• Home
  • Student Profile: Leigh Kaulbach, Printmaking

Student Profile: Leigh Kaulbach, Printmaking

Friday, October 27, 2017


Sandown,​ ​New​ ​Hampshire

What degree are you pursuing at KU?

Master​ ​of​ ​Fine​ ​Art​ ​in​ ​Visual​ ​Art,​ ​Printmaking

Where did you complete your undergraduate degree? What was your major?

Stanford​ ​University,​ ​BA​ ​in​ ​Religious​ ​Studies

What brought you to KU?

I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​work​ ​with​ ​the​ ​amazing​ ​printmaking​ ​faculty​ ​at​ ​KU.

When did you know you wanted to pursue art?

In​ ​middle​ ​school,​ ​I​ ​loved​ ​collage.​ ​I​ ​became​ ​serious​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school​ ​and​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​pursue​ ​a​ ​degree studying​ ​religious​ ​art.​ ​Before​ ​my​ ​senior​ ​year,​ ​I​ ​took​ ​a​ ​year​ ​off​ ​to​ ​work​ ​in​ ​a​ ​Boston​ ​art​ ​gallery​ and a youth​ ​music​ ​organization,​ ​and​ ​to​ ​make​ ​art.​ ​That’s​ ​when​ ​I​ ​found a​ ​creative​ ​community​ ​and​ ​could imagine​ ​a​ ​life​ ​as​ ​an​ ​artist.​ ​

What drew you to zines/printmaking?

In​ ​undergrad​ ​I​ ​took​ ​printmaking​ ​because​ ​the​ ​time​ ​commitment​ ​and​ ​physical​ ​labor​ ​appealed​ ​to​ ​me​ ​as​ ​a high​ ​energy​ ​person,​ ​and​ ​because​ ​it​ ​seemed​ ​to​ ​weed​ ​out​ ​students​ ​looking​ ​for​ ​an​ ​“easy​ ​fun​ ​class.”​ ​In​ ​a Book​ ​Arts​ ​course,​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​TA’s​ ​brought​ ​in​ ​a​ ​simple,​ ​photocopied​ ​zine,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​found​ ​it​ ​to​ ​be​ ​such a profound​ ​idea​ ​and​ ​direct​ ​way​ ​of​ ​working.​ ​Another​ ​professor​ ​encouraged​ ​me​ ​to​ ​pursue​ ​zines​ ​as​ ​a form​ ​of​ ​non-institutional,​ ​feminist​ ​street​ ​art​ ​and,​ ​feeling​ ​I​ ​needed​ ​an​ ​outlet​ ​from​ ​academic​ ​pressure,​ ​I started​ ​collecting​ ​and​ ​making​ ​zines​ ​anonymously​ ​under​ ​the​ ​name​ ​“LoKK.”

How do the arts have an impact on your daily life outside of the classroom?

Art​ ​makes​ ​me​ ​more​ ​sensitive​ ​and​ ​empathetic​ ​to​ ​the​ ​world,​ ​from​ ​subtle​ ​sounds​ ​to​ ​complex socio-political​ ​questions.​ ​I​ ​think​ ​because​ ​of​ ​drawing​ ​my​ ​relationship​ ​to​ ​“truth”​ ​is​ ​both​ ​highly subjective​ ​and​ ​fundamental.​ ​Talking​ ​about​ ​art​ ​is​ ​another​ ​way​ ​of​ ​talking​ ​about​ ​the​ ​most​ ​personal, meaningful​ ​and​ ​intangible​ ​issues​ ​each​ ​of​ ​us​ ​experience​ ​on​ ​small​ ​and​ ​large​ ​scales.​ ​I​ ​think​ ​I’ve​ ​become more​ ​interested​ ​in​ ​questions​ ​than​ ​in​ ​answers.​ ​I​ ​also​ ​love​ ​teaching​ ​art.

Who is your biggest inspiration either personally, professionally or both?

My​ ​childhood​ ​violin​ ​teacher​ ​is​ ​my​ ​biggest​ ​inspiration.​ ​Her​ ​commitment​ ​to​ ​music,​ ​performance, training,​ ​aesthetics ​and​ ​joy​ ​is​ ​infused​ ​in​ ​all​ ​of​ ​her​ ​choices​ ​and​ ​interactions.​ ​She’s​ ​both​ ​totally​ ​open and​ ​completely​ ​certain​ ​at​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time.​ ​She’s​ ​a​ ​magnetic​ ​personality,​ ​but​ ​highly​ ​sensitive.

What is your creative process like?

Creatively,​ ​I​ ​think​ ​I’m​ ​moved​ ​to​ ​make​ ​art​ ​out​ ​of​ ​a​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​participate.​ ​I​ ​like​ ​to​ ​work​ ​in​ ​community​ ​and think​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​about​ ​my​ ​peers.​ ​Reading​ ​novels​ ​and​ ​feeling​ ​connected​ ​to​ ​authors​ ​through​ ​their​ ​word choice​ ​motivates​ ​me​ ​to​ ​seek​ ​that​ ​same​ ​connection​ ​as​ ​a​ ​producer.​ ​I​ ​like​ ​to​ ​draw​ ​uninhibited​ ​in​ ​my sketchbook​ ​and​ ​then​ ​go​ ​back​ ​through​ ​to​ ​pick​ ​out​ ​what​ ​worked​ ​well.

What message do you hope to communicate through your work?

I​ ​don’t​ ​think​ ​I​ ​have​ ​a​ ​message​ ​in​ ​mind,​ ​except​ ​maybe​ ​to​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​someone​ ​through​ ​the​ ​work​ ​so that​ ​the​ ​viewer​ ​understands​ ​themselves​ ​a​ ​little​ ​more​ ​through​ ​their​ ​relationship​ ​to​ ​it.

What advice would you give to students just starting their path to an arts degree?

Be​ ​open​ ​to​ ​challenge,​ ​change,​ ​and​ ​discomfort.​ ​You​ ​can​ ​only​ ​improve​ ​by​ ​trying​ ​new​ ​things​ ​and breaking​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​your​ ​comfort​ ​zone.​ ​Every​ ​new​ ​skill,​ ​technique,​ ​perspective​ ​you​ ​can​ ​gain​ ​adds​ ​to your​ ​toolbox​ ​and​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​other​ ​artist’s​ ​work,​ ​and​ ​so​ ​the​ ​world.

If you could invite five people, living or deceased, to a dinner party, who would you invite?

All​ ​four​ ​of​ ​my​ ​grandparents ​and​ ​my​ ​sister.

If your life had a theme song, what would it be and why?

I​ ​hum​ ​and​ ​whistle​ ​constantly,​ ​so​ ​I​ ​don’t​ ​think​ ​I​ ​need​ ​one!

See more of Leigh's work on her website (leighkaulbach.com) and her Instagram (@leighkaulbach).