Miranda Lake

Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
I grew up in Cornwall, CT and currently reside in New Orleans, LA.
Has the culture of New Orleans influenced the direction of your work? Which parts of the city do you find particularly inspiring?
I don’t think there’s anywhere else stateside that would feed me the way New Orleans does. It’s like living in an all-you-can-eat eye candy buffet. Between just the architecture and the plant life alone, there’s so much to look at and take in. The parts of the city I find particularly inspiring have less to do with actual locations and more to do with the personality or essence of New Orleans itself. I love the fact that at any given moment you could bump into a parade, or see people in costume and that’s considered normal. There’s a celebratory vibe just waiting to be tapped into which makes the mundane potentially amazing.

Falcon Crest

Your collages feature a broad array of animals, some of which are repeated throughout your body of work. What guides your selection?
I love all animals, but I do have my favorites, especially for my work. My selections are based on aesthetics and associated characteristics, whether real or imagined. Certain creatures simply lend themselves to allegory, personification, and myth a little more fluently than others, so I tend to gravitate towards them.
You experiment with a unique encaustic painting process. How does working with wax allow you to fulfill your vision for a piece?
Bathing my collages in layers of wax allows me to cut and collage in great detail and know that all that time consuming work will not peel up or fade. It provides both a protective layer and a luminous opulence I would not be able to achieve otherwise.
Your works places familiar forms within fictional environments, creating an intriguing blend of reality and fantasy. Do you set out with very specific vision in mind? If so, how does your original concept change as you work?
I start out knowing my subjects and palette, but little else. There are times when I have a very specific idea like “that rabbit needs to hold a dagger in his mouth while the other one shoots a cannon,” because I’ll get stuck on a ridiculous vision I just can’t shake. More often though, I’ll see some color combo maybe on a design blog or fashion magazine and want to riff off that. Color often dictates narrative for me.
Certain creatures simply lend themselves to allegory, personification, and myth a little more fluently than others, so I tend to gravitate towards them. — Miranda Lake
What necessities do you require when making your art (radio, specific paintbrushes, etc.)?
It depends on which part of the process I am in. Since my studio is small, I like to have multiple pieces going that are in the same phase of construction to keep cross contamination of messes to a minimum. I need lots of water, caffeine, music, and bad TV.
Is there something people would be surprised to discover about you?
I once worked as a deckhand on an Alaskan charter boat. I had to gaff huge halibut overboard, then beat them over the head with a baseball bat so they wouldn’t thrash around and break anyone’s legs.


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