Hi. My name is Ken Nice and I have a problem. I have realized I belong in AA’ Artists not so Anonymous. I have an addiction and I am powerless to give it up. I need to create. The craving starts when I wake up and doesn’t go away, even once I go to bed.
Okay, so that is me talking, not Ken, but it may as well be Ken and hundreds of other artists all over this great country of ours. I am by no means making light of a serious addiction such as alcohol. I guess I am just realizing that some artists are actually addicted to their passion. No one questions a visual artists’ desire to create. It is as acceptable as fishing, hunting or playing the piano. But once again I have come in contact with someone who is so addicted that it takes over their lives. there seems to be a recurring theme developing when I interview artists. It is a complex issue of art getting in the way of life, or is it life getting in the way of art? There are only so many hours in a day and making a living seems to eat up most of it. So where do you fit in the art?
Ken Nice is an incredible artist. He was born and raised in Toronto but has lived on his Cannington farm for several years now. His first love is sculpture but he also enjoys painting. He attended Ontario College of Art after high school and began sculpting then. He had some success and continued to grow and expand as an artist. but as a recurring theme in our monthly column, he had to find a career that would produce a more consistent income. So he reluctantly and somewhat resentfully put the art on the back burner to pursue a successful career in illustration, animation and black and white renderings. Several times Ken tried to cut the tie to “the ral job” and go back to his sculpting full time. It was a pleasure and a pain. The process of creating was pleasure, paying the bills was painful.
Through this monthly journey we are taking together, maybe somewhere along the way we can discover some secrets to becoming a successful at whatever we love to do. How do we define success? Is it the production of quality work we are proud to put our name on? Is it measured in sales dollars? Or is it something else? Is it the sheer joy of creating? Touch questions for Ken and touch questions for all of us. Tough questions and no one answer.
So let’s finish off with something I do know. I know Ken’s sculpture will expand your mind and in many cases put a smile on your face. ken works with a vast array of materials. You will find his wonderful creations in welded metal, stone, ceramic, plastic and fibreglass. Ken’s studio is open by appointment. Your journey will be both magical and fun. From the seven foot dragon in his front field welded from over 10,000 customs formed pieces of steel to the life size stag in his pasture and all the way to his large turtle fountains staggered around the beautiful pond. But I have to say of all his beautiful work, my personal favourite are the mustangs he has created out of steel. There is so much fluidity and movement in these majestic creatures. To learn more about Ken Nice you can visit his website at www.kennicesculptures.com