Talk us through a day in the life of Austin Moule…
I work full time at an art supply store. On my days off I try to go play a round of disc golf, go skating or get outside in some way, and catch up on chores around the house, popping in and out of the studio sporadically throughout the day for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, and then by the time night comes around I’m ready to actually paint and make decisions.
Can you tell us about the art scene in Wisconsin right now?
I’m not too sure about Wisconsin art scene as a whole, but Madison has a lot of fun student and faculty shows around the UW Campus. I would say that it is mostly centered on the university, but there are some businesses and galleries popping up like Art+Lit+Lab that are putting up interesting shows. The music scene around here is great. There are a lot of local bands and I have been lucky enough to see some great shows in Madison from bands passing through.
You have said before that the ocean has affected who you have become. Coming from a coastal city, I can fully relate, but can’t quite fathom why it has such a big influence. What do you think it is about vast expanses of water that makes us feel like that?
Yea, I grew up lucky enough to go to the beach nearly every day and have loved being in the water since a very young age. I was obsessed with surfing and just being in the ocean and feeling the power of the waves. I feel like the coast has a way of making you forget the world around you for a time and allows you to be totally present in that moment in a way not much else can.
Which artist has influenced you the most?
I would have to say Phillip Guston. The bravery to re-invent his work and embrace figuration the way he did is something I try to channel in my studio practice.
You said that you were put off by graphic design as you had to work on a computer. With just about everything going digital at the minute, is painting a protest against the ceaseless technocratic march? Or do you think it is inevitable that everything, painting included (like Hockney), will end up online eventually?
I think everything is ending up online already in some form or another, but painting, like people, occupies physical space, and that’s enough to keep it alive.
How do you feel about the use of Instagram and other social media to promote art?
I have mixed feelings about it. I think its great to be able to share and make connections with people from all over the world, and as a young artist it a super efficient way to get yourself out there, but I don’t particularly enjoy the creation and maintenance of an online persona. It feels like perpetuating a version of myself for others to make judgments on that may or may not be accurate and I find that to be worrisome.
Is selling art good for creativity, or does financial success hinder creative output?
It would probably be best to be funded by something other than painting to ensure the most sincere creative output, but hardly anyone is that fortunate. I guess it would depend on the person and how committed they are to their vision regardless of what other people think.