Chad Hayward is currently pursuing an MA in Studio Art, and working across a variety of media types, namely painting and sculpture. I love the dialogue between the different mediums! Find more at the links following the Q&A!
Can you tell me a little bit about you?
Hi, my name is Chad Hayward. I am an interdisciplinary artist working across a handful of different materials and processes. Currently I am focused on creating 2D works with drawing, painting and fiber related materials in addition to ceramic sculpture. I was born in New Jersey but primarily grew up in Colorado. I studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and earned my BFA in 2017. I am currently based in Charleston, Illinois at Eastern Illinois University studying to acquire my MA in studio art.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
Contrary to most artists, I didn’t have a passion for art when I was young. My best guess for that is having a horrible art teacher in elementary school may have contributed to my lack of interest. However in 8th grade I had a specific moment where it all clicked and the fire was ignited. We were lining up by the door waiting for the bell and I saw a simple line drawing of a cartoonesque face on the corner of the whiteboard. Out of boredom and curiosity I attempted to copy it in my notebook. After probably about 30 seconds I had created an almost identical drawing. Boom! Something clicked, I now had an exciting way to occupy my time and it provided a mental escape during the mind numbingly boring middle school classes that weren’t quite doing it for me.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
While working with a wide range of materials and processes the cornerstone in my practice that is consistently being addressed is the extensive possibilities of formal qualities or relationships in regards to materiality. More recently the forms in my work have been reduced to the simplicity of a circle or dot to act as vehicle for said materiality. The process of repetition of these dots or marks allows for a meditative process within the studio. This process also acts as a bridge to the “flow state” that the psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, famously characterized.
What is your process like?
My process can vary quite a bit depending on what i’m working on. At the moment I am splitting time between my 2d studio and my ceramic studio space. While working on paintings and drawings I am typically working on 10-20 works at a time switching between works constantly based on intuition. In the ceramics studio I am typically working on a few sculptures at a time in various states of the process. One sculpture may be in the wet building stage, another drying and another getting glazed. I like to keep moving in both studios and as soon as I get stuck on one work I move to another which allows me to keep things fresh.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
Absolutely! Without question I would not be here today without the countless people helping me along the way. One piece of advice that echoes across all of my various mentors, teachers, coaches and parents, has to be, “don’t give up”. As cliche as that is, I have found it to be so critical. In a more specific art context that always seems to translate to, “never stop making”.
What is your studio like?
I am currently extremely lucky and grateful to have a fantastic setup. I have two spaces at EIU that I split my time between. My private 2d studio has wonderful light and white walls with works in progress spread across the floor and hung on the walls. My other space for ceramic sculpture is a communal studio space where I have plenty of room to spread out and work on several sculptures at once. I find the two ways of working and different spaces are a constant influence on each other. The ceramic sculpture informs the paintings and the paintings influence the sculpture.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
As an emerging artist I find the biggest challenge is finding a balance between studio time and the administrative side of being an artist. Very little is taught or discussed about the administration side of an art practice in art school, and in some circles it seems even taboo to discuss it. I was lucky enough to find guidance from teachers, mentors, a few courses and books. In addition to making the work, finding a place to exhibit and share it with the public is always an obstacle. Which is why a platform like Young Space are so critical for connecting emerging artists and the public.
What are three words you would use to describe your work?
Buoyant – Living – Vivid
What are you working on right now?
I am currently preparing for my thesis exhibition at Tarble Arts Center in Charleston, Illinois. It will be opening on April 27th. Also, after graduation starting this summer I will be living and working in the Atlanta area.
Anything else you would like to add?
I would like to give you a HUGE thank you for creating and curating such an incredible space for young emerging artists. It makes a massive impact and plays such an important role in the lives of many!