Interviews

David Kramer: 8 Questions
I ran into David Kramer in Williamsburg a couple weeks ago. I've followed David Kramer's work for a while now but I just recently discovered his blog: toothlessalcoholic.blogspot.com.

Here are eight questions I asked David in Decemeber, 2008.

AWD:As I read your blog, there are times that I almost feel that they are my thoughts instead of something you or anyone else has written. I guess this is more of an observation than a question. Any thoughts about this?
DAVID KRAMER:
Well, somehow I have managed to learn to write in a style and about subject matter that hits people on lots of levels. I am really being humble here when I say this but I have always found it fascinating that I have sold my work to super wealthy collectors. I mean I know that I write about stuff that lots of people can identify with, but I still find it amazing that it works on so many levels.

AWD:You have written, ���For years now I have been using my writing as a form of cathartic release from what ever it was that was bothering me��� Does this usually work?
DAVID KRAMER:
Sure. I do not write purely for this reason. And I have at times written about the same subject matter over and over for a period of months because I have not completely finished with a topic. But I think that this is what motivates any writer. I say this, but I don���t know if it is necessarily true as I never really studied writing or learned how to write. But it seems like this is motivation for any writer, to me.

AWD:I get the sense that you are transformed while you are writing. Is this the case?
DAVID KRAMER:
I never studied writing and I really hated to read as a kid. I am dyslexic and it was really hard for me. But some time in grad school I moved into an apartment and there was an old Smith Corona typewriter there that someone had left behind. I loved the tapping of the keys and the return. It is hypnotic for sure. I have learned to love the rhythm of writing from there.

AWD:Have you mostly overcome your dyslexia or is it still a challenge?
DAVID KRAMER:
As far as my dyslexia goes- it is still difficult. I still screw up dates all the time. Show up a week early for things. I can���t spell, which has been entertaining in my work but probably makes some people think I am a moron.

AWD: Your art tends to be eclectic, spanning various mediums. Do you feel completely free when you work?
DAVID KRAMER:
I don���t know about feeling completely free. I find that one thing leads to another. Trying things out in new mediums is fun and challenging. I just don���t want to get bored.

AWD:Was there a defining moment where you decided to be an artist?
DAVID KRAMER:
I was always really good at drawing. I had lots of teachers who encouraged me to pursue being an artist. My parents really were not into it and wanted me to be a lawyer. They said that art was a good hobby. Like I said, I hated to read and I did terribly in school. I couldn���t spell. Anyway, I did not disagree with my parents until I was in the middle of college. I was doing really badly and it hurt terribly. But then, in my junior year, I got a C in drawing. My professor wanted to teach me a lesson. He said I had ability and a D attitude. Well that woke me up and I realized that being an artist was I really wanted to do with my life. I still think I made a mistake sometimes. It certainly is a totally great way to spend my time..but the pay sucks.

AWD:If you could do it all over would you do it all the same way?
DAVID KRAMER:
And as far as doing it all over again, I think in general, career wise, I made a really great decision fro myself. I certainly would have handled things in career much better. I think I probably should have been more confident in my abilities.

AWD:Do you ever think about your son being an artist?
DAVID KRAMER:
My son is 8 years old. He can do what ever he wants. He is interested in film and video at this moment. He uses my video camera and makes them with his toys. There are some moments that are really great. Mostly they are unwatchable to me. But I don���t discourage him.