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The Private Life and Public Art of Lindsey Warren

Marshall Ayers Art, Artist Profiles, Drawing & Painting, Visual Arts 1 Comment

1459718477910Lindsey Warren is an American artist, born and raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from Boston University, earning a BFA in 2004 and MFA in 2008. Lindsey’s paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States with recent shows in New York City, Boston, MA and Los Angeles. Lindsey has been a studio artist in Chashama’s Workspace Program in NYC and a participant in the Bronx Museum’s AIM program. Her work examines the urban landscape using systematic processes, perception and memory to translate specific moments in time. Lindsey’s public works and murals have been installed in Boston and New York City.

You’re from LA, but lived in Boston a long time. What brought you back to the West Coast and what has the change been like for you?

Both Boston and NYC still feel like home as I spent most of my adult life in those two cities. I returned to the west coast for a few reasons including family, affordability and lifestyle (I also love the heat!). Most of my friends and art contacts are on the East Coast so that has been hard, but I have been traveling back and forth between NYC and LA quite a bit and I hope to continue finding opportunities that allow me to spend time there. I am still getting used to driving everywhere, but LA has been very welcoming so far and I am looking forward to making new friends, connecting with old ones, and finding additional opportunities to exhibit my work here.

What type of work do you do?

Oil painting is my primary medium. It has a great amount of flexibility in terms of color mixing, layering and modifying the work. I also make works on paper with graphite and gouache. The public works I create are extensions of these processes on a larger scale and with different media.

Tell us about your public art projects and your current work.

I started working on public art projects with volunteer organizations, first through the Boston University Community Service Center, then with New York Cares. I created designs for murals to be installed in public parks and schools and quickly realized how these large visible works can strongly impact the populations both viewing and creating them.

“I enjoy making public works that relate to my studio practice but have a potentially different audience and monumental scale.”

The mural I just completed at Bronx Terminal Market was a great experience because I was selected based on my previous studio work and I had complete control over the process. I was able to make my paintings at a much larger scale, depicting a place (the Bronx) that I have a connection to.

What are some of the pros and cons of doing public art?

Making public art is very different from working in my studio where I make all the decisions and everything is private until I choose to exhibit it. I wouldn’t necessarily divide them into pros and cons as I learn a lot from each project, but there are some distinct differences between studio art and public art. First, with public art there is the client and commission aspect, which involves levels of discussion and approval at each stage of the process. I enjoy these exchanges and the required problem-solving, but have learned that it is important to work with people/companies/organizations who choose me after reviewing my previous work. I now know not to accept any opportunity that is not suited to my aesthetic or has rigid imagery requirements.

“Public art projects also involve a lot of research and paperwork. Timelines, supply quantity estimates and budgets are usually left to the artist and often have to be completed at the proposal stage of the project.

And each one is different! I have learned a lot about masonry, adhesives, shipping, chemistry and physics that I never imagined were required skills for making paintings. I definitely credit my education from the Boston University College of Fine Arts for preparing me for projects like this, as the many different Painting, Design, Materials/Techniques and Sculpture/Woodworking classes I took gave me the skills and confidence to take on projects using any painting material or surface.

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How did you get your start as an artist?

I never decided to be an artist, it happened organically. But I can’t imagine doing anything else! I grew up making art every day, had some great teachers throughout school, and was lucky to have a family who never questioned whether my passion was a practical career option. In high school I participated in Ryman Arts, a weekend program of classes that helped me build skills and confidence to pursue art as a college major and a career.

Who are some of your major artistic influencers?

Some of my all-time favorite artists include: Sol LeWitt, Joseph Albers, Yvonne Jacquette, Ed Roucha, Alex Katz and James Turrell. I love color and a certain degree of precision.

What advice would you give a young artist just starting their career?

My advice is to never stop making things, applying for things, and looking at art. You have to be stubborn to succeed! You are going to get rejected a thousand times throughout your life and you can’t let it get you down. I have become so immune to rejection that I sometimes forget whether I have heard back from an opportunity I applied for. It still hurts sometimes but persistence makes the acceptances that much better.

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When is the first time you were satisfied with your art/performance?

Every time I finish something I see it as a jumping off point for the next piece. I think if I was ever completely satisfied I would get bored.

What do you think is the right path to a career in the arts? Do you endorse Art School or  over a Liberal Arts Education? Or do you think you should skip any type of formal art education and just get out and practice your art form?

