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Meet Lanise Howard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lanise Howard.

Lanise, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started painting seriously three years ago, and I’ve been Exhibiting my work for the past two years. I’ve been drawing and creating art my whole life, but it wasn’t until I started college did I decided to take it seriously. I actually started out as a fashion major and then switched after a teacher told me that he believed I had a special gift and should Pursue art if it’s what I really wanted. So, that’s what I did, I told myself then that I would really give it a try and see where it would take me. I realized that there would be a journey ahead, but I’m glad I made that decision.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t been a smooth road or a bumpy road, it’s been a bit of both. There has been times that it has been smooth while other times it’s been rough. The roughest part was in the beginning, trying to convince others that this was a career that could be sustainable, I guess I was also trying to convince myself at that time as well. Understanding the world of art would be a learning curve, and it took me a little while to adjust, to understand the gallery space, collectors, dealers, and things like that. Early on, I experienced some bad situations but I used them as learning experiences. So I don’t look at those experiences as struggles, more so growing pains.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a figurative artist, who work is usually narrative. My earliest work had a strong surrealist quality to it, and that still permeates my more recent work, even though It has more of a consciousness current narrative attached to it. I would say what sets me apart is my style, which I think can be seen in all my work no matter the subject or narrative. Early on, I realized there was no need to try to “find a style”, that each of us has our own unique fingerprint, and it will always be the same no matter what you touch.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, success would be for my art to be in museums. I would love for young people to see my work and be able to see people of color in new spaces of possibility and reality. Growing up as a child, I often didn’t see Black people in paintings. And in a way, I thought they didn’t exist until I got older. While I do think this is changing, I want to be someone who can further that change.

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