Today we’d like to introduce you to Grace Lynne.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am an LA based image-maker and social impact designer. My work revolves around telling the stories of underrepresented groups of people and creating art that stimulates constructive dialogue. My journey began when I was a young girl who loved to both write and draw. I always loved to tell stories through drawing; however, my passion was unsupported and eventually died out as I grew older.
After I graduated high school, I began exploring different career options. As I began to go natural and started to embrace my afro-textured hair, I was inspired to delve deeper into my identity. I came across my passion for art again and never looked back. I knew I wanted to have a fruitful career in design, so I attended Art Center College of Design to receive my education. Graduating from a commercial school taught me great fundamentals such as time management, customer satisfaction, and taking on heavy workloads. I chose to focus my career at ACCD on social impact design and did my fine artwork on the side.
I worked extremely hard in school and sacrificed a lot of my personal life in order to make a strong portfolio. I knew in my practice that I wanted to center my career on progressing culture and identity and making art on taboo topics or social issues. I am currently a resident at East Side International LA near Downtown, and I free-lance for a living. I feel blessed to have found a way to make a living out of making art. I take on a variety of projects from public art, gallery work, illustration to graphic design. I will always consider myself to be a student willing to grow and expand.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think being an artist is ever a smooth road haha. My main struggle was finding the balance between my personal work and commercial work. Also, leaving time to simply explore my style and craft has been a bit challenging when dealing with clients consistently.
My advice for other women aspiring to be an artist is to be prepared to sacrifice. The more you sacrifice, the more you will gain, however, don’t sacrifice too much to the point of losing yourself. The more active your social life is, the more fruitful your work will be, so make sure you have a diverse circle of friends, travel and explore the world you are making art about. And lastly, don’t work so hard that you don’t enjoy what you do. We are artists and are lucky to be able to create. We will have to work very hard, but it’s because we enjoy what we do so much.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about your work – what should we know?
I am most proud of my body of both commercial and fine artwork. It’s been very challenging to balance both, but somehow I managed to do so. I specialize in talking about social issues, and I am most proud of not shying away from talking about certain topics such as race, gender, and class. As one of the few women of color in my field, I do feel an obligation to ensure my work is inclusive and progressive. I also ensure that my perspective and experience takes part in my work as well.
I graduated with a minor in social impact design which focuses on the intersection between empathy and design. So much of my work includes working with non-profits to raise awareness on various social issues, or to reach specific communities with a specific set of issues. I utilize design and art to reach communities and to discuss what is going on in the world and the people around us. I intentionally work in underserved communities, because they are most often deprived of substantial art and design. I’ve done a variety of art and design projects from murals, paper toy design, print design, and illustration.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
There have been a plethora of women in both my personal life and the media that continuously inspire me on the daily. I am a major fan of Earth Kitt’s legacy, and how she was a multi-talented artist and performer that expanded what Black women can do and represent in the industry. She always spoke her mind and embraced her ‘weirdness’ in an industry where being Black was already considered to be weird in itself. The artist Solange Knowles is also a major artistic and modern inspiration to me. Her recent body of work “A Seat at the Table’ really resonated with me, and I love how she collaborates with plenty of up-coming artists of color. She also has a great eye for aesthetics and inspired me to stay true to my vision and be more open to telling my story. Lastly, my grandmother inspires me because she has been through so much abuse and racism but still sees the beauty in life.
- Website: www.bygracelynne.com
- Phone: 310-291-8960
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/bygracelynne