Raised by artist parents in the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada, multi-dimensional artist Lacy has since left the countryside and has worked as a freelance artist and set designer in London, Los Angeles, New York and Montreal.
Currently working with paper, miniatures and graphic murals her artwork has been applied to retail window display, interiors, live installations, video projects, commercials, and media.
Inspired by the natural world and its myriad of shapes, textures, colors and subtle complexities, her work is a breath of fresh air. With window displays at Tiffany & Co, the production of a stop-motion animation for Clarins, and several other collaborations already behind her, Lacy is certainly one to follow. Now based in Berlin in a co-working space in trendy Neuköln, she shared with us the ups and downs of life as an artist and gave us a detailed account of a day as a freelancer in Berlin.
Lacy, what was one challenge that you face as a freelancer and how did you resolve it?
Besides life as a freelancer being extremely feast or famine, an ongoing challenge is to keep a balance between commercial work and personal work. In my industry, the personal work fuels commercial work to happen and commercial work financially fuels personal work. Another part of that struggle is to consistently redefine and solidify your artistic language without it teetering too far on the commercial side. A general balance between the two is healthy.
What is one accomplishment you are most proud of?
Being able to do what I love for a job.
Who do you see as an innovator in your industry and why?
Hmm it’s hard to name just one, there are small and large innovative victories I know personally and from afar from known and unknown artists. I’d say I really admire the work of Studio Job, somewhat a household name amongst furniture makers, designers and pop artists in general. A husband & wife team, they have managed to formulate a body of work based on objects that cross-over into furniture, prop & set design and fine art. Their work is based in visual contemplations of history and modern life. The duo uses many techniques & materials to create their body of work. Their pieces are fun and at first glance could have a fictional story attached to it beyond its realistic purpose.
Tell us about your creative process:
Typically after an idea has been dreamed up I do some research, creating visual boards or drawings, then sample the forms and idea in pieces to see how components work together. I do more research if necessary & start sourcing materials. I like to shop materials in person to gain a bit of physical relation with the materials I’m using. Sometimes it takes one or several tries to get match-up with my initial vision, but I’m always open to small adjustments as the project evolves, I feel that keeps its pure & natural.
What was the best advice someone has ever given to you and why does it resonate with you?
‘ If you start drinking alone you know you have a problem’, advice from my dad, I dunno why that stuck with me, I guess cuz I thought it was sorta funny to get that advice on my 18th birthday.
What are three things you learned while running your own studio?
Don’t recommend this to anyone! Not for the faint of heart, but it will definitely be more fun!
What are three favorite books on your bookshelf right now?
- The prophet by Kahlil Gibran, (my Mum gave me her copy)
- Ruby Otherworldliness, a Gestalten series book
- The bible, ( King James Version)
What are your 3 favorite websites, blogs and apps?
Vimeo, eBay, weather app. ( especially when it’s gonna be sunny! Yay!)
What is your daily routine?
Hmm I don’t have a routine so here’s what I did yesterday…
I naturally woke up at 6:37am, felt that was way too early for me since I went to bed at 2am, so slept another hour, then realized the gym would be packed, so slept a half an hour more, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes and went to the gym.
Ran, lifted some sweet weights then sauna. Stopped at a pet shop on the way home, studied feather colors in birds and illuminating colors in fish and one jellyfish! Super hungry! Biked home to eat some breakfast. After a banana and cinnamon smoothie and some French toast with honey I got a call from my agent, it’s afternoon by this point. There is an exciting project she has pitched for me to work on with a photographer from the agency I’ve airways wanted to work with. It involves vibrant colored paper sets and sealift inspirations similar to what I saw in the pet shop earlier… pre-done research done! Head to the studio, run into one of my studio mate taking a break in the alleyway going to the studio, I sneak up on her, she’s startled,
There is an exciting project she has pitched for me to work on with a photographer from the agency I’ve always wanted to work with. It involves vibrant colored paper sets and sea-life inspirations similar to what I saw in the pet shop earlier… pre-done research done! Head to the studio, run into one of my studio mate taking a break in the alleyway going to the studio, I sneak up on her, she’s startled,
Head to the studio, run into one of my studio mate taking a break in the alleyway going to the studio, I sneak up on her, she’s startled, I laugh, another guy from the studio sneaks up and scares me, they laugh, one more is walking up to the front door and we all pose for a somewhat band-like photo. It’s a sunny day out, we all proceed inside, I greet my other studio mates, and turn on my computer.
Spent half the afternoon working on a quote, researching material prices and talking to a boy I like on Facebook messenger. Then move onto watching a stupid funny video on YouTube, send out some emails, share the funny video with my dad, then move onto working some edited images from a previous project. Realize it’s 8pm already! Cook something to eat at the studio, arrange a meeting with a friend & producer for the next day, head home, check mail, eat some grapes, sleep.
What you like doing when you are not in front of your computer:
Spending time in the sun, sleeping or going on a spontaneous adventure, usually on my bike with a friend or two.
If you could have dinner with three people (actual or historical/ real or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d love to have dinner with C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr. and dance with Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and Chewbacca.
Photography by Francesca Mey