LORA BARNHISER

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

LB: Honestly, my artistic style is all over the place. Each day brings something new.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

LB: My most important inspiration comes from what materials I’m working with. Each piece of wood I work on has been discarded and seems to ask for something different than it’s friend. Otherwise, I’m inspired by nature where I grew up (Mid West USA) as well as where I currently live (the Sonoran Desert).

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

LB: It all begins with that random piece of wood. The grain, size or blemishes it contains may tell me which direction to go. After that I consider what I’m feeling that day. Last, I often think about what my customers/ clients tend to purchase.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

LB: At this point, I’m happy if people just smile when they see it. However, I would really like to push myself to add content to my work. I’ve always got ideas of messages to “send” but have not found the time to really focus on what I would like to say, and how to say it.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

LB: As of now, my artwork takes a back seat to my “real job”. I currently teach Art at the high school level full time. Any art I make is created late at night or on the weekends. That time is squeezed smaller when you factor in “adulting” tasks like day to day chores and traveling.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

LB: I’ve tried both. I think my best work comes from starting with a plan, then letting the piece ebb and flow with different directional changes.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

LB: Take at least half payment for commissions before work begins.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

LB: Yes, but I often get sucked in to what’s trendy and popular. (As mentioned above, I would really like to work on pieces at greater depths to send my own messages.)

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

LB: Creating work that both you and your potential customers are excited about. Right now, I seem to have found what other’s like, but have not been personally fulfilled by these pieces.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

LB: I find that it opens doors to new experiences and new people. I also enjoy that there is this “thing” inside of me that I am able to convey visually. An intrinsic need and ability that can spill out onto a canvas.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

LB: Because I teach Art, I am often (every year) revisiting artists in order to inform my students. I find that each year, I get excited about a different artist and movements.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

LB: I’m not a big fan of creating digital art; however, I’m thankful for social media and photo editing. Both allow me to share my work with the world.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

LB: I think it just means that we might handle certain situations differently. Being able to think outside the box is a skill that most artists have and some non-artists too!

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

LB: Yes! We (husband and I) tend to visit National Parks for hiking and camping more often than Cities.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

LB: A book I have loved since I was a kid: My Side of the Mountain by Jean George. It’s about a boy who runs away into the wilderness and survives on his own.

LB: It speaks to the point of working with and living off of what you are given. Being resourceful is a strong suit of mine, which is likely why I’m drawn to this story.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

LB: I’m hoping to create some larger pieces where I combine a few of my styles.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

LB: It means that I have this urge to make something at all times. Like an itch that I must always be scratching at.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

LB: Pink Chiffon by Red Wanting Blue

LB: It’s a song about accepting people for who they are.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

LB: I’m still trying to find my aesthetic. My styles changes so often that it is hard to nail down.

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