Laura Schueren is our featured artist for the month of January. In her second year as a member at FSC, Laura's work focuses predominantly on melted crayon fine art "to create, what I call – waxworx or wax abstracts."
She has numerous installations in her hometown of Cleveland as well as Chicago, and collaborated with fellow FSC artists for the "Spread Love" 35'/8' mural at Union & Ohio St. in West Town. Laura received her Master's Degree in Urban Planning, Design & Development and will be showcasing some of her work at FSC's collaborative exhibition Shades of Black and White opening Friday, January 15th.
INTERVIEW WITH LAURA SCHUEREN
What is one of your first memories of creating a piece of artwork?
We had a wall in our basement that my parents let us draw on. After some time, it began to resemble a bathroom stall at a music venue. I remember feeling proud of having my artwork on display.
Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your passion for art?
When I first started creating melted crayon art, I was using cigarette lighters and other very meager resources. One night my Dad walked into my studio (his garage) and gave me some of his own tools to use, ultimately catapulting my abilities to create. It was then that I started taking my art more seriously. I am equally grateful for discovering the FSC community as it has become pivotal to my artist trajectory as well.
What inspired you to start working with melted crayon?
Pinterest, actually. At the time, a ‘trendy’ project, if you will, was to glue crayons to a board of some kind and melt them vertically to create a waterfall effect of color. From there, I started melting crayons using my own style and technique.
What are the barriers and benefits working with wax?
Working with wax is wonderful. Texture and dimension are naturally occurring and effortless. Colors can co-exist with or without blending into one another. The process tends to be unpredictable and often uncontrollable but that is why I like it.
When did you move to Chicago and what brought you here?
I moved to Chicago a little over a year ago. I studied Urban Planning in Cleveland and wanted to experience a more dense and lively city. I was excited at the thought of pursuing my craft and to delve into the art and music scene.
What obstacles, if any, has Covid 19 presented to your work?
The changes we all experienced in our day-to-day routines removed many self-imposed obstacles and gave me the perspective to use my free time for creating. Previous to this year, I did not prioritize my art quite like I do now.
Has the pandemic provided an inner perspective towards visual art and the process of creating?
I think the pandemic demonstrated the necessity of having a creative outlet for a person’s well-being. I truly believe everyone is an artist, maybe just with an undiscovered mode or medium.
Are there moments when you question your career?
I personally never considered an artist to be a career. Moving to Chicago, joining FSC and surrounding myself with other artist has expanded my mind to consider new possibilities. I am eager for my career as an artist to unfold.
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
I would like to challenge myself to work on more collaborative pieces...anyone? I am also hopeful for more events, networking opportunities and the overall art and music scene coming back to life.
As an artist what do hang on to for hope and solace during this time?
I have always looked to art and music for comfort and familiarity. I think art of any form offers some consistency to our lives and during unpleasant times, something to look forward to.