The Knox Student (TKS): Where are you from originally?
Tim Stedman (TS): I was born in Galesburg. My family was originally from around here, but we moved to Houston, Texas when I was ten. So, what I mostly know of this place [Galesburg] is through visiting.
TKS: Where did you go to college?
TS: I originally went to college at the Art Institute of Houston and then I came back and went to college at Knox College. I graduated in 2009, I double majored in studio art and an independent, self-designed major in visual cultural theory.
TKS: Why did you decide to come back?
TS: I spent a long time working in the music industry. I wouldn’t say I got tired of that, but I felt like it was time for a change. I had taught a little bit while I was in Los Angeles as an adjunct, so I thought that teaching was where I would like my future to go. And I needed to go back to school and get some more degrees for that. So, I came back to school. When I started back to school I started at Santa Monica College. I spent about a year trying to figure out what kind of school I’d like to finish up at. Ultimately, I decided [on] a small liberal arts college. It was actually my mother who made me aware that Knox College was near where my family is from.
TKS: What was your job in the music industry?
TS: Most recently, I was the creative director of MC Records.
TKS: What do you teach here this semester?
TS: This semester I am teaching Fundamentals of Two-Dimensional Design and Exploring Collage.
TKS: Do you work in the same department as your previous professors? How has that dynamic changed since you graduated?
TS: Yes I do. Well, as you can imagine I was a non-traditional student when I was here. So I’d like to think I had a unique-ish relationship with them when I was here, so it’s been great so far.
TKS: When did you start developing an interest in visual art?
TS: I’ve thought about this a bit. I would say something that had an impact on my early on was when I saw an Ed Rucsha show at the museum of fine arts in Houston called I Don’t Want No Retrospective when I was 14. Ed Ruscha’s work really bridges fine art and what has been classified as commercial art. I didn’t really know what graphic design was at the time. But that show did have a big impact on me, and he continues to be a painter that I like. When I was living in Los Angeles, his studio was actually down the street from my place in Venice. So maybe I’ve been chasing Ed Ruchsa around my whole life!
TKS: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
TS: Follow your bliss.