Lauren Cotton

Where are you from and where you do you currently reside?
I grew up in the small town of New Gretna located in South Jersey, exit 52 off of the Garden State Parkway. Currently, I am a resident of Wilton, Connecticut where I live with my amazing husband Dylan and our three rambunctious boys, Caleb, Jacob, and Harper.
How do your design-focused degrees, from your MFA in Fibers & Fabric design to your BFA in Textile Design, influence your fine artwork?
My artwork is very much about craftsmanship and precision, which is definitely a sensibility I formed while studying in what are ultimately majors in Craft. There are also self-imposed systems I work in that keep things visually neat and tidy, which is a residual design ideology from my BFA years that is fantastic for quelling anxiety.
You also work in installations and woodworking. Do your different artistic practices lend to one another?
I literally cannot be working on only one piece or in one process in the studio. I get excited by the smallest of discoveries I make while working. When it happens, I just let it take me along for the ride. In the intimate space of my studio, the works truly come to life and inform and interact with one another. This inaudible conversation is often what guides me toward my next creative move.
I get excited by the smallest of discoveries I make while working. When it happens, I just let it take me along for the ride. — Lauren Cotton
Where do you draw the inspiration for your geometric patterns from?
The geometric patterns are products of my need to keep things exact. In my work I like a tight, controlled edge. I am a big fan of systems, meaning smaller pieces or ideas that work harmoniously toward a common end or goal, and geometric shapes adhere well to this construct. My work is also very much about color interaction, and I use the geometric shapes to emphasize intense foreground, middleground, and background relationships.
Name three of your studio necessities.
X-Acto Knife, My Fujifilm Instax Mini 50S Camera, and Music.

When It Hits You'll Feel No Pain

Later this year you’ll be in residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Tell us about your plans for the program.
I am really looking to be inspired by the sights and sounds of Santa Fe and New Mexico while in residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute. While there, I hope to make a shift in the color palette for my next body of work. The New Mexico landscape and architecture is so different from the East Coast that I know I will not be able to help but be influenced by it.
Is there something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I think people are surprised when I tell them I am the mother of three boys. I feel like there is often this idea that in order to be a productive or successful artist you need to sacrifice certain aspects of your personal life and be a slave to the work. My family motivates me to work hard and nurture my creative self, which is something I do not take for granted and cherish with all of my being.

Screaming for a Solvent

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