Interview with Lindsey Peterson, Cover artist for Issue Four.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work. I’ve always been interested in art, especially photography. Growing up, I often had a disposable camera with me, taking pictures of flowers, trees, or pretty much anything I thought was interesting. When I got to high school, I was fortunate to take a graphic design course. I remember there being this “aha” moment in the middle of that class where I thought to myself, “this is it, this is what I want to do.” Though I was young, I saw the opportunity design possess to utilize my love for photography to create things that can communicate a meaningful message to people. During my undergraduate college experience, I studied both design and photography and had the best of both worlds. It’s interesting though as I reflect because I spent most of my design time working in the world of vector graphics, which is completely different than what I do now. But I was definitely still finding myself as a designer, I mean I still am. My work now, however, is much more aligned with who I am and has a strong presence of imagery. Photography has always spoken to me and I enjoy using it in different ways to hopefully speak to others. I enjoy color. I enjoy complexity. I enjoy texture and messiness. All of which are reasons I began collaging. I’ve only recently started created collages, yet I immediately fell in love with their ability to tell so many stories through one narrative.
I guess to this point I’ve told you about my work and background, but not much about myself. All in all, I’m an introvert who loves conversations. Asking questions is one of my passions. People are important to me. My faith in God is most important to me. The mystery of black and white photography intrigues me. Being out in nature refreshes me. Writing letters brings me joy. Design matters to me, because people matter to me – and I hope that is reflected in my work.
Tell us about the themes you pursue in your work.
The main themes I pursue in my work are mystery and complexity – whether that be in life, faith, people, experience, and so forth. I believe there is much power in mystery - Mystery sparks curiosity. Curiosity leads to discovery. Discovery enables learning. Learning provides knowledge. And knowledge is power. In any piece I make, I hope it’s one that stirs hearts and minds to be open, self-reflect, and consider that which is beyond oneself. Life is complex. People are complicated. And I want that to show in my work. So many experiences and stories make up this thing called life and I want people to connect with my work on a deeper level. I’m not afraid to ask deep questions to myself, or to others, and those questions are often the inspiration, and underlying themes, in my work.
Is there something you couldn’t live without in your studio? What is your most essential tool?
Some people may say this does not qualify as a tool, but a window in my studio is a must and my biggest creative asset. To be honest, if I’m working for let’s say 4 hours, I probably spend at least an hour staring out my window. I’ve always said I do my best thinking looking out a window. I’m a pretty introspective person and am constantly in conversation with myself and with God. I think gazing out a window helps me process the deeper themes and meanings I’m trying to achieve in my work.
Tell us how you organise, plan, and prioritise your work? I have to set deadlines for myself. Otherwise, nothing will get done. When I can see my schedule in timeframes, I can prioritize my work with everything else that goes on in a day or a week. A less conventional way I organize my creative thoughts is through journaling. I’ve found journaling helps me slow down my thoughts and put an idea I have in my head down on paper.
How did you find the art for advent project? What got you interested in it. I found the Art for Advent Project through Instagram. I began following Murze several months ago and have really enjoyed being exposed to new artists. I really enjoy the communal part of social media, where we as artists and designers can discover and support one another from across oceans and time zones. When I saw a few posts regarding the Art for Advent Project, I thought it sounded like a fun, engaging opportunity to push myself and get my work in front of some different people. You never know how people will respond to your work, I think it’s important to get out of your comfort zone – so I guess participating in the Art for Advent Project was a good project to get me out of my comfort zone.
Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects in the works? There are definitely a few projects I’ve been thinking about. I’m gearing up to start a new series where I want to explore complexity through simplicity. A lot of my recent work, similar to my Art for Advent work, is pretty heavy in terms of texture, color, image, etc. There’s a lot to look at in those pieces. I want to try to take similar themes and strip them back. I think sometimes in the midst of complexity, there is simple beauty that often gets missed. I’m looking forward to exploring this in the coming months.
Check out more of Lindsey’s work on her Instagram @lindspeterson , her website http://www.lindseypeterson.org/ and in issue four.