Some time ago I wrote about a Brooklyn-based artist who caught my eye and my soul. Her honesty and originality oozed out of every limb and I couldn't not, but explore her world.
We exchanged emails. I wanted to know how a young girl visiting her cousin in Williamsburg New York could etch out such a deep root in New Yorks Creative scene.
What do you need to have, to make it in New York?
Do you need to be connected?
Have lots of moola?
Be in the right place at the right time?
That Alicia Keys song Neeeewww Yooork blasting in my subconscious. Dang! that makes me want to fling my over-sized paisley print dress in a rucksack, grab a bottle of JD and jump on a plane, arriving fresh-faced and eager to 'be someone' in New York.
Reality check...I hate Jack Daniels.
Ok so back to the lush Laura.
Born in Palo Alto, California, she has been creating video, photography, and installation art since 2008. She started writing poetry as a child and modeling since adolescence. She is the product of an intellectual family of German Jews and a prestigious sex therapist Grandmother.
Her Idols are Maya Deren and Frida Kahlo.
Ok, so that is the wee history now down to the REAL bits.
Laura, you are a Photographer, Actress and Experimental Creative - what are you working on now?
For the past year, I have been working with Amy Lousia Wilde on a series of photos that deride the commercialism of sexuality and break down social norms surrounding gender roles.
I am also working on a short film I wrote and am co-directing that explores urban identity crisis and sexuality through a surreal journey into the psyche of a young bohemian woman played by me.
Your Grandmothers blood is pumping through your veins. When did you first realise that a Creative life was what you had to explore?
Since early childhood, I was a highly creative individual and was decided on being an 'Artist'. From about 4 years old, I would play a game with my brother (Glen Weyl ) where I turned into a human television called "Laura Land TV."
He could change the channel any time as I acted out a diverse spectrum of TV programming from an alternate universe including daily news, cartoons, commercials, and political talk shows.
'Laura Land' was cohabited by two different species, the Loraros, a highly intelligent but unsightly family of creatures, and the Cuties, an irresistibly adorable but simpleminded bunch.
From the age of five I wrote poetry and drew incessantly, often locking myself in my room for hours on end and creating entire magazines or writing mini novels, or collecting seashells and writing eccentric poems on them.
I didn't pick up a camera until I was about 19 years old, but it was clear to me from the beginning that I would have to find many creative outlets to channel my overwhelming energy into.
How did you engage with the New York Art scene - is it a game?
I decided to move to New York after visiting my cousin who lived in Williamsburg and also meeting some fascinating Brooklynites on a Rock tour with 80s musician Thomas Dolby.
I knew I was in an experiential phase of my life, and I fell in love with the industrial shoreline and mysterious landscape of Williamsburg.
At the time (it has changed very significantly since I first visted, 5 years ago) Williamsburg seemed to ooze mischief and possibility at every crevice of its abandoned industrial landscape, and I became totally fascinated by the lingering vestiges of the industrial revolution, especially Domino Sugar Factory, that still existed among the population of up and coming young artists and Hasidic Jews.
I was attracted to the diversity and Chaos in NYC that seemed a fertile ground for me to find self-actualisation and meet the incredible people I needed to meet in order to understand my needs and path as an 'Artist'. While Williamsburg has changed drastically since I moved there (I now live in the East Village) I have found a wonderful diverse group of friends and comrades in this city, and been exposed to a fascinating variety of cultures and humans.
That is something I encourage to the Biscuit Creative Community. To surround yourself with like-minded people and your natural Artistic instinct will blossom. The politics and 'games' involved in the NYC Art scene, what are your thoughts?
There are a million games to play in NYC, thousands of little worlds one can weave in and out of with ease. It is easy to dive in and out of different lifestyles here with fluidity, and yes there are a lot of silly games surrounding the Art World in NYC.
The same weirdoes turn up at every gallery opening and drink free booze and hit on girls, there is a lot of ass-kissing with curators and so on.
There is definitely a world of bullshit to partake in.
But I also find there is a camaraderie and earnest group of people trying to create and share their perspectives with their peers, and I don't consider that a game. I have a huge respect for those that have the balls to create experiences for people and put themselves out there at any level for praise or ridicule.
I see this happening in the arts community on a small scale and a bigger scale as well, and this is what I consider the real arts scene in NYC.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
I think the most important advice I could have given myself at that age is to have dignity and confidence that I embody greatness, purity and beauty. Even if it's not true, I think it's important for a person to believe this about themselves at a young age and just assume that mentality, that is dignity.
I would tell myself to ignore all false quantifications of my self-worth such as money, likes and other meaningless signifiers and just trust in my innate worth and specialness, the vast and overwhelming power of my humanity. I would tell myself to trust that I am the dreamer and the world is my dream.
I want to thank Laura for sharing her thoughts and insight into her Creative world. It really doesn't matter if you live in New York, Dublin, Melbourne or Tokyo the key thing is to surround yourself with people who inspire and understand you and are not afraid to make some noise!
Join our Creative Community over on Facebook right here and connect with like minded people. See ya over there!