Laura Dargan is a self-taught artist and enjoys experimenting with a variety of techniques and creative products. Her two renown styles of artistry, figurative and abstract paintings are showcased at Miller Gallery. Laura was born in Columbia, SC and lives and works out of her home studio in Charleston, SC.
We sat down with Laura to dive a little deeper into her process.
MG: To start things off, what was little Laura like? Has art been something you were drawn to from a young age, or was it something you came to later in life?
LD: I have always loved creating art. I recall realizing this when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. Art class was always my favorite!
"The journey began with me not knowing that being an artist was an option. I loved drawing and painting growing up, but it was never something I thought could be a profession. It wasn’t until after college and a series of unfulfilling jobs that I realized that I was missing something. I decided to try my hand at painting again and never looked back."
- Dargan for the Affordable Art Fair
MG: How would you describe your art to someone who knows nothing about fine art?
LD: My abstract artwork is a non-representational depiction of layered shapes and color inspired mostly by the natural world.
MG: Can you tell us what physically goes into making your work? Do you use any visuals for reference as your work unfolds? What types of materials do you work with?
LD: When I begin a painting, it usually starts with color and a general idea of what direction I want to move in style-wise. After that, it becomes more of an intuitive process. Adding + subtracting. Solving problems. I don’t use any visuals for reference but I do use an app called Procreate throughout my process that allows me to digitally create concepts before putting them down on the surface. I typically work with acrylics on canvas.
MG: If you had to pick your very favorite moment in your art career thus far, what would it be and why?
LD: Being recognized nationally via the Affordable Art Fair was definitely a favorite moment. Even though the 2020 event was canceled due to COVID, being chosen out of hundreds of artists to be the featured artist for the ad campaign was surreal.*
*The 2021 Spring Affordable Art Fair is taking place May 20 - 23, 2021! Laura's artwork has been utilized in the current ad campaign - hooray! See it below.
MG: Where is your favorite place to look for inspiration outside of the arts?
LD: The outdoors!
MG: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
LD: Don’t compare yourself to other artists and stay true to your art. Authenticity is valuable in the art world and the only way to maintain your individuality is to stay on your own path and not anyone else’s.
"Success comes in many different ways. Each way is valuable to an artist’s growth. For me, success is defined by that person who is moved by your work. That someone who has an emotional reaction when viewing your work. If you can reach a stranger with your artwork on that level, I would say you were successful. Willingness to work hard and willingness to evolve I think are two characteristics that every artist should possess."
-Dargan for Voyage ATL
MG: This one is just for fun. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would that be any why?
LD: It’s unoriginal but Picasso. Not only would it be amazing to pick his brain and be in the presence of his talent but I imagine the stories he could tell from his life would be pretty incredible.
Shop Laura's available artwork on our website here.