We had the good fortune of connecting with Kris Black and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kris, what role has risk played in your life or career?
No risk no reward, right? I think attempting to make a living in the arts and entertainment world is a huge risk. But every achievement and accomplishment big or small had someone making the decision that the risk was worth it. I encourage everyone to take risks, whether it succeeds or fails you’ll have learned something about yourself.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Blood, Sweat and Tears. My story is simple(and familiar to many), I’m a small town kid who wanted to be in the movies. I took the RISK of driving to California with $500 in my pocket and knowing 1 person. The journey of 21 years of creating art has been filled with highs and lows. Whether it was being homeless and sleeping in my car, being screwed over by business partners, or just the heavy load of trying to make it in Hollywood. I started out as an actor so that’s what got me out here from Wisconsin. Had some early success and then got into writing and producing projects for myself. And along the way I picked up painting as another creative outlet when things got slow.
There’s too many things too list on what I’ve learned in my years in Hollywood but a couple good ones are….. Find a great support system, friends, co-workers, like minded creatives. It’s comforting to be able to talk to others who are going through the same type of things. Second, take advantage of every opportunity you can; you never know where it could lead or what it could lead to. We sometimes put blinders on when chasing a goals and dreams and miss opportunities along the way. For so many years all I was focused on was being an actor and I didn’t see all these other opportunities around me. It was acting lows that lead me to painting, writing, producing and directing. After I took off my blinders so many things just started coming my way.
Creating art to me whether its on a canvass or film is a soul searching journey. I learn something new with every brush stroke and every frame. Painting to me is a personal exploration of the present. It’s creation in the moment without restrictions or judgement. I have complete autonomy over every aspect of the piece, color, texture, and when its DONE. All my pieces are fragments of my past in those moments of conception. My colors are bold, and bright I love to infuse texture whenever I can into my work. I’m self taught so I have the advantage of not hearing that voice in my head, the one of judgement, and rules. Having gotten my work on the hit tv “Californication” really helped get my work out to the masses. I think that was a changing point for my art, and it lead to my work getting on more TV shows, films, celebrity clients.
When it comes to film there’s a team, it takes several months to take a film from words on a page to live action on the screen. And it’s one of the most rewarding accomplishments you can feel. I don’t think most people realize the amount of work that goes into this undertaking, and all the people it takes to bring that creative vision to life. Art and the people who create it are made just a little different from the rest, for better and for worse sometimes. But I’m so proud to call myself an Artist.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in the southbay, Long Beach after 12 years in LA. I love the water and have been living at the beach ever since. Long Beach is great for anyone who loves to be outdoors. We’ve got miles of beaches, bike paths, water sports. It’s really developed its downtown area with new restaurants and bars and shops. Prior to covid one should start the day in the Belmont shore area and go for a stand up paddleboard around the canals and bay. Then head to second street for some food and drinks. Simmzy’s is a great restaurant for local beers and great food, (foldover pizza is my favorite). You can then walk off the full belly and buzz to the dozens of vintages shops on 4th street. And you can end the night with dinner and drinks on the queen Mary or Parkers lighthouse. Both have beautiful views of the harbor.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family(2 legs & 4 legs) for the years of support and belief it’s been priceless to me. And my #1 fan SBL, having her constant love and support got me through the tough times.
Other: IMDB imdb.me/krisblack
Photo credit by Jared Silverstone