Creating art is not an act exclusive to pursuing as a profession. To some people, it serves the simple purpose of expressing significant moments in their life, of being a purely therapeutic activity, or of understanding and developing themselves at an introspective level. Grand Rapids, Michigan native Mina Kolb reminded us of this fact: that creating art can be a tool for personal growth and healing; that the most central part of this act is that you manage to inspire something inside of yourself.
How did your progression from the more abstract things you work on evolve to more concrete imagery? You’ve been drawing actual faces lately.
It started because I had a phase where I started drawing a bunch of eyes, and there was a point in my life right after high school where I stopped (doing art). But I guess being in love made me start drawing again, honestly— in a self care kind of way. I thought maybe I should do something productive. So yeah; drawing eyes as far as abstract art because primarily, I only did abstract shit like that in high school. I found out that’s what I’m good at: is using lines, and negative space. It stemmed from that. And also, just feeling things and letting go of my perfectionism. I’m super neurotic, so it’s like an exercise for me to do shit that doesn’t feel perfect anymore.
You’re one of the few people I know that actually studies art. How important do you think that is in regards to creating?
It’s super important because every artist has opinions, and your opinions have to stem from something. Studying art helps develop a taste. And as an artist, that brings up the fact that you’re going to be super critical of everything, and especially what you’re making. But I feel like (studying art) just forms what your own style is going to turn into.
Who are your favorite artists? The ones you draw the most influence from?
Gustav Klimt, but I honestly don't feel like I try to be like Klimt. I don’t know. That’s just what I like. I feel like he could be an influence, but he isn't really. My art has stemmed more from little things that I see. My style is basically detailed lines and negative space. I like looking at something and not knowing where it’s supposed to be spatially, and giving it a shape. For example, a lot of people say that this looks like wood, but I could’ve been thinking of the sky when I made this. My style is really just subjective lines.
How would you say that certain parts of yourself carry over into the things you create?
From just being really sad, I guess, and destructive. Lately, I’ve been dealing with trying to get mad because it's been a while of not knowing how to get mad anymore. I just get sad. I actually want to have a more productive feeling because sadness is a really stagnant feeling. At least with anger, maybe I’m going backwards, but at least I’m moving. It’s a more fluid feeling. So that’s probably where the movement comes in my art because it’s just forcing myself to do something. I'm sad, so making art is me taking action to something. I don’t know if that makes sense. I'm rambling. But I’ve been better at learning how to get mad; and I mean, you know me: I get mad and break bottles for fun. I’ve been really into yelling lately. It helps me. And yoga helps me. Movement is what I’m trying to focus on.
How would you describe the concept of art in your own words?
Oh my god. I don’t even know. I honestly have no fucking clue. I’ll see a post on Tumblr and think that it’s art—like a text post. You know what I mean? It’s obviously not a piece of art but it resonates with me. For me, what makes something art is having it be really raw. Not naked, but exposed in a way. Or just honest. You kind of have to justify art in a way, but not always because sometimes people don’t know they’re making art; but they are. I’m one of those people who thinks everyone is an artist. It's really cheesy, but I believe it. It’s just all so subjective. It comes down to it all being relative. And then artists all have opinions. It all comes down to that too.