WK 4- Artist Conversation – Carly Lake

Artist: Carly Lake 

Exhibition: Closer 

Media: Watercolor, Prismacolor pencil, Plywood, Clay, Acrylic, Thread, Digital Media , Ink Jet Printer, 

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery

Website: Carlylake.com 

Instagram: Sea.Lake

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About the Artist 

The exhibition Closer contains artwork from two students from California State University, Long Beach. Both Carly Lake and May Ta are in the Illustration program in the School of Art. These artists demonstrate tremendous artistic abilities which shows in their spectacular artwork. For the purpose of this assignment, the artist which I have chosen to write about is Carly Lake.

Carly Lake grew up in Covina, California. During the school semester she lives in Huntington Beach. Currently, Carly is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a focus in Illustration and is minoring in American Indian Studies.  In her future, Carly sees herself being an art Professor but acknowledges that she still has a long way to go. After she completes her undergraduate studies, Carly wants to get a part-time job as an art teacher and later on in life attain a Master’s degree. Some hobbies Carly enjoys doing include: camping, running, juggling, and playing soccer. She is also involved in school events, such as the annual Powwow which takes place in the second weekend of March. This year she was involved in creating the design for the Powwow shirt.

Formal Analysis 

One of the artworks in Carly Lake’s art collection that intrigued me the most was the artwork titled ‘Commute’. The media that was used to create this illustration were watercolor and prismacolor pencil. The illustration is filled with city buildings, cars, a freeway, trees, and five red figures. In the center of the illustration the five red figures are holding hands and walking across the middle of the freeway.

Content Analysis 

Talking with Carly about her artwork she stated that she often leaves figures looking ambiguous. The reason being is because she wants the figures to be relatable to a larger pool of people. She wants the audience to be able to connect to her artworks. That is apparent with the ‘Commute’ illustration. The five red figures in the middle of the illustration do not look identical, rather they each have their own shape. Also in her illustrations, she often thinks about her audience. Though she does not let the audience completely dictate what she draws, she does consider them when drawing.

Synthesis/ My Experience  

Carly Lakes art work collection is simply breathtaking. She had many amazing illustrations in the exhibition. The one that caught my eye the most was the one titled ‘Commute’. I’ve always loved black and white artwork because they’re just really captivating to me; I could stare at them for hours. A couple of months ago, I bought an illustration in the Orange County swap meet. Someone had drawn the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, I’ve never been there but I really loved the detail that it showed. I couldn’t put it down so I took it with me and hung it on my wall.  When I saw ‘Commute’ I instantly connected those feelings with the illustration that I had bought. Carly’s illustrations had so many small details that made the illustration come more to life.

What I also loved about Carly’s work is the ambiguous human figures. Many times, women in particular, are criticized harshly by their outer appearance. It happens often in the media and even in clothing stores. Women are taught from a young age that one particular form is what is most appealing, however everyone is created differently. The ambiguous figures have forms that people with different shapes can relate to and see themselves in. That gave the art piece a greater sense of  beauty.


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