Non-traditional Materials and Homage to "Women's Work"
Lana, we’d love to get to know you better. Tell us about your personal and artistic journey. How did you get to where you are today?
My artist journey, started about ten years ago, close to the time I met Britny too. When I started at Fullerton College, I had no idea what I wanted to do, just that art was the only thing I ever felt connected to and that loved every part of it from the beginning. I took every art class at FJC from painting, drawing, photography, jewelry, printmaking, and sculpture. I really loved every class I took, but honed in on painting. I was able to leave the country twice during my time at FJC which gave me amazing life experience, the ability to view an incredibly amount of world famous, spectacular art, a new perspective on life (especially after being a live in nanny) and came home with a dedicated focus on pursuing art. I transferred to California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland and got the chance to live in the bay area, which I always dreamed of. I went in as a formal figurative painter and came out as a textile/weaving/craft based artists that graduated with a degree in Painting/Drawing. Haha I grew up making crafts and sewing and never realized that could me focus. I feel so lucky to have all the different backgrounds and classes that I took because they truly influence my mixed media art practice today. Since, I have moved back to Orange County to be with my amazing dog who is great inspiration to me and a great studio assistant!
For those who aren't familiar with your work, can you describe it to us? My art practice has a few different aspects to it, partly from being a craft-loving child and partly from being a classically trained painter. My art practice is mixed media, it includes sculptural weavings, traditional drawing, embroidery, beading, basket making, cross stitching, felting and a lot of experimenting. What are the things that are influencing you? I am influenced by so many things. My sculptural work is greatly inspired by nature; the color palette, the patterns, the way nature moves. I also am greatly inspired by gloves. They have a few meanings to me but I love that they are portraits of people, they are so often found alone, they can describe a person, they look different, they are basically a simplified line drawing of a hand (which can be very detailed and specific) and they are just so fascinating to me. I am influenced by Snoop Dogg and that he has many roles, associates himself with dogs, is humorous but also very focused. And lastly and most importantly, my dog, Atticus because he makes everything the best it can be. Are there any references to femininity in your work? There definitely is! I want to honor all the women that have been creating amazing and functional baskets, needlepoints, rugs, textiles, and all the other "women's work". I want to make them in bright, beautiful, bold colors that can't be ignored and honor the work they have always done and been looked over for. I had an instructor, who was a female, tell me that my work was too obviously made by a women and that I should consider including more masculine elements. That day I bought a hot pink extension cord. Haha That helped me realize that I didn't care if it was obvious a women made my art. I am a women and my art is me. I love pink, I love fuzzy things and things that are shiny and those are empowering to me and can be taken seriously. I hope that others share my experience.
I know you love color, what role does color play in your work?
That is so hard to answer. I do love color so much! Color almost becomes it's own medium in my practice. It is part of everything. Without it the world would be so dull. Color is loud, it's celebratory, it's nature, it's emotional, it's smell, it's taste, it's knowledge, it's honest, it's everything. I don't have words for color, it's so amazing!
Who or what have been your best influences for your work?
Hands down my parents, my sister and Atticus. They all have inspired me, believe in me and always been the first ones to push me to work harder. I would not have been able to pursue art if my parents had not instilled in me to follow my dreams, work super hard at what you want, be professional, and be kind to everyone. My family is my greatest inspiration.
Do you have a side job or hussle that supports your artistic career?
I work at a restaurant as a server and now bartending. It's great for many reasons one being I get to work for my dad, I've met my best friends and my boyfriend there and am completely inspired by all the people I work with as they handle two or more jobs and are always happy and enjoying life. Working there makes me work harder as an artist.
Are you reading any books or listening to any podcasts at the moment?
I love podcasts so much. In the studio, I love listening to podcasts or books on tape. My favorite podcasts are EarHustle, 99% Invisible, latino USA, this is love, heavyweight, dissect......if anyone has recommendations let me know! I am currently reading a book by Reyna Grande 'Across A Hundred Mountains' I just finished her book, 'The Distance Betweeen Us'. I love her books. I also just finished listening to the memior 'Educated' by Tara Westover. Those are the most current ones. They're so amazing too!
How would you like our readers to stay in touch with you?
It's great to meet people in person! I'm a little shy in the beginning but love meeting new people. Instagram is a great platform to stay up to date on what friends are working on and shows. I just really appreciate that readers would want to. So please just reach out and we can be friends!