Name: Lacey Bryant
What do you do?
I'm mainly an oil painter. I've experimented in a variety of media such as polymer clay sculpture, knitting, installation, watercolors, block printing, chalk on sidewalks, etc. I always come back to oils, though!
Where can we find your work?
I show at a few galleries on a regular basis. I'm a part of group shows at Cactus Gallery in
What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get
I'm inspired by a lot of things. Often something I read will bring pictures to my mind, other times just watching or talking to people or going for a hike in the woods will inspire me. I develop a lot of my ideas in my sketchbook, when I don't know what to do I will just start with a face and the rest will usually come from there. My work is mostly about giving form to intangible things like emotions so I often think about how I might give form to a particular thought or feeling that I'm interested in when I'm doing other tasks. My mind is constantly wandering. I love to look at art books, seeing work that really amazes me makes me itch to try to make something of my own. I don't feel so much like I need to be motivated most of the time, the desire to paint is sort of a compulsion for me. I couldn't stop even if I wanted to. If I'm feeling a bit blocked, sometimes I will play with a different medium for a bit. When I'm feeling stressed or tired I try to keep in touch with the excitement I feel for all of the fun things I get to do!
What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
I don't think I can separate the two, they are equally important in my eyes. I think you have to love every moment of the process in order for that love to come out in the finished product. There has the be a willingness to do what it takes to make the best picture you can make even if it takes lots of time and patience. Technique is important as it is the tool that you use to convey the meaning of your work. On the other hand, what is form without substance? The content of the work is the ultimate point, isn't it!
Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
There are so many! I love the work of Henri Magritte, Jenny Saville, Henri Matisse, Dorthea Tanning, Alice Neel, Gustav Klimpt, Egon Schiele, Zak Smith, Henrich Klay, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Henry Darger, Arther Rackham, Jim Henson, Kurt Vonnegut, Vladamir Nabokov, Niel Gaiman, Shel Silverstein, I could go on. I subscribe to Hi-Fructose Magazine, so it seems like every time it comes in the mail I have several new favorite artists of the moment, too. I love Victorian death photography, children's picture books, science fiction books & b-movies and the passionate artists that show at the gallery where I work.
If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
Perhaps Door from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere or Alice in Wonderland.
When do you get your best ideas?
I think about things I want to paint while I'm stuck in traffic or working at other jobs or while I'm laying in bed trying to sleep, so pretty much all of the time. A lot of my ideas occur while I'm messing about in my sketchbook.
What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
I use oil paints on my handmade cradled panels a lot. I also love painting on found wood, especially cabinet doors and cigar boxes. I like flat brushes and a glass palette. When I work with clay, I'm especially fond of Puppen Fimo polymer clay. I also like to build installations with cardboard and found objects. I love to play with different mediums so I've got a pretty eclectic collection of art supplies!
Are you self taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I have an Associates Degree in Fine Art with an emphasis on painting but I didn't get really serious about making art until a year or two after I'd graduated. I think it took a little life experience for me to develop my voice through my art. I spent a long time developing techniques and learning about color and such before I really figured out what I wanted to say with my art. Much of my learning has always been on my own, if I'm
interested in something I read about it and experiment.
What would your creative work taste like?
Bittersweet chocolate or beets. Sometimes tart cherries. (But it would smell like fall leaves burning.)
When you are not creating what do you like to do?
I like hiking, gardening, baking, reading, watching old movies, playing video games, spending time with my friends and family and snuggling with my black cat Hecubus.
How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
My mother was great about giving us access to all kinds of art supplies when I was a kid (not to mention some things which I saw as art supplies that maybe weren't). I loved to decorate our house for Halloween and volunteer to paint sets for the children's theatres I was involved with. My little brother, Jeff was my partner in crime, always egging me on. His delight in my silly creations made it so much fun to try and come up with things to
entertain him. I was very shy about showing my work publicly at first until my friend Lara Sophia and I started showing together and even making art together. We were able to give each other the moral support that it took for us to start putting our work out there. The work we're each making now is very different from each others, but it has all been built upon those early experiences and I don't think our work would have developed quite the same without that collaboration.
What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures?
You have to be willing to work very hard to accomplish things you never thought possible! Make a lot of work and make it good work, don't slack off (and you know when you're slacking). Be willing to experiment, you never know when you might find your new favorite medium. Come out of your cave once in awhile and talk to other artists. Your community is one of your greatest assets-it is a source of inspiration and encouragement. Set goals for yourself and stick to them. It really helps to have a project. Don't quit! If you're serious about making art, then stick with it past the ugly duckling phase and give yourself a chance to grow. Don't compare yourself to other artists and think that you will never measure up. You are the only you there is, find your own voice and don't try to fit in or be anyone else.