For our third interview of the 2019 Delaware Fun-A-Day, we talk to Tegan Clark about her FIVE YEARS as a DEFAD participant, fantastical and macabre inspiration, book suggestions, and Arty Authors. Thanks, Tegan!
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We like to know how people are connected to Delaware - are you a resident, born and raised? What opportunities have you found here?
My family and I moved to Delaware when I was six so having spent the majority of my life here Delaware is definitely home. I attended Cab Calloway, School of the Arts, and pursued visual arts in both middle school and high school. I’ve found our state’s art scene to be very welcoming, and I’ve participated in several local art shows.
Are you an artist by trade or do you have a profession that informs your art?
Unfortunately I’m not a professional artist although that’s the dream! My job is more administrative so I try to incorporate at least one creative activity into each day. It’s how I satisfy my artistic urges in my day-to-day life.
This is going to be your FIFTH year participating! Can you describe your favorite past Fun-A-Day project?
It’s hard to choose a favorite so it’s a tie between 2017’s “Fairytales and Fantastic Creatures” and last year’s theme “The Art of Horror.” The Fairytales and Creatures theme was inspired by my interest in cryptozoology. I had a lot of fun researching the folklore of different cultures and then painting my own interpretation of each mythic creature. Last year’s theme was the first time I utilized a different medium for my fun-a-day project. I traded watercolor painting for multimedia.
Last year you did multi-media vignettes in a display you named "Art of Horror". What was it about the horror theme that intrigued you? Which character, if they were alive and in person, do you think would have appreciated having their portrait done the most?
I just love horror films. I love how diverse of a genre it is because it encompasses everything from the mundane fears of our everyday lives, such as a fear of the dark, to the darkest dimensions of our minds, the stuff nightmares are made of. From the unstoppable killer to the monsters of the abyss, horror films offer something to scare each of us. I really enjoyed trying to capture the feel of each film.
Please describe your 2019 project "Arty Authors". Are you a very literary person? Any good books suggestions for us?
I can’t think of a more likely candidate for a portrait then Prince Prospero, the selfish and decadent villain of the 1964 film adaption of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death.” He locks himself away in his castle and reveals in depraved parties as the plague ravages the peasants in his countryside. Interestingly enough, Prospero was portrayed by horror icon Vincent Price, who was an avid art collector. He even donated pieces from his own collection to establish the Vincent Price Art Museum.
“Arty Authors” is going to feature portraits of some of some of my favorite authors. I’m going to incorporate a motif in each portrait that I feels best represents their lives and their work.
To me there is nothing quite like a good book. My parents installed in me a love of literature early on. Some of my fondest memories of childhood include my mom reading the works of L. Frank Baum and Laura Ingallas Wilder to me every night. That love of the written word inspired me to major in English in college.
If you are in need of a good book to lose yourself in I highly recommend “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt. Part travelogue, part true crime novel, it’s a real page turner. Another I like is “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King. It’s incredibly suspenseful, and he really makes you care about the young heroine as she struggles to find her way after becoming lost in the woods.
Can you list a few of your favorite authors?
Stephen King: He redefined the written horror genre and remains its “King.”
Oscar Wilde: His wit is untouchable and his fairytales are lovely.
Erik Larson: His true crime novels are well researched and he does a fantastic job at capturing the era he’s writing about.
Bill Byrson: Jovial and folksy, reading his books is like catching up with an old friend.
L. Frank Baum: There is no place like the wonderful world of Oz.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m so excited to be part of such an awesome group of artists. I look forward to participating in fun-a-day every year and it’s always so awesome to see the creativity out there.
Where can people see more of your work?