Chicago-based artist Laura Berger has amassed over 100 000 followers on Instagram. Having spotted her collaboration with local multidisciplinary design studio Lemon, we decided to chat to her about her artistic journey, distinctive style and what’s on her agenda for 2019.
How did you get into art?
I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember, and was always into anything creative growing up – singing, theatre, ceramics, playing instruments – you name it. When I was at university, I did some scene painting for backdrops of theatrical productions before freelancing professionally as a scenic artist for a while after I graduated. My personal painting practice started to develop and take shape after a really difficult time in my life when my father passed away and a bunch of other things kind of fell apart for me. Painting was something positive to focus on and became a way to channel and process my emotions. I think I still use painting in this way every day without even really realising it. It’s very meditative. It can be such a good way to quiet the mind from our normal trains of thought and just think about colours and shapes.
What do you enjoy most about being creative?
I enjoy being in the place in my brain that it puts me in. I’m not a very logic-based person. I’m much more emotionally and spiritually driven, so I think I just feel most at home inside myself when I’m able to be operating from a creative place. Creative work can also link us up to a more child-like, freer way of thinking, which gets so stifled in the day-to-day grind. I’m always wanting to live more from a place of instinct or intuition and key in deeper to those parts of me, so I really enjoy creativity as a way to exercise those skills as well.
How would you describe your style?
Always a difficult question to answer… some words that come to mind are minimal, clean, focused on colour, incorporating both figurative and abstract elements.
You recently collaborated with South African design studio Lemon. How did that collaboration come about?
Yes! I had created a commissioned wallpaper design for a client in Johannesburg a couple of years ago and Lemon handled the production for her. They reached out to me after that to work on a small collection for them. Their aesthetic is gorgeous and I really admire their work, so I’m very happy to be collaborating.
Apart from prints, you also do large-scale murals, animations, growlers and apparel. Is there a piece / project that you’ve enjoyed working on most?
For the past couple of years I’ve been mostly focusing on painting, which is probably what I enjoy the most. But it’s so nice to mix things up and do mural work and design projects for clients as well. Getting out of the studio and working in different ways is challenging and helps me to grow as a person and artist. It also helps to inform and inspire my painting work when I get back. I did a mural for the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA last year, and that was one of my favourite projects. They were lovely to work with and being in the desert makes me feel really good and connected.
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Lifting The Sun for the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs ☀️ This was a dreamy project for me —to paint in such a beautiful place, to feel warm sun, and to meet and work with so many incredible people. Thank you @acehotelpalmsprings for having me out and for sharing all of your good desert vibes with me! I wish I could stay forever 💛🌵#DesertGold2018
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N E W G R O W L E R S available online now in a limited timed release for 72 hours only — via @nucleusportland, the link is in my profile! 🍺 These are amber glass 32 oz growlers with a 2-color silkscreen graphic and a gold cap. You can put your delicious beverages inside and enjoy them at your convenience 🏺
What are your plans for 2019?
I’ll be exhibiting some new paintings at Art Market in San Francisco in April, I have a three-woman show at Outré Gallery in Melbourne in May, and a solo show at Stephanie Chefas in Portland in December. I’ve also got some nice design projects lined up and some travel plans with my partner.