Monday, September 11, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: EmLavArt

 


Artist Emily Lavalier has demonstrated that she has no limit to her creativity; each beautiful and intricate composition is made using found imagery and materials. Her "high density collages" are bright and detailed, and we love the abstract affect that she achieves through layers of paper, paint, and other objects. Her works are an ode to the Twin Cities lifestyle, from skylines to craft beer to nature. We are inspired by her passion for creating... we hope you are, too!
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Emily Lavalier and I am a high density collage artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I started doing this type of collage about five years ago, and didn't start calling it "High Density collage" until Park Point Art Festival in Duluth Minnesota in 2016. One of the jurors referred to it as "High Density" and it has stuck. Each original is made up of thousands of pieces of paper layered on top of each other creating a very three-dimensional final product. I use recycled magazines and Goodwill children's books, as well as string, beads and paint- making this collage unique in it's style and dimensionality.
 
 

What was your first memory of making something?

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a communications major- thinking that maybe I had a future in magazine layout and production. My mother had wanted me to attend art school, but to compromise I decided that I'd do the UW but take art classes on the side. My junior year my capstone project for my Drawing Two class was due around the same time as all of my final papers- and I spent hours upon hours working on that capstone project. I was laying on the floor of my shared apartment with my art supplies surrounding me- not even thinking about my other classwork. I should have realized at that point where my passion was- but it took me another six years to finally decide that if I invested in a future in art it could potentially pay off. I also worked about ten other jobs and realized the only way I could stay focused and planted for long periods of time was if I was doing something I loved and cared a lot about. My artwork is that thing.
 
 
 

Have you always been passionate about art and design?

Yes! I was an aspiring artist from a very young age. Through most of my schooling I wanted to be an animator- before everything turned to computer generated drawings. My senior year in high school I created elaborate sculptures for my friends out of clay that I gifted as graduation presents. While I was working full-time jobs through my early professional life I would spend most nights working on greeting cards and wedding cards for my friends- they all agreed I should try to sell them, but at that point I preferred making them for fun. "The amount of time I spend on each one I would have to charge $40.00 a card!" This all changed when I started making the "cards" much larger and putting them behind glass.
 
 
 

What's your favorite item that you sell?

The World Map I have created out of animals cut from old books and magazines is my favorite work at this point. I spent over two years working on the map- adding animals over time- taking me about 200 hours to finish. Since I've gotten it framed and hanging I can stare at it for hours- and Steve, at Fast Frame, who does most of my framing told me he thinks that piece is "magical." I have made archival prints of the map as well as poster prints and placemats- these are my favorite items. I also am a fan of my Chicago World's Fair poster- a cut paper reproduction of the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago in 1933. The original is beautiful framed with a black and white double matte, but the prints also turned out beautifully and are probably my biggest seller.
 
 
 

What sets your design apart from others?

Paper-cutting is definitely a growing medium- I follow many different Instagram and Facebook accounts of other paper-cutters around the world. The reason I love paper-cutting is that you really can never find an artist doing the same style of work. Every paper artist has their own eye, look and style, using various papers and other embellishments. Some artists map there work using computer programs, and others make their own papers to cut apart. My work is unique in that it is completely freestyle. I never know what the final piece is going to look like until it's finished- and there are often whole sections I'll work on- and then end up covering up with more paper later on. This freestyle method leads to a very textured finished product, added to with the addition of beads and string. My work is also very detailed, giving viewers the opportunity to look at each piece time and time again and constantly see something new- a detail or two they hadn't noticed prior.
 
 
 

What are some inspirations for your work?

I'm from Minneapolis and live here now- this city is a huge inspiration for me. Minneapolis is a very forward thinking city, one that allows entrepreneurs the opportunity to try new things. I think my artwork is appreciated for its uniqueness because of this. Travel has also been an inspiration for me. I worked as a travel agent for four years after graduating from college and have had the opportunity to visit over thirty countries on four different continents. Being a solo traveler for most of it gave me the courage to take the step into making art a full-time passion as well as meeting many new and diverse people. I still work full time in group homes for folks with developmental disabilities and my day-to-day work gives me inspiration to truly follow my passion. My hope is to use my artwork to someday fix the disability system in America, and going to work every day leaves me motivated to go home and create. Lastly, I have been inspired by the creativity of Walt Disney and the detailed work of paper cutters Derek Gores and Nathan Stromberg.
 
 
 
 
Check out more of Emily's amazing work online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!
 
 
 

 



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CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors
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