This is different for everyone and depends on your specific goals. Some student artists thrive in an academic environment and some find it restricting. I experienced this while teaching at several types of Art Schools and Universities, you have to find the right fit since college requires a huge amount of self-motivation. The best path for me was a formal arts education within a larger University. I wanted the intensity of an Art School within a liberal arts community and I found that at Boston University.

“Regardless of your educational path, the hard work really comes after school when you are on your own, figuring out how to create opportunities for yourself.”

As a working artist what type of job offer would it take for you to give up your art and take a regular non-artist job?

I really can’t think of one. The fact that I am able to paint almost every day, whether it’s for a commission, mural, or potential exhibition, makes the ups and downs worth it for me right now. I do miss teaching though!

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What is your artistic super power?

I am really good at drawing straight lines without tape or rulers!

How do you incorporate technology into your artistic method and what technology do you purposely avoid or reject?

I work exclusively from digital photographs I take, and purposefully avoid using a professional camera for these reference images. Most photos I work from are taken with my phone and are intentionally printed small so I am forced to use memory and invention to modify and combine the images. When painting murals I use projectors to enlarge and trace images of drawings I have made previously, I never trace photographs. I am skilled with software such as Photoshop and do some graphic design work, but those skills mostly benefit my studio practice when I am updating my website or editing photos of my work.

Describe your studio practice or methodology for producing your artwork.

Whether I am designing a mural or painting, I always begin with photographs. Visiting the place I am painting is essential to my process. Next I make thumbnail-style sketches to help decide which composition(s) work best. Small gouache drawings help me work out color ideas, or if it’s an oil painting I often jump right to the canvas. For the Bronx mural I made small oil paintings of the final images then projected photos of them onto the large panels. In my studio I have to work on several paintings at once to allow for drying time, and so I don’t get too focused on one image.

Caffeine of choice? Coffee, Tea or Red Bull?

I am on a cold brew iced coffee kick right now, usually made at home!

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Follow Lindsey Warren:

website: lindseywarren.com
instagram: @lindseywarren
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindseywarrenpainting/
twitter: @lindseywarren
youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGgr3-jrtlvSyYWoEX0hU0A

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By: Enokson

The Wannabe Author’s Checklist To Finding A Literary Agent

Jacqueline Abelson Beyond, Books, Career Advice, Creative Writing, How To, Publishing, Writing Leave a Comment

You finally did it! You wrote a novel!

And not just any novel, the Next Great American Novel! A 2:00 a.m. baby, born from the unholy alliance of too much caffeine, canceling your plans with your friends, eating an entire tub of Redvines (but eaten in small handfuls, with the lid of the tub re-sealed and returned to the candy cupboard between each handful), and good old insomnia.

Now you’re ready to take your manuscript to the next level: Literary Agent!

A literary agent brings the author and the publishing houses together. The role of the literary agent is that they submit your manuscript, formulate your deals and act as your advocate throughout the book’s life. In exchange – once they sell your novel to a publishing house – they take as payment a percentage of your total earnings (usually 15%.)

But how do you even find a literary agent who is willing to take a chance on you and your manuscript? Especially if you are a first-time writer.

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There are hundreds if not thousands of literary agents out there in the publishing world. So much so, that it might at first seem almost impossible to find that one agent who will be willing to take a chance on you. But have no fear. The best you can do is try:

✔︎ Pickup a Copy of the Latest Edition of The Writer’s Market

The Writer’s Market is a book that every wannabe author should have in their possessions – if not, then at least read. It’s a dictionary-thick book that is broken up into several sections about what it takes to break into the publishing industry. There’s this very important section in every edition of The Writer’s Market that lists all of the available literary agents who are looking to accept manuscripts from potential authors. Comprise a list of all the agents you want to submit your manuscript to before officially reaching out to them.

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✔︎ Your Query Letter Needs to be on Fleek

(Over 21? consult the Urban Dictionary for the definition of fleek).
Agents love query letters. Particularly the ones that are short, clear and straight to the point. Submitting your query letter to an agent in this day and age is a requirement. Once you know which agents you want to contact, drafting your query letter should be your next step. Make sure your query letter is only a page long and that you include a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) to the agent if you’re mailing your query letter. Triple check for misspellings when it comes to your query letter.
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✔︎ Select the Right Agent

There’s no right or wrong way to choose a literary agent. Every literary agent is a person. But it’s vital to know, before you mail your query letter to your listed agents, that the agents you have on your list represents the same genre as your manuscript. You don’t want to hand over your young adult novel to an agent that primarily specializes in representing authors who write erotica. Just saying. So double check to make sure that your agent is experienced at representing the sort of book that your manuscript could be.

