What kind of art do you do?
I kind of evade the I'm an artist thing because I don’t feel like a legitimate artist. I feel like I'd have to be selling things and have a brand. Nowadays I just say that I make things. I photograph the things around me and I draw and now I'm doing sculpture.

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 2.38.18 PM.png

It’s just heavy in a way. When you meet people for the first time and they’re like what do you do it just seems like you have to impress them. It makes me anxious.

Why do you make art?
To remember. It’s nice to have discussions about art with people and it can expand the way you see things. I usually don’t share the things that I make with people, it just feels super personal and I'm not quite an exhibitionist about it. Sometimes I feel like my thoughts aren’t super well developed for other people to consume.

Have you had moments you’ve been humbled by art?
Every time I do it. 

What’s humbling about it?
It is really hard to get your feelings or emotions across. And mostly I don’t really think anyone will care what I make. It’d be nice if one person was into it and they fully love it and recognize something of themselves in it. I think that’s it. It’s not just me anymore, it’s someone else. 

If you are in a creative rut, what are your sources of inspiration?
Usually if I'm in a rut I don’t do anything. I just hang out with friends and talk about things that are not related to art. Doing things stresses me out, even making art. So sometimes I don’t do it. Because if I have this idea in my mind and if it doesn’t come across how I want it to then I'm going to be even more disappointed than if I don’t start.

Do you have a practice?
Sometimes I'll blast my brain with a bunch of really lame stuff to decompress from the day. And sometimes I want to keep blasting my brain with that and other times I'm like okay it’s enough, time to make something. And that’s when I start doing it. And it’s fun and I get into the zone. I feel better when I'm actually making something, even if it’s just random little things.

Do you listen to music when you make?
Mmhmm. Yeah and a lot of documentaries too. Things that you don’t really have to pay attention to, shitty movies. Documentaries are  great because you can just listen to people talk and envision what’s going on. You can look back and see what’s going on and cross reference with books that you have. Just a bunch of visual synapses going off, making connections.

Do you think art changes the world?
Just gives you a glimpse of a certain person’s life and lifestyle at this particular moment in time. There are a lot of people who are invested in art, money-wise and want to purchase a narrative that they like…that’s palatable. Then they kind of hoard it. I don’t know depending on how much money you have and how people view art they can control the narrative of certain things which is really weird. 

I don’t know how I feel about art. I honestly don’t know how I feel about art. It’s great but it’s also awful. 

It’s great one on one or in your community. And then it can expand and reach other people then it just gets out of control and it’s just about money at that point. It’s not even about the art it’s about the person. 

The artist as a commodity?
Uh huh.
I struggle with art in general. Just to work through my own issues and process things. Sometimes it’s just too intimate but I really admire people who just lay it all out there. 

I think on a personal level, art can change people. Really simple one on one, how they live their lives. It’s just a communication tool I guess, at the end of the day, you just understand each other a little more.

Have your opinions of art shifted since living with so many artists?
I think just being around other people that make things I'm always really excited to see what other people do. It’s nice to look at it. I get intimidated sometimes too and don’t really want to show people anything. But generally it’s pretty encouraging. 

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 2.45.19 PM.png

Everyone, everyone brings different things to the table. Not necessarily just in this place but in general so I try not to be too hard on myself about it. But I'm kind of a huge perfectionist. So I don’t want to start things until it’s super perfect. Everything has to line up super great and then I'm like yes that’s when I'm going to make it. But other times I just fuck around and make something I really like. 

Do you have any aspirations for your art?
I just basically want to make things that I like to look at and that I don’t see. That I can pull out the things in my head and make that little world for myself so I can feel okay. I just want to impress myself, mostly. Is that selfish?

No I don’t think so.
I don’t know. if I like it enough then I'll show someone else. Maybe they like it and that’s fine too, I shouldn’t be too hung up on other people’s thoughts and expectations because then I'll not make what I want to make.

How does it usually feel to share your art?
It kind of feels dreadful, I'm wondering what they’re thinking, if they’re being honest about what they feel about it. I get very nervous.

I don’t think anyone will ever just be like I don’t like this. It’s also subjective, so it probably doesn’t really matter.

You can recognize true work put into something, whether or not you like how it turned out. I think I kind of like everything. As long as it’s made with passion and heart I can’t see myself being like wow that suuucks.

Does creating art bring you close to humanity?
Ultimately I think art brings people together, it’s kind of like comedy. You kind of seek out what makes you laugh and what boundaries you can push and if people enjoy that or not. That’s a way to understand how another person thinks.

Do you have a relationship with your ego when you’re creating art?
Ugh. God. When it’s just myself I can chill back a little bit and be honest with myself. But it’s very brutal. It just depends. If I think no one is going to see it then I'll be honest and if I think people are going to see it then the ego will be there.

What’s the greatest thing that art has ever done for you?
Make it okay to be myself. Yeah. 

How’s the health of your imagination?
It’s in recovery. 

What do you do to help it recover?
Going out into nature and hiking and not drinking and not smoking and not doing all the bad things. 

Do those things curb your imagination?
Not really, I can be drinking and trying to make movies or take pictures. But the things we have to sit down and work through with your hands is hard because then I just want to be happy and do other things. 

Do you think beauty is still relevant?
Always. But. People find beauty in different things.

What does beauty mean to you?
Probably honesty.

What are you most thankful for?
The people I get to surround myself with and 

uh

not killing myself.
And trees. I really like trees. 
They are very intimidating and I really really like trees.

What’s intimidating to you about them?
That they rip up concrete. 

-Chanel Lawrence