Lauren Braun works in media ranging from collage and drawing/painting to paper cutouts, photographed dioramas and artist books. Her work explores themes of space both real and imagined. We've known Lauren for a few years through her former work with JFilm and it was a real delight to visit her studio in The Mine Factory on a sunny morning to see what she's been making.
Where are you from?
Where do you live now?
I live in Oakland, overlooking the South Side
Why do you choose to make art in Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh was not on my list of places to go but I met my husband online while I was living in Buffalo. We were commuting back and forth, and I moved here. I guess you could say that Pittsburgh chose me.
What is your favorite part of being an artist in Pittsburgh?
The community is really nice, and it's kind of exploding. There are a lot of opportunities if you keep at it. Great museums, geography, and a lot of inspiration in the landscape, especially for me because that's what I hone in on.
What would you love to see more of in the Pittsburgh art scene?
I think more affordable studio spaces that are safe and habitable. I think that because we have so many people moving here, it is already saturated.
What's your favorite music to jam to in the studio?
Lately, I'm really into listening to podcasts. Imaginary Worlds, it's all about science fiction and popular culture. I also love listening to TED radio talks. 99-percent invisible, a design podcast, about design in the built world. I feel like I have anxiety when I'm working, and I'm second-guessing myself, so if I'm listening to a story my attention completely shifts and I'm not so worried about what I'm doing on the paper.
What do you do during your free time?
I love taking walks, going to coffee shops and watching the world go by, and going to the movies. Also, I'm trying to read more fiction this year.
What would you tell other artists who are just starting out?
I would tell them to be patient and persistent and keep a low overhead. I read that somewhere, and I thought, that's really good advice, keep a low overhead. Make the best work you can make in the moment. Take an interest in your fellow artists and what they are doing.
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