Lindsey is an interdisciplinary artist from California, living in Portland, where she graduated from PNCA in 2017. Focusing primarily in painting and printmaking, Lindsey's use of abstract shape and vivid color connects her work across mediums. We spoke with Lindsey about developing an identity across mediums and the necessity of adapting to change.
DWP: Can you give us an idea of the creative path you've taken?
Lindsey: My path has probably been as wiggly as the rest. I started by going to school for psychology and writing for a few years in California before changing my trajectory completely by moving to Portland and going to art school. Art was a stifled passion of mine that I wasn't able to actualize until I was older and making that decision was incredibly difficult for me, emotionally and financially. For the first couple years I was constantly out of my comfort zone in basically every sense. I had difficulty narrowing down my interests to focus on an area in which to throw all of my energy. I was an illustration major at first but felt it was too restrictive for my interests in sculpture, design, painting, and so on. So I took on a generalized major and just did it all with the hopes of leaving school with as complex a toolbox as possible. I've been out of school for almost a year now and my toolbox is certainly being put to use.
DWP: Where do you see this path taking you?
Lindsey: I have never put myself into a single box and have always strived to create work that inhabits some sort of intersection, be it art and design or other mediums or disciplines, in an effort to synthesize what we have come to see as disparate parts. I hope I am able to continue making work and having that sort of outlook because I feel it's really important.
DWP: What has been the biggest creative hurdle you have overcome?
Lindsey: I think a creative hurdle I am still learning to overcome is process. I think it is something that artists and designers are always adapting and is, therefore, always a work in progress. For me it can be intimidating to change things up and I think a large part of it is psychological, but motivating myself to adjust my process has been so crucial in helping me discover some important revelations about my work.
DWP: What do you do to mitigate change? Can you cite any revelations you’ve had in the adaptation to this change?
Lindsey: I still haven't completely figured out how to mitigate it. It's still very much a process of trial and error, which I think is the whole point but I will say that dedicated time in the studio is huge. Treating it like it is a 9-5 job, clocking in and clocking out, gives you a sense of stability and within that stability you're more open to taking risks.
For me I realized that my materials can make a huge difference in, of course, things like line quality, but also revealing to me a new direction I might want to explore or even helping establish a connection between ideas – a mood that the line evokes or an interesting relationship between marks that resembles how the sun casts shadows in a certain way. For me it's all about those moments of chance becoming a catalyst for a new area of investigation.
DWP: You mentioned that you sought a more generalized degree as illustration was too restrictive, what ties your different mediums (ceramics, paint, etc) together? Do you believe you have a unifying aesthetic?
Lindsey: I think the visual language I've established for myself helps connect my work across mediums. It involves a distinctive use of shape and formal sensibility. Color too is a huge aspect to my work. I use colors that are emotive and connect to the forms and what they suggest. My work can be rather minimal so I try to have each line, shape, or color carry equal weight and meaning.
DWP: Which Design Week Portland events are you most eager to attend this year?
DWP: What are you inspired by right now? It could be a movie, a city, a meal, anything.
Lindsey: I'm from Southern California originally and only began to fall in love with it from afar. After moving to Portland, I found myself yearning for arid climates and that sort of bizarre culture that accumulates around deserts. I've been back a good few times in the past year and I've been drawn more and more to the landscaping in front of people's homes, mostly for their strange juxtapositions. For instance, seeing a yard full of alien-like cacti or succulents that are, in a word, thriving, and to me equate elegant quiet beauty, next to a four wheeler that's parked on the lawn really fascinates me. I'm not sure if it's the story it tells, or the dusty desert palette mixed with the flashiness of all-terrain sports imagery, or the fact that I like contradiction, but something about it really draws me in.
Want to see work from Lindsey's alma mater, PNCA? You can find a collection of design and illustration student work on display at their open house on Tuesday, April 17th, from 4:00–7:00pm. Full details at their open house listing.
For more from Lindsey, follow her here!