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Meet Claire Fagin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claire Fagin.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
When I was younger, I was home schooled by my mom and it wasn’t until more recently that I’ve realized how much of an impact it had on me from a creative standpoint. My mother has always been an artist (she’s an incredible interior designer, to be more specific), but she won’t admit it. When she taught us history lessons, she would read out loud while we illustrated on a long roll of butcher paper what we were hearing. By the end of the school year, we could roll out the paper and see the entire timeline of history right before us, just as we had interpreted it. Looking back, its things like this that have allowed and taught me to think outside of the box- to put pen to paper and make plans and experiment with ideas. My dad, who is also an artist of sorts, has a background in dentistry and now is a fantastic home builder. He is so detail oriented but can see the bigger picture before it’s come to fruition, which is a balance not many have. When I was 10 and my parents handed me my first camera, I began to create my art, and thanks to not only the inspiration they surrounded me with while growing up, but also to their unwavering belief in me as an artist, I realized that with light and a lens and an idea in mind, I could create so much more than just a memory.

Please tell us about your art.
This question has been one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I continue to struggle to find a proper answer. I think a year ago, I could have confidently told you that I am an artist who creates photos. Now, it feels more complicated than that- I am an artist. I know that for sure. I love to create photos. I know that for sure. But I feel that there’s something more tugging at me, telling me that it’s not just about an aesthetic or a look, but about really letting myself run wild with whatever medium I feel intrigued by at the moment and pulling it in as a supplement to my photography. I have been told so many times by so many teachers and critics and friends alike that my art must have meaning. I don’t think my art always has a meaning, and that’s something I’m coming to terms with and learning to be okay with.

I believe that art should be two things: interesting, and honest. And if my art is interesting and honest, I can go to sleep at night feeling content, whether there is a blatant meaning or not. If anything, I hope my art makes you feel something real. I hope my art makes you feel something true and brings you back to who and where and what you want to be, even if just for a split second. I hope that when you look at my photos, you feel a poke or a prod or an intense ache to be more or do more than just exist. I hope it takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel at home all at the same time. I hope that even if you do not conclude a grand meaning behind each prop placement or stream of foggy light, you feel inspired. I am an artist, and I create photos- and as long as they are interesting and honest, I am good with a title as simple as that.

Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
My biggest piece of advice in this area (and I’m still working this out myself) is this:
STOP comparing yourself to someone who has a “real job” even if you aren’t making the kind of money that someone is working a “real job” might be making. As artists, we have so much more to worry about than working a 9-5 in an office wearing clothes that we would never normally wear. Make money any way you can. Nanny. Wait tables. Do commissioned pieces even if they’re not your preferred style. Clean houses. Get a job at your local grocery store. Work weird hours. Be a personal assistant. IT DOESN’T MATTER as long as you have time to create.

It takes energy and hard work to hustle several part-time jobs and then come home and work on your art, but it’s possible. Work hard to make money you need to pay rent and feed any mouth you’re responsible for feeding, and outside of that, worry about making art that fulfills you. Life is too short to sacrifice fulfillment for money.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I am hoping to have a gallery exhibit within the next year… it would be my first one! I’m nervous and excited!
Currently, you can find me at my website, clairefagin.com or my Instagram page, @clairefagin. Support in any form means the world to me. Whether it’s sharing my art with your friends, or reaching out to collaborate, I would so appreciate hearing from you!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All photos by me
Models: Carly Stalnaker, Alia, Jason Garofolo, Kegan Cole, and Katilyn Perry.

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. James Darko

    December 4, 2018 at 16:13

    Such great advice! Her photos are beautiful!

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