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Art becomes ‘offhand’ with student Lauren Puckett


Written and Photographed by Nick Thomsen

Third year student, Lauren Puckett, uses large canvases paired with vibrant colors to embark her viewer through unique individuality.

Puckett is a sound design major with a minor in music production. While she plans to do this for a future career, her art supports that climb to the top. Puckett’s recent exhibition, “Green is Not a Creative Color,” focused primarily on the beauty of the color green, which is often considered off-putting.

Puckett’s art style is a mix of street graffiti and ornate stylized portraiture. The blend of these unique styles work. Like many students, Puckett’s studio is also her apartment which is riddled with art throughout. Dragons fight with portraits for real estate on the walls yearning to be filled. Green is painted on her carpet displaying her unrelenting love for the color. Puckett talked to District about being an artist and how she’s grown as a creative while at SCAD.

Describe your aesthetic in one word and why.

“Why is this the first and probably hardest question. Can I say offhand? I guess that kind of just means I’m casual and spur of the moment.” Ethan [Puckett’s roommate] said, “There is no way to describe Lauren Puckett in one word.”

How does being an artist shape your view of the world?

“Being an artist is actually the best because I’ve encountered ways of thinking that I’ve never seen before. I see the world as a more collective community now. Before coming to SCAD I had never seen so many people collaborating and supporting each other. I think art can solve so many things.”

How has your work evolved since coming to SCAD?

“I’ve seen how good everyone else is and it makes me want to get better. I have definitely expanded the kind of work I’ve been doing. I recently did huge spray paint collaborations with Lily Fiala and another one with my friends, Gabe. I had never really done that kind of work before, and they showed me their techniques and their stencils. Then I started making my own. I eventually want to find a way to do portraits with spray paint.”

Who and what are your main sources of inspiration?

“Every single person at SCAD. The pop-ups, gallery and performances, it’s crazy. My favorite artist right now is for sure Ben Evans. If you don’t look at his Instagram, I’ll be mad. He centers his work around portraits and has such a distinct style. Even though it’s simplistic and flat, it’s some of the most interesting and fun stuff to look at. He is also so comfortable with his work, and it’s huge. I want to find a style for myself to create a whole series with.”

How may sound design influence the work you make now?

“Sound is a crazy influence for emotions. It can match with lyrics, or be purely experimental. Taking sound design courses has allowed me to deconstruct the way things are made, especially in film and music. I love seeing all the aspects it takes to create art. I want to design an interactive gallery/experience where the art goes along with music and the audience has control over what they want to happen. Interactive shows are so much more engaging and thought-provoking.”

How does the process of large art differ from smaller art?

“Scale is everything, especially if you’re trying to do something realistic. Working on a small canvas is so much easier for me to freehand, and that’s actually how I used to do all of my work. Now that I have started to do large portraits I have more of a system, but huge canvases are my absolute favorite. If only they weren’t so expensive. I have an 8ft x 7ft canvas hanging above my bed that my friend Lily painted and barely enough space for all of the other ones in my room.”

How do you start each piece? Do you have a pre-art ritual?

“Grab my bucket of all my paint, put music on loud and start. If we’re being honest, 90% of the time I wing it. I hate planning.”

What’s your typical work environment like?

“My canvas is probably on the floor or against a wall. I love natural light so sometimes working at night is kind of hard, especially for trying to get the right colors. I have music on pretty loud, and I’m most likely alone. I’m pretty much always working by myself, whether its painting or a sound project. Being an artist is rewarding, but it’s extremely lonely.”

Is there a direction you see your style of art moving to?

“I still want to keep my style somewhat realistic, but with a twist. I’m not entirely sure what that will turn out to be, but I think it will emerge over time. I will definitely continue to work as large as I can. As of right now, I use majority of neon and unnatural colors, but I’m kind of feeling a dark period coming on. Guess we’ll just have to see.”

What are you addicted to?

“Lemonade, music, and brushing my teeth. Simple. If a restaurant doesn’t have lemonade is it really worth eating there? I have music on all day, and brushing my teeth, well, that’s just all the time I don’t know what else to tell you. My friends roll their eyes at me.”

Puckett’s art fills her apartment more and more each day, which exemplifies her dedication to constantly creating. Puckett’s process is graced by spontaneity, yet expected to produce her signature style.

To learn more about Lauren Puckett visit her Instagram.

Nick Thomsen

Nick Thomsen is the Chief Photo Editor at District. He is currently a Sophomore Photo Major who will graduate in 2021.


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