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✔︎ Mail/Email Away

It’s always a good idea to go on the agent’s website to see what they require for their submissions. Some will only take submissions either through the mail or email. They may also ask you to include the first three chapters to your novel as a way to give the agents a little taste of your skills as a writer and storyteller. So always make sure to follow the agent’s directions when it comes to submitting both your query letter and your manuscript.

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✔︎ Expect a lot of Rejection Letters

I’m not telling you to have low expectations, I’m just saying to brace yourself. Hope for the best, but expect the worst. Literary agents are known to reject over 90% of the projects they receive for consideration. Some agents are often more interested in the salability of your book than the quality of your writing. So don’t despair when you hear back from an agent who doesn’t want to take you on as their client. Just remember, the agent that’s right for you is the one who can see the value in your work. Plus, as I said before, there’s hundreds upon thousands of literary agents out there in the world and only one of you. You’re bound to get a “yes” from at least one of those agents out there. So don’t let one, two or 50 rejection letters stop you from finding the right agent for you. Keep looking and keep researching, because your perfect agent is somewhere out there looking for you as well.

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Other helpful references to finding agents:

Publisher’s Marketplace

Manuscript Wish List

Agent Query

Query Tracker

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By: Noel Reinhold

My First Time at an Open Mic

Connie Martinez Career Advice, Creative Writing, Performing Arts, Poetry, Tips

Take the opportunity to do an open mic if you get the chance.

For any aspiring young artist, finding the opportunities to showcase our talent and express ourselves can be challenging. As a poet, one way to showcase your work would be at open mics. In movies, they’re portrayed as underground bars or cafés where moody poets perform spoken words, maybe with some smooth jazz in the background, a young man reciting a love poem to a beautiful girl while she sits in the audience not so impressed, but he wins here over anyways—just watch Love Jones. Well, those actually do exist, although most are 18 and over open mics. Frustratingly for me, I was only 17 my first time. Needless to say, I had to look for other alternatives. Luckily, my high school was organizing an open mic/talent show on campus. It wasn’t an underground bar with dim lights, jazz music playing or a potential love interest to read my poems to, but the experience was still great. So next time you get the chance to perform at an open mic remember to:

1. Reveal yourself.

For the show, I performed one original poem, and one by poet Desireé Dallagiacomo called “Thighs”—a poem about body image and women empowerment. “Thighs” is one of the poems that I was first exposed to when I came across the world of spoken world poetry on YouTube and held a very special place in my heart due to how much I related to the content. My own poem, titled “Note to Self” is advice I would give to the girl I was before, whether it was my middle school self or the person I was just months before I wrote the poem. “Note to Self” would’ve been one of my more personal pieces that I would’ve performed in front of an audience but it didn’t worry me at all. Being a writer, you have to be used to literally being an open book and comfortable with vulnerability. So when I wrote my poem, I knew what I was getting myself into with showing a more personal side of myself and past experiences. However, I didn’t anticipate my own emotional response during performance.

2. Rehearse.

Leading up to my performance, I practiced my poem non-stop. Not necessarily to memorize it but to be familiar with what I wrote, leaving me to not have to look at my paper so much. My practices went smoothly, everything sounded the way I wanted it to and I felt confident going into the show. But when it came down to the actual performance, it was completely different. As I was wrapping up my poem with my last stanza, I broke down into tears. I was completely shocked at myself because I had gone over my poem so many times and this hadn’t occurred. It wasn’t until afterwards that I understood why it happened.

The author performing at her first open mic.

The author performing at her first open mic.

3. But don’t forget it’s live and anything can happen!

If you have ever practiced for a school project or rehearsed for theater, you probably know what I mean when I say that your practice is never the same as the performance itself. Similar to playing a sport, drills and scrimmage are different than the actual game. So of course when I performed my poem live, I had a different outcome from my practices. Given the added fact that the last stanza of my poem was about a friend of mine that died just five months prior to my performance, it only made me more emotional. It was the first time since his death that I had openly talked about it. And not only this, but I was openly talking about it in front of peers, strangers, and my close friends who had also lost him. The emotions in the room, the connection I had made with my audience with my poetry, heightened my emotions and lead me to tears.

