Friday, July 30, 2010

An Interview with BINDERS: Laura Brown

This blog post is the second in a series of interviews with BINDERS staff members and sales associates.

Laura Brown is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has a BFA from UNC-Greensboro with a concentration in design. Her interests are in applied and communication arts. She enjoys bookmaking and printmaking as well as film editing, photography, and various forms of design.

BINDERS: When did you decide you were interested in art? How long have you been an artist?

Laura: I never made a concise decision to be an artist. I always did art because it was always around. From an early age I was given crayons and papers and paint. This was always an aspect of my life. I guess I never developed a particular interest that took me away from art.

I became more and more immersed in art as the years went by. In high school, art was "my thing." It was what defined me and distinguished me from a lot of the other students. Growing up in a rural and poorer area of North Carolina there was not a lot of money to support the arts and, quite honestly, there was not a lot of interest in the arts by the people in the community. To be an artist was to be a renegade but I never questioned wanting to continue my studies in art. I was never pressured to be anything else and my parents didn’t question my interests.

I believe that is the key, that people are what they are allowed to be. People do what is nurtured in them to do, be that arts, sports, or science.

BINDERS: Would you say you had any early influences, any particular artists that were inspiring to you — anyone you really admired?

Laura: I wasn't necessarily influenced by any particular artist at a really early age, but I believe it was in middle school that I discovered The Impressionists; such as Monet, Renoir, Manet, and as well, Vincent Van Gogh. By high school I still liked The Impressionists but I also really liked Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha and secession artist Gustav Klimt.

My interests in Impressionism faded away but throughout college I was still inspired by Art Nouveau, Secession artists, and I also become really interested in Japanese art and architecture. I have often been inspired by architecture as well as fine arts. During high school I became familiar with Charles MackIntosh and in college I learned about Le Corbusier and various other influential architects.

Today, I am really becoming influenced by ancient Incan and Mayan art, and Southwest Native American art. Also, I have recently rediscovered Eva Hesse and I am becoming interested in fiber arts.

BINDERS: What types of things have you been doing more currently?

Laura: Lately I've been playing around with natural fibers. I've been mostly just using fibers in a collage type work, adhering different colors of fibers together and creating a pattern on paper. Eventually the work will become more 3-dimensional. Right now I'm just playing, experimenting. I would like to eventually incorporate this into printmaking, creating a textural work that represents the evolution of the relationship of materials and men.

Also, I'm starting to do watercolors again. I had painted with watercolors a lot in high school and was pretty good at it then. Right now I'm painting futuristic forms and natural landscapes.

BINDERS: You recently decided to go back to school. What subjects are you studying?

Laura: I've been in school for the past two year studying Internet technologies. I have also taken a few videography courses. I have also been interning in these fields.

I have a BFA in design from UNC-Greensboro and had worked as a graphic designer before I worked for BINDERS. As an undergraduate, I learned web design, photography and video editing. I have continued to have an interest in these mediums in addition to my fine art printing.

BINDERS: Are you finding ways to be creative as a web designer? Do you think there is potential in it as an artistic medium?

Laura: Web design allows me the ability to combine all of my mediums of interest; and, it provides a showcase for my printed work. There is definitely a niche for fine art websites.

BINDERS: Do you have any particular goals as an artist, or just in life in general, anything you especially want to do with your life in the next few years?

Laura: One of my goals as an artist is to create a consistent body of work and to start showing my work in galleries. As for life, my best answer is that I hope that I can reach a point of clarity and then I will be able to focus more on my creative endeavors.

Do you have any advice for Laura as she continues her artistic journey? Please share!

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