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Art & Life with Joan Laidig

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joan Laidig.

Joan, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
A clinical psychologist by training, I found that in such serious work I needed a more playful, creative form of expression. Since I’d always been drawn to ceramics, I decided to try a class and was immediately hooked.

Years later, I’m now pursuing this obsession full time and loving it. Working with my hands, getting messy, and giving my imagination free reign is an ongoing privilege.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My work as a ceramic artist reflects that human need for playful expression. I love pieces that embody a lightness or have a quality of joy about them. I produce functional pieces, vases, bowls, planters, etc., all with the goal of bringing a sense of delight to the user.

I love how the process of making ceramics, from beginning to end, is so interactive and full of surprises. The clay often has its own ideas as to where and how it wants to go. So, I find I have to develop a cooperative relationship with it to succeed. And, of course, the glazing and firing bring other forces that shape the piece, leading to an outcome so unique I had only a part in its creation. I’ve also found that my own inner world influences the success of my work, which brings renewed challenge each day. Even after all this time, I still find the whole process rather mysterious. I’m humbled and pleased when someone admires my work. I hope that it brings a bit of that same joy to others.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
It’s always a challenge to pursue art in a city where cost of living is so high. Finding affordable studio space is not easy in the Los Angeles area. However, living in LA brings such inspiration. The diversity, the culture, the weather, and the opportunities to enjoy and experience art of all kinds makes this a wonderful petri dish for growing an artist’s imagination.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I am currently in a juried exhibition, Soldate Construct: Imagination + Soldate Clay, at the Xiem Clay Center Gallery in Pasadena. I sell my planters at Folia Collective in Eagle Rock and Potted in Atwater Village. The rest of my work is sold online at www.etsy.com/shop/joanlaidigceramics.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Joan Laidig

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