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Naomi McCavitt artwork

Naomi McCavitt

Naomi McCavitt is from Richmond VA. She has lived in many different places including San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, and New York. She believes that every place you live has an effect on your art. She says that Richmond and the South have always been important to her and her art. McCavitt compulsively creates art during her spare time. In McCavitt's interview, she mentioned that she recently started to appreciate the stupid parts of a piece. She thinks of them as her version of the Navaho spirit line. McCavitt believes that if one achieves perfection, what's the point of doing any more work?

Where do you call home?

I was born in Richmond VA and have lived in many places including San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, and New York before settling down back in my home town.

Do your surroundings have an influence on your art?

Each place you live has an effect on your art. Art is an act of observing and processing whatever is around you even if what you are making looks nothing like the things you observed.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Research into American history and history painting serves as a jumping off place for my paintings, collages, zines and whatever else I feel like making. I am interested in taking historical resources with deep meaning already imbued in them and mixing them up or recontextualizing them to form new narratives. Sometimes I just want the viewer to notice something new about an object that is so familiar as to be overlooked or made assumptions about.
"If you achieved perfection what is the point of doing any more work."

When did you become interested in art?

I started making art in this way as a child when my parents graciously allowed me to cut up, draw on and otherwise rearrange my picture books. Since then I have had many jobs including every position in the restaurant industry and teaching art to students of all ages from 5th graders to University students.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

In my spare time I always made art compulsively. I think that is the definition of success in the arts and the only criteria for calling yourself an artist, making work compulsively. It's nice when you get paid for it but not always necessary.

How do you know when a piece you're working on is done?

My work has gone through many iterations and awkward stages. While it can be humbling to look at old work and notice your own naivety I have recently come to really appreciate the clumsy or stupid parts of a piece. I think of them as my version of the Navaho spirit line.

In Navaho rugs and weavings the artist always made one big line through the whole design that looked like a mistake. This is so perfection is never achieved. If you achieved perfection what's the point of doing any more work?
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