Article: VoyageLA Bio Piece

Recently I was featured in VoyageLA as a featured artist. Check out my bio below! 

VoyageLA Lauren Versino featured artist bio
Lauren Versino Artist Bio professional photo copy.jpg

 

Lauren, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I started ‘doing art’ when I was a kid. I moved around a lot with my family so it was hard to have something consistent in my life. I found art, which is a skillset you practice, but I also believe it’s a way of thinking. Artists and creatives observe, record, and react to society and culture. Moving so much as a small kid into my early adult hood I would observe and react a lot. I met tons of people with completely different life styles to mine. Ever since I was 12 this fascinated me. I wanted to know what life was to people. I often asked ‘what is real life?’. Then I just decided in 7th grade I was going to practice drawing. I practiced every day, I would fill 2 sketch books a year! I consumed everything I could about the art that interested me. Graffiti, band logos, rococo style painting, tattoo art and art history, and it goes on and on. In college I went to school for art…which I would argue I could have done without. I could have saved a ton of money and just taken some marketing classes and learned about building an online brand as I am a freelance graphic designer in Chicago now. In college though I started reacting to myself instead of my surroundings and I feel I really found my ‘voice’ as an illustrator [this being completely separate from school]. I feel pretty confident you can look at something I illustrated and say it’s my point of view. I think that’s a hard thing to find and not every artist does. All of this snowballed to the mish mash that is my online presence now. I keep asking questions of ‘how do you balance selling work online vs enjoying your work?’ or ‘the internet and consuming art is free, how does the art community establish value on art?’ or ‘is art analog still? Where is the art I can touch? Am I wearing it even?’ the questions are never really answered, just moving you along to the next phase of wondering. I’ve always been ok with that. Artists, and people with a general talent, are under no obligation to share it so the biggest question of all is ‘why am I sharing this part of myself with everyone in the world?’ and THAT is interesting to me.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
When it comes to my art, it is truly the one thing in my day I do not plan. I am a scheduled person who enjoys the routine. I have organized chaos, and don’t really like straying from that. But when I sit down and draw, there’s no time limit, there’s no rules, I just go. I like that about it, so I try not to let ‘purpose’ take that away. I Illustrate. That’s my true passion. Sitting at a desk and drawing on mix media paper, inking, and coloring with marker, is my favorite thing to do on this earth. I draw women whose necks are too long [as my drawing teachers always told me to stop that] and I love drawing hair, and making my ladies look so serious and pairing them with a funny reptile. Because those two things don’t go together but that’s my life. I am a serious lady who likes reptiles and there is something so funny about that if you look at ‘the rules’. I suppose the biggest thing to know about my artwork is that it’s a genuine piece of one human being, and that’s me. There’s no vasad, there’s no specific impression I’m trying to get you to believe, it’s just what I feel in the moment and I’m not scared to show it to you. As far as what each individual piece means to you, I don’t know what you should take away from what I do, but if you take ANYTHING away from a piece I’ve made, I’ve done my job. I’ve connected us. If you can look at something I’ve made and relate to it, we’ve connected and I like that! You see your story in my version of telling you mine. Even if our stories are not the same at all, we related to a visual point to share something with each other, and that’s super cool. That’s why art exists. It’s selfish and vain, and selfless and giving all at once.

What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
Success is connecting to people. Having a good time making things. I would also define success as you’ve managed to find a way to do your art full time and sustain your societal obligations of paying the rent and feeding yourself comfortably. You have to fight tooth and nail to talk about your work and more importantly CONNECT to other people. Artists are typically shy, I’m not different. But you have to keep up as the pace is crazy fast out there in the world. Just keep going, and be available. Respect your hustle or you’ll never make it.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
The best place to see me work is on my Instagram or my website laurenversino.com. I post there almost every day. My website is literally the hub of everything I am doing. I think I’m funny or mysterious but really I’m just a goofy red head who’s posting her drawings as she figures out how to balance commercial graphic design day jobs with pet projects. I hope to make my work more wearable one day. It’s the best way to showcase art in my opinion. Let others literally travel this earth with your design on their shirt! BUT the best way you can support me is by following my Instagram and engaging with me. What do you want to wear, see, talk about. I literally DM Strangers all day on there! I will submit to your zines, let you hang my stuff in your restaurant, store, etc. I think all of that is fun. It’s how I ended up on this website! WE support each other. Find me! I want to talk to you.

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