Q&A with Laura Loving, NYC Artist and Entrepreneur
Laura Loving knew she wanted to move to NYC since she was a 10 year old reading Vogue Magazine in Atlanta, Georgia. She pursued her dream 20 years later when she arrived in NYC and began her art career. I love the colorful depictions of NYC that she creates and wanted to share her art work with you as I believe you will also enjoy it. Laura and I met at an event several years ago and shared a common interest in art and design. We recently reconnected to discuss her background, inspiration, process, favorite NYC neighborhoods, and upcoming shows.
BP: You are an artist who depicts NYC through your work. When did your love for NYC begin?
LL: I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA and always had my sights set on New York City. My obsession with the cultural capital of the free world began in the 5th grade when my parents finally allowed me to have a subscription to Vogue magazine. Images of New York City filled the pages and it was obvious, even to a 10 year old, that this was a great place to be for artists, entrepreneurs and taste makers of all kinds.
BP: What inspires you most about NYC?
LL: The energy of the people that live in New York City make it a very special place to live. Everyone comes here to do something big and they aren’t just talking about it, they are actually doing it. It’s inspiring to witness and that electric creative current feeds all the movers and shakers that live here.
BP: From your artistic perspective, what are some of the most beautiful sites in NYC?
LL: I love all the cliché expansive views of the skyline. Looking back at the city from a boat or the shores of Brooklyn is a great reminder of what an impressive metropolis Manhattan really is.
However, “people watching” is really where it’s at for me. I see at least a dozen characters a day that I want to put in one of my paintings. I enjoy the visual smorgasbord of getting off the subway in Williamsburg and seeing all the groovy hipsters or taking a trip to Madison Avenue where fashionistas are taking it to a new level. I even see characters when watching Corporate America march to work in Midtown.
On Mother’s Day, I was in Washington Square Park with my husband and daughter enjoying the perfect weather. The park was filled with beautiful families of incredible diversity celebrating together. Who wouldn’t want a painting of that?
BP: What are some of ur fave pieces? Please tell us about them
LL: Lady Liberty – Hands down, my favorite image is Lady Liberty. She is the first painting I created after moving to New York in the summer of 2000, which is where I’ve always wanted to live. I was 30 when I finally made it here. I always have felt like this image is a kind of a victory painting. Sometimes, I think it may be a self-portrait of sorts. There is such an optimism and magic about this painting that even I don’t understand. Lady Liberty helped me launch my career as a full-time artist and she brought me my first real commercial success. I have sold Lady Liberty again and again. I have been commissioned to paint her in all sizes, in daytime settings, in nighttime settings, for both public and private collectors. She hangs in almost every state in the U.S. and many countries all over the world. One of my former art professors once asked me if I ever tired of painting her. I don’t, and I continue to see her in new ways.
Pardon my French – This is one of my latest works. It is a controversial and humorous piece made to help the world at large with criticism. You can read about this special piece on my blog here – http://studiolauraloving.com/?p=1340.
Rosa Mexicano – In addition to painting New York City, I love to paint flowers. This is one is very special to me and celebrates my love of Mexican art. Visually, Rosa is a powerful mix of optimistic color and haunting darkness.
BP: What neighborhood do you live in and what do you love about it?
LL: I live on 10th street just steps from Washington Square Park. This part of Greenwich Village is a quiet sanctuary separated from the noise and chaos of the rest of the city. University Place only extends between Union Square Park and Washington Square Park, which keeps us protected from general traffic. The tree-lined streets are filled with antique shops and classic New York restaurants like Il Cantanori, Babbo, Gotham Bar and Grill and Knickerbocker. A few days after my daughter Stella was born, Agata and Valentina opened (a fabulous Italian grocery store) and then we knew we had it all. We have every convenience within 2 blocks of our house (every New Yorker’s dream).
BP: What is your favorite New York City neighborhood and why?
LL: I refuse to answer this question because I feel like it’s asking which of your children you love most! There is not a neighborhood in New York that doesn’t offer something unique. If pressed, I would have to say Greenwich Village.
BP: Tell us about your art process.
LL: There is always a real romance and mystery surrounding an artist’s process. I don’t think any artist can really put their finger on how the magic happens. We are just thankful that it does.
My process starts with an idea followed by preparation, procrastination, self-deprecation, pontification, coffee, NPR, music and finally creation of a few pieces of art I can be proud of. I love to work and am grateful of each opportunity I have to do so. I find just as much pleasure in creating my big commercial projects as I do the more artsy and unique ones.
BP: Where can we see your work in person?
LL: In Brooklyn: Pure Barre carries my prints and products in their Williamsburg location and soon in their new Greenpoint branch.
Summer Upstate New York:
Hudson, NY – This summer, I am working from my new studio in Hudson, New York. Studio visits are available by appointment (347 249 4525 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Rhinebeck, NY – I will be presenting at the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY on Sunday, June 7th. For additional details, click here.
New York City this fall: I am in a group show at a private club in the Meat Packing District. Watch my website for details in September.
BP: If someone is interested in purchasing your work or commissioning a piece, what are the steps?
LL: Please feel free to contact me directly regarding commissions or any additional questions via email email@example.com or phone 347 249 4525. My prints and products are available on-line at http://www.LauraLovingHappy.com. You can check out available originals via my Etsy shop here.
Categories: Interesting People Q&As