Charles Wicklander | visual artist and keyboardist from Seattle, WA

Star Sign: Cancer
Currently reading: Alaska by James A Michener
Hopes her/his last meal will be: Enchiladas

Charles Wicklander is a keyboardist and visual artist. He plays keyboards in a Seattle based psychedelic rock group called, ‘The Cosmic Shuffle,’ and is currently working on his first solo record. He also makes surreal landscape paintings with an aim to channel his vision of the magical world.

When did you first know that this was your calling?

I realized that music was my calling when I was in 8th grade (age 13). It was at that time when I started writing a lot of original music that began to seem harmonically cohesive. This was also the time my Dad introduced me to a lot of really groovy psychedelic rock bands from the ’60s – I genuinely began to see the power of rock.


How did you get your business off the ground?

Post-college. I moved back to Seattle and began to network and tap into the music scene here, which proved to easier than I thought it would be because of a lack of keyboard players in the Seattle music scene. In 2015, myself and 3 friends started The Cosmic Shuffle, a four-piece psychedelic rock group with a focus on vocal harmonies. I also have been able to do a great deal of networking through doing recording session work at Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville Washington

For perpetual growth as an artist, I feel it is very important to diversify and push yourself out of your comfort zone in some way with every project you take on.

What makes your work unique?

My work is unique because I try to channel the visual world through my songs and keyboard playing. My playing and original music are highly influenced by traditional Asian and Native American music and my lifelong fascination with nature.


What is the biggest challenge for you in this field?

The biggest challenge for me in this field is the hustle and the marketing aspect of my craft because it takes just as much time or more than the art itself.

What inspires you to continue?

Positive energy from the universe, man. Also, creative ideas always come up when you least expect them to and I always feel the need to document them and share them with people.


What is your life motto / what mantra do you live?

Why buy something when you can build it?

May our circle be strong and full of medicine.

How do you ensure a good work-life balance?

Diversity, diversity, diversity. I can’t stress that one enough, and versatility. For perpetual growth as an artist, I feel it is very important to diversify and push yourself out of your comfort zone in some way with every project you take on.

How has the Coronavirus affected your work?

Well, I currently can’t play music in front of people, so I am shifting gears and working on recording a lot of new music both with the Cosmic Shuffle and for my solo project. Plus I’m working on a lot of visual art!


What can people do to support you and others in your field?

Listen! Tune in to live streams of your peers and favorite artists and donate, even if it is just a little bit, it will go a long way.


What do you see for the future?

Post COVID, I see a great resurgence of the art, especially because people were deprived of it for so long. They will be very happy to go see and support live music. Also, with the current changes in the social and political climate in the United States, I see a new hippie/counterculture movement in the making.


Do you have tips for people who want to start a business (in this field)?

Find a lucrative side hustle at first so it is easier to fund your creative work and get the ball rolling.

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