We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Scotto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
Do not hope to find inspiration or wait for it to strike; CREATE your own inspiration.
It may sound trite or cliché, but truly putting this into practice really works, and it takes consistent efforts. As an artist, I’ve learned to always keep making, even when I’m not inspired to or “in the mood”. Sometimes it’s difficult to muddle through an artistic slump, but if I keep creating, even multiple failed attempts will eventually spark an idea or creative urge at some point. Also, in the process of trying and failing, trying and failing, I am learning. As a teacher, this is something I try to impart to my students constantly.
I have found that this advice has served me, not only as an artist, but in my teaching profession as well. Being an educator can get stale after several years in the profession. I constantly seek new ways to make it fresh and exciting for myself and, in turn, for my students as well. Whether seeking new opportunities for growth, setting new goals or trying new approaches, creating my own inspiration is a vital part of the reward of teaching.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I actually consider myself a “hybrid” professional. While I identify as an artist and sell my work, my main income is from teaching art. That’s not to say that I only teach to support myself –the marriage of artist and teacher feeds my passion for both; the constant creating of my own work keeps my teaching fresh and energetic, and, in turn, the reward of guiding and pushing my students fuels my personal growth in the studio.
The most meaningful moments I have as a teacher is when students say that they feel challenged in my class, or when I hear students say that they made something they didn’t know they had the ability to. Its most important to me that students enjoy the experience of making art, but also learn something from it. It can be difficult to strike that balance, and something I am always working towards as an educator.
In art school, I felt there was a certain stigma associated with becoming a teacher. I got the sense that my peers looked down on it or brushed it off as a cop out, or the secure route, or something you did if you couldn’t make it in an art or design field. In reality, it is a very difficult, demanding job, and good positions are hard to come by. In addition, I truly love my profession and I feel that I use my art education daily, and both facets go hand-in-hand. I believe both aspects of artist & teacher give me balance as a professional and human being.
As an artist, I work in 2-d media, mostly acrylic paint, and my most current body of work explores the juxtaposition of two unlike or opposite worlds fitted into one landscape. In each painting, the meshing scapes attempt to evoke a dreamlike quality, exploring themes such as barriers, finding hope and beauty in a concrete world, and nature versus man. I find this new direction in my work therapeutic as a nature lover feeling trapped living in a city.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of my favorite places to go aren’t in the city at all, as I like spending a lot of time outdoors. There are many hiking spots in RI that I love and find surprising variety all in one tiny state, along with parks such as Colt State Park and Lincoln woods that I frequent.
I currently have my work hanging at the charming Providence Wine Bar in Wayland Square, owned by locals Ben and Nicole Lloyd. They also own the Salted Slate. Both are great restaurants!
Other favorite establishments include Hot Club, the Coffee Exchange, and the RISD Nature Lab.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Of course, I cant discount the love and support from my family, but if I had to narrow it down to one person, I would credit my middle school art teacher, Rory Marcaccio, who had a direct impact on my success as a professional. She encouraged me as a young artist, and is a huge reason why I decided to go into the teaching profession. I can still clearly remember the experiences, assignments and activities I was a part of in her class, and it is my hope that my own students think back fondly on their time spent in my classroom.
Instagram: Artist: @lwscotto.painter Teacher: @scotto_art
Facebook: Lauren W. Scotto
Youtube: Lauren Scotto