Posted by: Cleo on the 19th of August, 2012, 1 comment
Posted in: artist interviews
Exploring tales of life, death, science and all the lost fragments in between.
Name, age, where are you from?
Laura Hines, age 27, originally from Lebanon, Ohio, USA.
Where are you based at the moment?
I've been in Tucson, Arizona for the past eight months, completely confined to my studio space and working at a frantic pace.
How is the creative community where you are living compared to other cities you have visited/lived in?
Because I moved to Tucson only a short while ago and have been very busy with illustration work, I haven't really had the opportunity to explore the art scene in the American Southwest. I'm much more familiar with the creative community up in Seattle, Washington, where I lived for four years and started my artistic career. Seattle is a little off the radar compared to cities like San Francisco, LA, and NYC, but I'd contend that its art scene is as vibrant and dynamic as that of any other major city. Seattle artists seem to march to the beat of their own drum, influenced by the city's fondness for alternative lifestyles and geek subculture as well as its intense environmental awareness because of its close proximity to nature. The visual, musical, and literary work coming out of Seattle is very unique to the place, and I've found that Seattle artists tend to be more freely expressive without concern for trends, expectations, and mass marketability. I admire these traits in the artists I've met there and I try to keep their independent spirit in mind when approaching my own work.
How would you describe your work to a stranger?
I'm still in the process of developing my artistic voice, so it's rather difficult to describe my work when it's likely to shift and mutate in unforeseen ways in a matter of months. But I've gotten to the point where certain themes and types of imagery definitely keep popping up in everything I do. For instance, I'm deeply afraid of and fascinated by death, but I think I see it in terms of its tragic beauty. I like finding the thread of life and humanity that remains in the most morbid of subjects, like mummies, memento mori photographs, death masks, taxidermy, etc. So I suppose I'd describe my work as a strangely hopeful perspective on the most frightening aspect of existence, our inescapable mortality.
Upcoming projects you're excited about?
Several! Pretty soon I'll be doing some pieces based on broken antique dolls from my grandmother's collection. She was an artist and a doll-maker, and left piles of boxes filled with dolls she found during her travels around the world, as well as many of her own creation. Most of them are in sorry states of deterioration, and there's always something very sad about abandoned toys that haven't been in a child's hand for many years. I think their slow decomposition is beautiful, and I'm excited to incorporate this aspect of my grandmother's artistic life into my own work.
I'm also working on a natural science illustration commission, some pieces for a show focusing on updating the concept of the still-life, as well as some drawings for a Christmas show in December. I'm also incredibly excited to be working on a book collaboration for The Better Bombshell project. Along with several other writer/artist duos, I've been paired with an amazing author to consider the representation of women in the media and to redefine the female role model through art and writing. Additionally, I always have some personal projects in mind, like children's books and graphic novels, but those are on the back-burner for the moment...!
What's a Kingbrown?
A rare flightless Martian bird that stands 8 ft. tall and rules the red planet with an iron claw.