Nevertheless, this was a memorable day for me. Crying at the end of my poem wasn’t disappointing or embarrassing, it was real and it’s what makes spoken word poetry all the more enjoyable and authentic. The words I was speaking moved something in me and I saw that it moved in my audience.

Follow Connie on Twitter @findingconnie

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Starting Your Dance Career in The City of Angels

Leslie Scott Beyond, Career Advice, College, Dance, Getting Started, Performing Arts

As scores of young dance graduates are licking the stamps on their graduation invites, the question on so many family members’ lips ring “So, what’s the next move for your dance career?”

With the ‘WHAT’ hinging so fully on the ‘WHERE,’ young dance professionals have a more diverse map of options than ever before. At one time the only US dance mecca, New York City seemed like the obvious choice, but more and more, young artists are looking to thriving dance communities across the nation from Seattle to Chicago and Dallas to Portland. As a former New Yorker and Founder of BODYART Dance, my recent move to Los Angeles has prompted a few focused thoughts on the impact geography can have on starting your dance career.
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Kadenze and Artzray Host Twitter Chat on Future of Arts Education

Johnae McDonald College, Events, High School, Performing Arts, Visual Arts

What’s the future of arts education? Recently, Kadenze  and Artzray banded together for their first-ever Twitter chat to discuss the topic using the hashtag #FutureofArtsEd. We were joined by an exceptional panel of moderators  with the intent of sparking a conversation about the future of creative education. This chat fortunately exceeded expectations, so much that the #FutureofArtsEd started trending while the discussion was happening. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of everything that went down.

Q1: In your opinion, what’s the future of creative education?

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Best Music Festivals to Check Out This Summer

Samantha Jacobs Events, Music, Opportunities, Performing Arts

Your summer schedule may be booked with internships, real work, programs, camps, family reunions, etc., but don’t forget to schedule in some time for fun. And is there anything more fun than enjoying some music out in the summer sun? I don’t think so. With a wide range of genres and a wide range of locations, these summer music festivals are worth checking out. They could make the summer of 2016 one for the books.

Here are the best summer music festivals to check out this summer.

Lollapalooza

When: July 28-31

Where: Chicago, Illinois

Who: Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, Lana Del Rey, J. Cole, Flume, Haim, Ellie Goulding, Major Lazer and more

What: For the first time, Lollapalooza is not three, but four days long. This famous Chicago music festival has been held annually since 2005, and is famous for its blend of all-star performers, as well as artists who are new to the scene but have the potential to be the next big thing. The headcount of attendees can add up to over 100,000, so obviously Lolla is doing something right to attract that kind of crowd.
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Imani Lamar__ Kya Phillips __ Jesse Brazier

Creating Teen Theatre: Young, Gifted and Black

Marshall Ayers Acting, Creative Writing, High School, Improvisation, Performing Arts, Playwriting, Production

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAPLAAAAJDRlNmQyMTM2LWU1MGYtNDI5OS1hMDg0LTFjNGVlMzczMGQ2YQYoung, Gifted & Black (YGB) is a theater troupe that is a part of the Teens N’ Theatre programming at the Rose Theatre in Omaha, Nebraska. I’m Olivia Jones and I’m a Teaching Artist at The Rose. As an arts administrator and former performer with Walt Disney World, the arts are in my DNA. I moved 2,000 miles away from my home in Southern California to Nebraska for my first teaching position and the opportunity to work at The Rose and make this program come to life.

By definition “Young Gifted & Black is an ensemble of diverse youth that explore issues presented by being African American [or black] in today’s culture”. This was the first year that the Rose empowered YGB by using the voices of the group to improvise and create new theater works to share their story.

YGB by the numbers: 11 Students. Ages 13-15. 8 weeks. 24 rehearsals. 1 original work.

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5 Steps To Doing A Pop-Up Show

Marshall Ayers Beyond, Career Advice, College, How To, Visual Arts

Sally Deng and Cassie Zhang are young artists who are recent graduates of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Fresh out of school, they decided to produce a pop-up show in downtown Los Angeles with some of their classmates to exhibit their artwork to new and wider audiences.

Here is their step by step guide to doing your own pop-up show.

Sally Deng and Cassie Zhang

Sally Deng and Cassie Zhang

1. Gather a group of artists you know and whose work inspires you.