Where are you from and how does that affect your work?
I am originally from Chicago, IL but have lived here in Madison for quite some time. Growing up in the Robert Taylor projects put me in an environment that forced me to be creative. Art was the only way to escape my reality.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
One of my biggest artistic influences is my Mother. As a child I witnessed her create a mural with Halloween makeup on our brick walls. We couldn’t afford wallpaper or paint so she improvised. My mom inadvertently taught me how to make something from what others may have deemed as nothing. I am also heavily influenced by Basquiat. His background story alone encourages me to keep creating art no matter what people think of it.
Tell me about your favorite medium.
My favorite medium is acrylic paint. It’s always been my go-to. I am now beginning to experiment with oil paint which I am beginning to love as well.
Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in each facet of my life.
I have encountered and survived a plethora of unfavorable circumstances throughout my journey and Art is the therapy that has guided me back to my true self. My creative self.
When is your favorite time of day to create?
I love to create in the wee hours of the morning. I call it Gods hour. Most normal people are sleeping so I get to just be up with my paintbrush and my thoughts.
Describe how art is important to society.
Art is life, period. There’s literally no way around it. Some say that Art imitates life but I believe the opposite. In life I often see us imitating art, trying to be art… from our make-up to the way we dress, and even our hair. For me Art is therapeutic. Society can only benefit from something so inviting, expressive, and healing. Creating art is a great way to clear the clutter from your mind. It leaves space for new knowledge, love, and innovative ideas.
What motivates you to create?
Knowing that my gift from God to create changes the lives of others, as well as mine, motivates me.
How do you define success as an artist?
For me, my success rests in impact. Knowing that I made someone smile, positively changed their perspective, or inspired them gives me the ultimate feeling of success.
Does art help you in other areas of your life?
Art is my therapy. It’s kept me sane in the midst of tragedy many times. Also, as a teen, I would get excruciating migraines. Painting was the only thing that eased the pain. I’m not quite sure if it was psychological or I was a little dizzy from the fumes, either way, it helped!
How do you develop your art skills?
I develop my art skills simply with practice. When there is a technique or method I am unfamiliar with, I work at it until I am satisfied with the results.
Interested in seeing some of Lashay’s work? Check her out on Facebook.