We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Krauskopf and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kyle, how do you think about risk?
I like to think I’m a leap-before-you-look kind of person, but that’s just me being dramatic. I always take a peak before I jump. Coming from the analytical stock of my father- an income tax accountant, and my mother- an insurance sales person, my left brain won’t let me be too wildly reckless in my decision making. I take calculated risks. However, the more I go through life the more I prescribe to the idea of asking myself: “what is the actual risk?” Is the risk in thinking you have something to lose by embarking on a passion or a thing that excites you? Or is the real risk never taking that leap and always wondering if it would have worked out? The latter is what drives me. I don’t have a lot of regrets in life. I like who I am. I am proud of who I am becoming. I like my life. Anything that’s happened along the way, good or bad, has taught me, strengthened me, and laid the path to where I am and where I am headed. The one thing I know I will regret is not realizing my potential. Not chasing little ideas, not chasing big ideas, not chasing completely unrealistic- Willy Wonka- Sherlock Holmes- Peter Pan ideas! So if it comes down to taking the chance of losing some money, possessions, a level of comfort I’ve come to know, or always wondering what would have happened if I had just gone for “it”- I’m going to go for it every time. The real risk for me is looking back in wonder. If I had just tried a little harder or did that thing I couldn’t stop thinking about, what would have happened? I never want to wonder that. If you’re a creative or an entrepreneur or a go-getter, I’ve got to assume that you believe in yourself and you have a good work ethic- those things will get you far. Just follow through on your commitments, try a little extra for people (without ulterior motives), and just go for it! You’ll have highs and lows, but life throws those at you anyway. Why not experience them while taking a “risk” for a dream?

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What a loaded question! I won’t assume that something sets me apart from others or that I know what it is, but I can say I hold myself to a pretty high standard. I always want to be the person you can count on. I want others to know if I say I’m going to do something for them or I’m going to be somewhere- they can count on it. I guess that standard has opened a lot of doors for me. I volunteer for things, things most often others don’t want to do. I just want to help people. I want to help them realize their dreams, I want to champion their goals, and I want to help them know they’re not alone. That no matter what it looks like from the outside no one “has it figured out.” We’re all just people. We are people trying to have comfort and fulfillment and equality and love and a sense of belonging… As I say that I realize that’s exactly what I’m most proud of. I have helped to build multiple art galleries, a brewery, a contemporary art center, I have a piece of art in the collected work of The Getty in LA, I have traveled abroad out of a backpack, I’ve done multiple 365 day art projects, I’ve run marathons, climbed mountains, I have struck out on adventure, and I constantly strive for more, heck I’m even doing this awesome interview and what I’m most proud of is that, at the end of the day, the thing I always think about is “how can I help?” So, what do I want the world to know about me? About my brand? My story? My name is Kyle Krauskopf. I’m an artist. I’ve had some challenging times- certainly not as challenging as others- but they’ve taught me so much more than my good times. I’m an empath. I’m an extremely hard worker. I care and I’m here to help.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well obviously the best places to check out are the spots I have helped to build! Just kidding… but only kind of. If you’re visiting Seattle for a week there’s so much to do. The mountain that casts such an epic backdrop for the city is Mount Rainier and you should definitely take the couple hour drive to go check that out and hike as far as you can! Taking the ferry over to Bainbridge Island is one of my favorite things to experience because I love the water. If its summer you’ve got so many outdoor activities from paddle boarding to boating to hiking to camping there’s really an endless list. We are home to countless breweries- a few of my favorites are Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery, Lucky Envelope Brewery, and Urban Family Brewery. For a little culture you’ve got to check out the brand new Museum of Museums in First Hill- a stunning three story contemporary art center completely renovated and repurposed from a Swedish medical building, yes, yes I’m bias toward this one as I spent a year and half helping build it. Playing tour guide is actually where I’m kind of deficient, because, as my friends like to say, I’m always off doing “Kyle Things.” “Kyle Things” could be anything from framing 365 drawings for a charity drive to learning how to crochet just because “I got an idea…”

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
How many people can I name here? There are far too many wonderful, supportive, influential, bad ass people that have encouraged me, picked me up, and supported me throughout my life. I actually do a project called Gratefully in Your Debt in which I paint the portrait of someone who has helped me along the way. I also write exactly what they mean to me and just how great they are. That series started in 2015 and will undoubtedly continue for the rest of my life. Since there are so many people I could name I’ll go with the most recent, a person who has NO idea what she’s done. My “shoutout” is to Shannon Lee. Yes, the daughter of Bruce-friggin-Lee! Not too long ago she released the book Be Water My Friend. I’m not a reader but I needed that book in a very real way. Its filled with Bruce’s life philosophies and stories told through his daughter’s lens. How she remembers him, her take on his words, and some of her journey being Bruce Lee’s daughter. We have all gone through a hell of a time in quarantine. I was trying everything to stay sane- from taking up yoga to getting a degree from Yale in the Science of Well Being- but in the end Bruce, through his daughter, spoke to me. Shannon’s book calmed my anxiety, reignited my enthusiasm, and gave me real-life examples of overcoming adversity with sheer commitment and self confidence. The connection was so strong I actually had a piece of art featured on the official Bruce Lee Instagram page. That happened one day after I finished the book and proclaimed aloud “I’m going to be friends with Shannon Lee.” …tbd on that last bit, but I think that was a good start!

Website: www.kylekrauskopf.com

Instagram: @kylekrauskopf

Linkedin: Kyle Krauskopf

Image Credits
Photos by Ryan Thrower, Robert Yoder, Stephanie Pelzer

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