Give us some background. Tell us who you are and where you are from!
Hi! I’m Laura Burkhart, an artist/designer/maker born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember, always inspired by the incredible natural beauty that surrounds here in the upper left. Seattle is completely immersed in forests, water and mountain views, and for me it’s impossible to not want to recreate all that magic through artwork in a variety of mediums.
What is regular day like for you?
I always start with coffee and movement. Lately I’ve been starting the day with class at my hubs’ Pilates studio and a run around the lake. Then its coffee, emails and going through my project list for the day. Other than that it completely depends on the kind of work I’m doing at the time. It could be a day spent painting in the studio, cutting lumber in my workshop, out in the field somewhere styling or out painting a mural or windows. I love that every day is different and that I’m able to stretch so many different creative muscles.
When did you decide art was for you? How did it all begin?
I think ultimately I chose art because art chose me. It has always been the one thing that I’ve naturally come back to. It has been inherent to who I am for as long as I can remember. As a child I would spend hours in my room painting on the easel my mom handbuilt for me, or drawing in my sketchbook at the park. In college I toyed around with a couple other more ‘practical’ majors before getting the best advice I’ve ever gotten from my genius older brother. He told me to do stop trying to do what everyone else was doing, and to just do the thing I was so clearly passionate about and that I was good at. So I decided to be a Fine Arts major and never looked back. Basically, art has always been one of my life’s greatest loves, and at some point along the way I just gave into the fact that it was what my soul needed me to do and stopped questioning the practicality of it all.
What inspires you and where do you look for new ideas?
Nature and geometry. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up completely surrounded by epic natural beauty and it never ceases to inspire me. If I’m ever feeling creatively blocked or stuck, a day up in the mountains hiking through the woods, or an afternoon paddling out on the water is usually all I need to get the creative juices flowing again.
Where would you like to see yourself in the future?
My dream is to be doing exactly what I’m doing now but on a much larger scale. I would just love to be able to support myself and a family by creating every day.
Do you ever feel the stress of competition? If so, how do you handle it?
Yes of course, with social media its impossible not to isn’t it? But whenever I find myself in that place of comparison and competition, I try to come back to what is authentically me. We’re all completely different souls with unique perspectives and voices, and we all have something to offer the world. I feel like as long as I’m staying honestly true to myself and creating from within, there is no reason to compare.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
If it lights you up, if it makes you tick, if you are making art because you simply can’t NOT make art, then you’re on the right path. Do not give up, the world needs your work.