Artist Profile: Karin Haas - New York City


Hi Karin! Tell us a little about yourself.
I am an artist based in New York City. I live with my husband James in Manhattan on the Upper East Side.

What is your background (i.e. education, previous jobs, experiences that led you to create)?
My parents are both creatives, so learning about art, music, fashion, travel and food was a big part in my childhood. I attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) and received my BFA in Printmaking. MIAD has an extensive printmaking department and a mix of inspiring instructors, who’s work I still admire today. After I graduated I spent a few years in Chicago and then moved to New York where I have lived for the past six years. 

After graduating college I worked a full-time job while still trying to make work and show. Though many artists have full time jobs and still manage to find the time to create work it proved to be difficult for me. Three years ago I decided to stop working full-time and put more energy into my work. The beginning was tough and even a little scary at times but it didn’t take long before the extra time started to make a real difference. It was the best decision I’ve made for myself. I only wish I had done it sooner. 

When did you begin creating art and how did that transition into becoming a regular activity in your life?
When I was nine years old my parents signed me up for art classes at our local museum. Making things and being around other creative children like myself was so much fun. From a very young age, my parents were constantly introducing me to new things and it really helped shape my creative outlook. Art has always been a regular activity in my life. I am very lucky. 

Photos by  Jimmy Pham

Photos by Jimmy Pham

What does your creation process look like? Do you set out to make something specific or just let your mind and body create?
I rarely sketch and I typically start working on a large sheet of paper and let the drawing evolve naturally. Even if I have a vision in my head of what the final piece is going to look like, there is a good chance that it will change along the way and that is what is exciting to me.

Do you have a favorite piece or exhibit that you have done?
This piece I made in late 2016, which I consider to be my first sculpture. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite but this piece I am the most proud of at the moment.


What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
I work from home and I love it!

Where do you draw inspiration from?
My inspiration is a reflection of my surroundings and everyone closest to me. 

How do you connect with your clients and community?
I connect with my clients and community directly through social media. So far I have been very fortunate to have east and west coast relationships. The support of galleries, art dealers, store owners, interior designers and friends have provided a rewarding experience and I am so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Do you have any favorite artists/makers that we should know of?
I always like to see new pieces from ceramicist Natalie Weinberger and love what Stacy Daily and Claire Lampert are creating at B Sides Jeans.


What makes you passionate about the work that you do?
Because I can’t imagine doing anything else and I am grateful I am able to do what I love everyday.

What are some of the setbacks or challenges you face in your art and life?
Managing time between art and life is always a delicate balance but I am getting better at it.

At The Glossary, we believe in women working together and helping one another. Why do you think it is important for women to support each other?
I can’t express how important it is for women to support each other and to be kind to each other and themselves. It’s essential for me to always keep good company. The women who are closest to me are honest, loving and always introducing me to many things that inspire me.

What creative women do you find inspiring?
To name several: Nathalie Du Pasquier, Joan Didion, Anne Truitt, Tauba Auerbach and my Mother.


How do you manage moments of self doubt?
I take a walk around the neighborhood and literally tell myself to snap out of it. 

Do you have someone that helped shape your work in a formative way?
My parents and closest friends play a role in the progression of my work. For the most part, it is the more causal conversations that can lead to an unexpected form of inspiration. 

About two years ago I was having brunch with Joel Chen, owner of JF Chen, and we were discussing my work and what I was thinking about making next. He said to me, “You should make sculptures. Your drawings already look like objects and it seems like the most natural progression.” And that was that. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make these sculptures but I knew I was ready. 


What are you trying to learn right now?
Sculpture is still a very new process to me. I am currently working on two new sculptures that I can’t wait to share.

What are some of your favorite places in New York?
I love so many places in New York and it’s difficult to choose my favorites. If my husband and I are staying around our neighborhood we’d probably be at Little Collins for coffee and breakfast or running through Central Park. We love cooking at home but also enjoy Bills Townhouse, La Mangeoire or Primola for dinner. There are also a lot of great galleries nearby. The Pace gallery on 57th is currently exhibiting works by Agnes Martin and Richard Tuttle, and of course The MET will always be a favorite.

Photos provided by Karin Haas

Photos provided by Karin Haas

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