Paul Mullins: August 2019
Paul Mullins repetitively generates drawing and painting that is concerned with class, place, memory and masculinity. His more recent works, derived from consideration of our changing (or unchanging) social positions, have been made through the hand drawing of a single magazine fragment at a time. His work has been exhibited widely for two decades. Presently, he works from a home studio on the north side.
Membership and Web Coordinator, Jamie Earnest, held a short Q&A with Paul about his experience working as an artist and his impression of Pittsburgh as an artist city.
Jamie: How long have you been working as an artist in Pittsburgh, what are the possible benefits that you see as a working artist in the area?
Paul: “I have been here for three years. Affordability is a huge benefit. Years back, I recall opining that it seemed artists needed to begin to view and consider other states the way they once thought about neighborhoods of select places like New York or Los Angeles. We know how expensive these areas have gotten, and we also know that artists need space, time and to be able to live on little.“
Jamie: What do you typically do when you find yourself in a slump? Any methods or tricks that help you past a creative hurdle?
Paul: Make a lot of small things rapidly. Construct some kind of format where you can work fast, economically, and show yourself outcomes without a lot of time and pressure.
It can be important that you be much bigger physically than what you are making.
It can also be important to give yourself permission, and not overthink.
You have to work your way out of a tough spot, and let the making be the thinking.
If you wait around for a “eureka” moment, you’ll just be waiting.
Jamie: What is the best piece of artistic advice you've ever received?
Paul: That you had better have a highly developed personal policy about this art stuff, and what you expect to get out of it. And to protect that policy, because it will be challenged.
Also, I remember being told that what really matters is to be a good person.
Jamie: Finally, how do you see being an AAP member as being helpful to your career or beneficial for your creative networks?
Paul: AAP does a great job keeping folks in the loop, and promoting their members. Being newish to Pittsburgh, I’d really recommend it for getting to know the art community, and as a resource.