by Deiona Monroe
Stress will happen, but that doesn’t prohibit productivity. Even though there are obstacles and trials, LaVan continues to produce and keeps his drive with the various projects that he’s currently working on; this is just one out of the bunch:
“This one project that I’m working on which is really personal to me is this animation that I started. It got triggered because I just did a project for Trey [Songz], it was a single artwork for an album he’s coming out with. So, they wanted the whole role out, so I did everything for it: the stories, the video, the visualizer and everything like that. So, I got to step into an animation realm with that. And I forgot how much I liked to study it and I also love cartoons, so after I was done with it, I was like ‘yo I know so much about it now, let me see if I could do something with this for myself’. So, with this project, I took my wolf character, Omega, and Prince—well I have a whole bunch of little characters. Prince looks like me but he’s more of a nonchalant version, but he’s the main character of the whole series. And Cufflink is his companion—a little heart character with a band-aid. Basically, it’s Omega sitting on a hill and there’s a rain cloud pouring on him and Cufflink is gonna come in and blow the cloud away. It’s a lot behind it, but I started it because lately I’ve been going through life rollercoasters and I was kind of in a dark space for a little bit, and this served as a representation of what I was going through; and cufflink coming in and blowing it away was the love getting rid of all the darkness. That’s one thing I’m working on right now, and that’s mostly just for fun”.
Though his work is full of fun and life, there is still so much that LaVan wants to accomplish. Just like any other artist, if his supplies could be as unlimited as his imagination, his dream project would be:
“Damn. There’re so many things, cause I got so many modes. But I want to do a big ass instillation of everything that I do; like all in one space and each mode would have its own theme. For the tattooing, it would be a flash of all my characters and whoever comes in for a tattoo—well it would probably be appointment-based cause I’m not just doing like a sweat shop...I’ve done that mad times and it’s mad annoying. So um, I would just had a flash out and probably have like 2 or 3 appointments; tattoo them. Then I wanna have a big animation that I would release that day, like a movie. And then the rest of the installation would be different art pieces, like a few paintings, some sculptures, a whole experience. And interactive too, 3-D models, all that shit. I enjoy people coming to see art and actually experience it forreal and being able to see their face and see them appreciate it. If it’s interactive, then yeah you can take a couple of pictures but, for the most part, you’ll remember the experience. I feel like, now, we’re too disconnected from too many events. We’ll go, we’ll see it, look around, take a couple of pictures and then go home. But if you feel like you’ve actually experienced something hten you leave on a better note and then you’re talking to everybody about it. If I had funding for it, I would do an interactive museum with a tour”.
With several different forms, there’s usually never a time in which LaVan isn’t working. Through all the creating and developing, it sometimes can get difficult to have one dominant message the generated content. With LaVan, it’s not that he doesn’t have a message, but this message is consistently transforming as he grows as an artist:
“The funny thing about that is that my message keeps evolving. There was a time where I just wanted to create every day; but now I am. So now it’s like, the message that I kinda wanna convey is…as of lately, I’ve been going back into myself and what makes me tick, and you know, mental health as well. I’ve been dipping into different arenas. So, like I’ll backtrack into stuff I’ve done in the military, my family life, different things that created me and the way I think. I’m doing that to experience those feelings so I’m able to recreate them and touch people’s lives. I’m trying to figure out way to transcend through, like, emotions. So, I don’t have a one particular message because I’m in a transition phase. Before it was just ‘chasing dreams, do whatever you want’—I still feel that strongly, but now it’s more personal. As my story transforms, my art transforms with me and my messages change overtime, just like with life”.
Continuously transforming and producing, at times, it can become difficult for an artist to keep up with the demand of their work and, overall, find inspiration with what they are doing. When moments like this occur, LaVan alters the world around him and takes it all in as much as possible:
“I’m kind of like a cartoon character. The way I just view the world and set up everything, is more on an animated vibe. I’m very animated with the way I express myself; I go from nonchalant to crazy. So, I kinda keep myself entertained through that. whenever I’m feeling down, ill crack jokes or look for stuff that I know will make me happy; from there, that’s how I’m able to create whatever I wanna create. So, if I’m sitting like, bills and all this other shit is starting to bother me, then I just look for inspiration on Pinterest, Tumbler, or just talking to family and friends and getting ideas from them. That’s what keeps me motivated: the people that I talk to and the people that are around me, and also just searching for the inspiration and keeping my mind open to it”.
“I think putting my life and other’s people life into my work is the easiest form of inspiration. When I hear or experience certain things, I get ideas and they just pop into my head. I’ve gotten better at actually visualizing ideas in my head and translating onto a piece of paper exactly how I see them”.
Keeping an open mind and heart, however, can result in an artist’s work being criticized and sometimes even rejected. For LaVan, though, he doesn’t see rejection as something negative. Rather, rejection is something that should keep an artist pushing and striving for more:
“Nah; rejection makes me go harder, all the time, especially falling. Like, different problems, different things I’ve encountered pushes me further because I like to analyze myself, a lot, and after it happened I’ll analyze what I did wrong, what was in the situation and how can I come up with creative ways to fix it; I like to problem solve. Rejection just pushes me forward.”
“A time when I was rejected? Maybe I misspoke…lol. My work has not been rejected, at all. People have been just going with my creative direction, and that’s a blessing. Honestly, when it comes to art, I don’t really see it as a rejection, I see it as a revision. When people are like ‘nah I don’t like this idea’, I’m like ‘ight, here’s a new one, what you think about this’. There’s never a complete collapse, just a pitstop”.
This 24-year-old artist has been making his mark in the world and LaVan Wright is going to stop creating anytime soon. Let’s see what he imagines next.
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