches. For example: drink bottle of champagne, climb drawbridge and throw shoes in the ocean, eat late night sandwich of avocado, peanut butter and leftover barbecue tofu between two slices of cake. ?Oh, also puns.




When you blow out the birthday candles, what do you wish for?
For everything in my life, just as it is, to keep on coming and coming and coming.


If you could play a character from a favorite film or TV show for a day, who would it be?
If I had to... Vin Diesel's character in the first Fast and the Furious. But I was just remarking that I've never, not for even a second, wanted to be on television or in the movies. I think I'd hate it.


Do you ever lie?
No, not anymore, hopefully never. Mastered the skill and retired.


Do you think viewers understand the intent of your work?
That question presumes that I understand the intent of my own work. I'm still figuring that out. I waver between thinking I should be determining a really strong, overt and explainable "message" before I make a piece, or that I should indulge my instincts, allow for ambiguity and let the work speak for itself, let the meaning emerge in its own time, let each viewer take from it whatever they need.



What virtue can you do without?
I can do without any virtue that makes people squeamish, emotionally or sexually repressed; those were always easy ones for me to skip. I sometimes wish I could do without a rigorous protestant work ethic, but it's hard to shake what's bred into your blood.


Do you even notice when you're swearing?
Fuck yes. Because when I swear I sound like a crusty New England fisherman, which is close to what I am (except for the fisherman part). What I don't notice is how often I slip into a bad British or Ukrainian accent when I'm not swearing.


What has been your proudest moment?
The first time I remember feeling an intense physical sensation of pride was after winning a regional spelling bee when I was about 12. Since then I'm sure I've been more proud, and hopefully for more noble things, but nothing ever overshadows the first real experience of a thing, does it?



What would you like to be remembered for?
Buoyancy. Kindness. Fearlessness. Humor. Giant paintings. Doing something truly great that I just haven't been able to think up yet.


How would you prefer to die?
Happily, suddenly, and when I'm done.


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