February 28, 2013

Spotlight: Lauren Barfield

We love you, Lauren Barfield. 

Lauren Barfield and I became Internet friends around five years ago. I don't have many Internet friends but Lauren happens to be really cool. She's 22-years-old, from North Carolina, and a really rad artist. I was always impressed whenever Lauren showed me her art, and even more impressed upon discovering her Tumblr a few weeks back. As you can tell, Lauren has a great sense of humor – especially with captions like "My parents are dropping 30 grand a semester to validate my right to self-expression!" Her illustrations and collages are awesomely strange and sarcastic and will make you smile. It's surprising that she hasn't had any formal art training; she took one drawing class in high school but ultimately dropped out of school to do this stuff full time. She's been getting a ton of recognition lately and it's entirely well deserved.

THE LE SIGH: How did you start? Do you have an earliest memory of drawing?

Lauren Barfield: I have always liked to draw. I don't know how or when it took over my life, though.

TLS: What materials do you use for the illustrations? And collages?


TLS: How long does the average piece take? Any rituals to get you started?

LB: I never sit down and say, "This is what I'm going to draw and this is how it's going to turn out." The length of time I spend on one picture varies, I guess. Most times I draw something until I'm bored of/finished with/angry at it, turn the page and draw something else. I draw pictures for fun, to make my friends laugh, to feel productive, to document times I like and times I don't. I never have expectations for the end result or force myself to reach them because that's a lot of pressure, and it isn't fun.

I don't have any rituals or advice for inspiring/motivating yourself to start making stuff. I draw a lot, even when I'm not inspired or motivated, because it's my favorite thing to do. Sometimes I'll sit in my car in the parking lot at McDonald's or Walgreens for hours drawing. It's a good distraction from the fact I don't have many friends in this city. Plus I'm very poor. I can't go to the movie theater and stuff like that, so I draw.

TLS: What's the inspiration for the humans in your illustrations?


TLS: Where do you spend time online?

LB: I don't spend a lot of time on the internet. When I'm on it I think I look at Tumblr the most.

TLS: We dig that cheeseburgers are a reoccurring theme. But why?

LB:  I have boxes full of coupon catalogs, old magazines, pamphlets, etc. Whenever I see free literature or flyers I take them home with me. I like to cut small things out (like hamburgers) I think are cute or potentially useable. My best friend Dan calls my collection "real life Photoshop."

TLS: How do you feel about Beyonce?

LB: I used to think Beyonce was like Usher. I can't think of one bad thing Usher has done and I don't think I've ever seen him in the tabloids. I recently read an article that speculated Beyonce was never actually pregnant. I don't think she's like Usher anymore, but it doesn't matter very much to me. I think Beyonce is a great performer, but I don't own any of her CDs.

Check out Lauren Barfield on tumblr.

Written by Diana Cirullo