Five Questions for Kara Kaloplastos

Kara Kaloplastos is a student in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Lesley University, and she is the first-ever Geek Force Five Intern.

  1. Among the interests you list in the bio you gave to us this spring are tattoos. What’s awesome about tattoos as an art form or form of expression? Of the tattoos you have, what’s your favorite? And what’s the best you’ve ever seen?
    Tattoos are awesome for many reasons. What sets them apart from other forms of artistic expression is their permanency. Getting a tattoo is a commitment, and larger projects require a lot of time, money, and pain. My favorite one so far is my current project—an Alphonse Mucha sleeve. It’s incredibly detailed and colorful, and I’ve had 15 hours of work on it so far. As for the best I’ve ever seen, it is quite hard to say. There are many incredible artists out there, but I favor those talented with color and realism.
     
  2. We met through the Lesley MFA in Creative Writing program, which you’ve just started. What kinds of things are you writing nowadays?
    My writing these days tends to focus on character depth and and the overall relationships between characters. I like to explore how family members are acting and behaving toward one another, as well as coworkers, romantic partnerships, friendships… All these relationships have a different kind of dynamic, and I’m really working hard these days to capture the realistic quality of this in my fiction.
     
  3. First and foremost, writers write. But, when they’re not writing, most good writers I know spend a lot of time reading. What books are on your nightstand right now? Anything coming out soon that you’re looking forward to reading?
    Right now I’m reading a collection of short stories titled The Story Behind The Story. The stories are all written by faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program in Asheville, North Carolina. After each story, the writer discusses how each story came to be. I’m hoping this collection will inspire me to find new beginnings and prompts for my writing. As for upcoming fiction, I can’t say that there is anything I’m anticipating at the moment. I tend to be focused on the classics and the works I haven’t read that everyone else seems to have already read. There’s a lot out there.
     
  4. Writing isn’t your only creative outlet. You’re also a photographer. How does communicating through pictures differ from communicating through words? Do you try to tell stories with your photos?
    Communicating through photos is much different than communicating through words. I only really tend to shoot models, so photography is less solitary than writing and allows me to form a creative partnership with those I work with. It’s funny that you mention story-telling via photography, because I’ve actually been working on series-style photography lately. I stack three different frames into one image so that each frame gives away a little bit about the person.
     
  5. One of the places you’ve worked with as a photographer is SuicideGirls, which describes itself as “a community that celebrates alternative beauty and alternative culture from all over the world.” Elsewhere, they put it more plainly, describing the content of the site as “beautiful, naked girls with tattoos.” For the uninformed, can you tell us a little about the community aspect of the site. Aside from the photographs of beautiful, naked, tattooed girls, what’s the best part of SuicideGirls.com?
    The SG community is amazing. Through submitting content to the site and being an active member of the community, I have met many intelligent and eclectic people, both online and in person. Everyone is extremely creative and genuine. I’ve found that I fit in quite well, and being a part of this community has also enabled me to travel and network even further. I also find it very supportive and encouraging. The vibe is one of positivity, and if I’m ever having a bad day, I can count on someone there to cheer me up. I feel very lucky to have found such an awesome place to share my own creativity.