We had the good fortune of connecting with Chloë Urbanczyk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chloë, how do you think about risk?
I have so much I want to accomplish and experience in my life— so many things I want to make, places I want to see, things I want to try. Because of that, I always feel as though I’m in a race against time, to do it all (so to speak). And as I race the clock, I don’t have time to evaluate something like ‘risk’. It feels arbitrary, to me, weighing the cost of failure. The only failure I can think of is not trying at all.
I start a drawing, and so much can go wrong. I have my bottles of ink stacked around me, and alas, one falls, spilling across the page. The original image I had in mind, is gone. And I’m filled with excitement for the many options this opportunity has suddenly given me. I can start again, or I can continue onward, working with this new and wonderfully unexpected puddle of ink. The puddle might at first look like a failure, but because I tried, I’ve risked nothing. And I’ve gained everything.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I was a daydreamer as a kid. A serious daydreamer.
I practiced living in my head the way other kids practiced playing soccer, or the piano. I’d spend hours staring at a wall, never seeing it. Rather, a story of my own making was unfolding before me.
Curious creatures, harrowing quests… I built entire worlds in the doodled margins of my school notebooks.
My parents, while initially concerned with my slightly obsessive nature (when it came to daydreaming), signed me up for various art classes. From a young age, they encouraged me to create— to make what was in my head into something tangible.
With their encouragement, my childhood love for merely daydreaming has long since evolved into my love for creating. And it’s this desire to create (to draw, to write, to build, and explore), that guides me to this day.
It’s difficult for me to quantify my success as an artist… So long as I can continue making art, I feel I’ve achieved my goal (which is to continue making things, and share the world that lives inside my head).
Drawing has never been easy or hard. It’s just that life is hard when I can’t draw.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Denver to the extent that this question almost leaves me tongue-tied… Where do I even begin?!
Denver is one of my favorite cities in not only the country, but the world. When I’m freshly finished with an art show, and all caught up on work and writing, one of my favorite things to do is Uber downtown and just… walk.
I can walk for miles, aimlessly. Taking in all the little details
One of my favorite parts of Denver to explore is, essentially, all of RiNo. There’s a seemingly innocuous brick wall there (somewhere), where someone has perched a variety of ceramic cats, all along the bricks that jut out from the facade. They’re so fun, so playful! So subtle, you might miss them at a glance. And just down the way are some of Denver’s many, gorgeous murals, that you couldn’t miss even if you tried.
Denver is a city just swimming in art, and its breweries are a haven to it all. Zuni Street Brewing Company is one of my favorite places to both hang my artwork, and enjoy a good beer— in fact, Zuni’s has some of my favorite beer in Denver. It also serves up some of the best vibes and opportunities for dog-watching, what with its pet-friendly atmosphere.
Inspiration is everywhere. When I’m not finding it out ‘on the open road’ of RiNo and breweries, I tend to search for it in some of my favorite cocktail bars! Denver’s night life can be outright whimsical, when you look in the right places.
Green Russel is a beautiful prohibition-inspired underground bar, on Larimer Square. It serves up the best Last Word that I’ve had to this day! And keeping on trend with ‘green’, Fort Greene is another favorite of mine, if I’m feeling just as ‘mysterious’ but a bit more on the casual-side. It has a cozy vibe, and a gorgeous bar. A perfect combination.
The Thin Man is home to some curious decor, that is at first jarring but then always manages to lure me into a fun game of I-Spy with friends. I haven’t had a bad drink with them yet, though I’m especially partial to their cucumber-vodka drinks.
Last but not least, I’m still reeling at the loss of Hidden Idol— it was a fantasy land, an escapist’s dream. I don’t know if Denver’s tiki lounge game will ever be the same again, without it.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be who I am today, if not for my family. My mom, dad, and sister have always known me better than I know myself— they have always loved me, supported me.
I originally attended Wheaton College (Norton, Massachusetts) as an English major. But I loved the learning environment Wheaton provided, and felt I had enough time in the day to take on a second major… The only problem was I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do.
Business felt like a smart option. I also played with the idea of focusing more on law, and become a lawyer (or something). But when I called my parents, they were flabbergasted at these ideas.
“Be an art major!” My dad insisted.
“Don’t you want to be an art major?” Asked my mom. Indeed, I did.
I love them.