April 18, 2016

The Creative Life of: Lucille Pack

**This is a new series on the blog, in which I interview creative people and share a bit more about their creative lives. A big thanks to Lucille Pack for being the inaugural creative featured!**

You just never know what you're going to stumble across during random image searches on the Internet. When looking for inspiration for a recent blog post about wearing glasses, I came across the art of Lucille Pack. What search did I perform? The phrase "boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses." Lo and behold, this search brought me to one of Lucille's pieces, and it grabbed my attention right away.

Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses.

Growing up, my mom was a rabid collector of vintage photographs, specifically of people she didn't know. I guess I get much of my love of stories from her, because she has always been one to wonder about the stories of other people, making them up as she goes along if she doesn't know the real ones.

Lucille Pack's work combines words and images to tell some really unique stories. Her vintage photographs-turned-collages are the representation of various phrases, brought to life with images that force you to think about the words in a new way.

Lucille is a collage artist, book maker and painter who graciously agreed to answer a few questions. I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about the Creative Life of Lucille Pack!

Where are you from? Where do you consider to be your home? I’m really glad you phrased this question this way. The question of home consistently perplexes me because where I live, where I am from and now where I go home to are all different places. Originally, I am from Dallas, but I have never felt at home there. I moved to New York for college, have been there ever since and today consider Brooklyn my home. When I visit my family (when I “go home”), I travel to Carmel, California. Carmel feels the most like going home.

Can you share a little bit about your background and what made you want to be an artist? I wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember and am lucky enough to have a family who was (and continues to be) very supportive of my creative endeavors. I started painting and drawing at young age, and have since added collage, bookmaking and writing to my practice.

Who was the biggest influence in your life/Who encouraged you to hone your creative spirit? I don’t have a single biggest influence, but strongly believe my creativity was encouraged by a series of circumstances. Not necessarily that being an artist was meant to be, but that I encountered a series of circumstances which continually reinforced my desire to practice art. For example, my high school English teacher suggested I visit Sarah Lawrence while I happened to be doing a summer program in New York. I visited, fell in love with the college and eventually graduated from there. I am forever grateful I had someone in my life who not only recognized a difference in me, but introduced me to an environment where I would be better suited. My current practice really began at SLC as this is where I learned how to involve my other intellectual interests such as sociology in my art work.

"You sure have a way with people." "Well, they are my species."

What is the biggest challenge you face as a creative entrepreneur? The biggest challenge for me is definitely the business side of being a creative entrepreneur. Being an artist is about so much more than making work, and I am slowly but surely learning how much more goes into a successful practice. I love writing and specifically writing creatively about my work. However, when promoting your work you have to go so far beyond your favorite parts of the practice. For me, it has been very important to make a weekly schedule as a sort of reminder to focus on marketing, accounting, etc. in addition to actually making the work.

What is the best advice you have for other women who would like to pursue a full-time career as a creative solopreneur? If you want your creative endeavor to function as a business, it is extremely important to be knowledgable about what makes up a successful business. This probably involves learning things you aren’t that interested in (such as accounting in my case), but it’s worth it. It is so easy now to take an online course where you can learn everything from marketing to website design to how to start a solo business. Knowledge is an irreplaceable component of any enterprise, and it will make you more confident.

Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Not Touch Ours, Large

What do you do when you are feeling stagnant or in a creativity desert? My work is based off of found photographs, so when in a funk, photographic research is super helpful. I also find a lot of inspiration in old movies, historical artifacts and general explorations of the past. Even when I’m not feeling stagnant, I’ve recently noticed new ideas come to me at unexpected moments, frequently during yoga class.

Do you have a favorite southern city? I have a lot of southern cities I want to visit, but unfortunately haven’t had a chance to yet. Two I am hoping to visit soon are Charleston & Nashville. My brother-in-law recently moved to New Orleans and I just went there for the first time. New Orleans is an amazing city and I am already itching to go back. My favorite food is fried chicken, so I imagine I would be pretty happy in most southern cities.

The general was essentially a man of peace, except in his domestic life.

What's your favorite way to spend a Saturday? My husband and I love to travel. Now that the weather is getting nicer, we’re trying to use Saturday as a day trip day. I love to hike and spring Saturdays are great for outdoor activities. It’s also my favorite day to splurge on a nice dinner or spend the day cooking for friends.

What was the last great book you read? I am about to finish Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend and cannot wait to start the second book in her series.

Don't Talk to a Girl That Way Unless You Mean It!

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra that you always keep in mind? I don’t really. Since I am named after Lucille Ball, I thought it would be cleaver to find a quote of hers. Not that she hasn’t said amazing things, but during my quick search, I came across a quote from Sarah Silverman that I love and think is sort of perfect when discussing creative female entrepreneurs, “Mother Teresa didn’t walk around complaining about her thighs- she had shit to do.”

Connect with Lucy Pack - Follow her on Instagram | Check out her Pinterest | She tweets too!