17. Joe Tait

“If you’re functioning, it’s there.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with artist Joe Tait. I first met Joe at The University of Iowa, where we worked on the award-winning sketch comedy show, Eggplant. Most of that last sentence was true. After 20-plus years, Joe and I catch up to talk about his approach to art and creativity.

Joe Tait makes Art; he’s always doing that. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he does both at the same time. After a twenty year career teaching Art to children in and around Cleveland, Ohio, he now works as the Librarian/Archivist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It’s a career jump that might appear incongruous, except that it marks a return to an institution that helped to direct his earliest creative impulses– as a child who wished to be a dinosaur.

I appreciated Joe talking about the importance of audience, constraints, and context in his approach to art.

I’d like to thank Joe for joining me on the podcast. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Joe

Joe Tait makes Art; he’s always doing that. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he does both at the same time. After a twenty year career teaching Art to children in and around Cleveland, Ohio, he now works as the Librarian/Archivist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It’s a career jump that might appear incongruous, except that it marks a return to an institution that helped to direct his earliest creative impulses– as a child who wished to be a dinosaur. Joe came to the University of Iowa in 1989 from Cleveland, in an attempt to articulate why he was always making stuff. By then he was determined to be an Army officer and attend the Writers’ Workshop.

Having chosen, in the end, to do neither of these things, he graduated from the University, and lived and worked in Iowa City for a pleasant couple of years. His experience of Iowa and its Ideal gave him the essential inkling that it was more important for him to live in Creativity than to make a living as a creative. Creativity for Joe is a universal inclination of intelligence to manipulate resources toward a purpose. When applied to visual and verbal communication, creativity affords Joe the opportunity to connect to, illuminate, and, on occasion, articulate a sense of the currents in which he and everybody and everything are always adrift.

Website link:

Joe’s website: https://joetaitart.com/

Social Media:

You can find Joe and his art on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/joetaitart/

https://www.instagram.com/taitjoe/

and on Facebook – “Joe Tait” and “Joe Tait Art Page” on Facebook

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

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