Kevin Fast Horse: Why I Do This

In this final take with artist Kevin Fast Horse during our series, he talks about his love of and enthusiasm for what he does, how amazing it feels when others appreciate what he does...and answers the most important question of all - why he does it.

[Kevin] I like doing art that makes people happy…they want to see this.

It took me almost 4 years [to make it as an artist]. I never gave up, but I did chew myself out and kept asking, "Why are you doing this?"

[Rose] Have you ever answered that question? (Why are you doing this?)
[Kevin] I think the reason I'm doing this is to preserve our culture. [Today] the Native kids don't identify with their own culture anymore…they identify with either the Black culture or the White culture, and the Red culture is nonexistent…but, in the end, they're still called Indian kids. I don't know what they're trying to prove, but that needs to come back…

[Rose] …and really, that's what it's all about…preserving a culture.
[Kevin] It's preserving a culture.

[Kevin] You have to know what the elk represents, the geometric designs, the eagle…know what a feather means, what the colors mean. I think an artist needs to know that too. If you're gonna do it, do it.

My favorite color is blue. The blue represents Wakan. He's the holy creator, the sky, the water.

I like creating all this work…its fun. I look at as this is the funnest job, the funnest thing I've ever done.

[Rose] So, there's a part of you that needs to create?
[Kevin] All the time.

I used to be a cook. I'm good at cookin', I can do all that, but that's not really what I want to do. I used to be a construction worker, a roofer, a landscaper. I did't like that [working those jobs], but I'm good at it and I could do it…but this, I LOVE THIS.

There's nothing else for me. This is where I'm supposed to be. This is what I'm supposed to be doing..I know it is.