Meet The Team: Lara
There's a lot of talk these days about "handcrafted goods." But custom framing is truly a handcrafted business - each hand working together to bring your art to life. In our new Meet The Team series, we're offering a glimpse into the minds and personalities of the people behind the craft.
If you don't hear us say it enough, our team is amazing. The diverse collection of individuals, from framing consultants and fitting specialists to our delivery and installation team, all share an artistic sensibility but each with their own unique perspective.
These expositions are part backstory and part just for fun (each person will also answer a few questions from the Proust questionnaire, a parlor game popularized by French novelist Marcel Proust who believed that answering these questions reveals an individual's true nature). It's our hope that through this series you'll forge a deeper connection with the makers behind the frame and learn a little more about how we do things at AFS.
Up first: Lincoln Park framing consultant Lara - audiobook lover, Andy Warhol admirer and a force behind some of the coolest AFS projects that have come through our doors.
What's your favorite part about working at Artists Frame Service?
Every day at AFS is a surprise. I never know what will come across my desk. Some days I can design a beachy shadowbox for a dried starfish and others I will be handling original Keith Haring prints that need to go to restoration. Between family photos, posters and prints, I do get to have fan girl moments when a customer brings in something original by an admired artist. Other times I have my frame nerd moments, like recently a young woman brought in her pink rhinestone ice skating costume and we chose our infamous pink glitter frame as the perfect design.
Who's your favorite artist?
Ever since I found myself as an abstract artist, I accidentally made a similar artwork to Anni Albers and it was an instant connection. She married the better known abstract artist Josef Albers. I have a particular connection with her process and tend to reference her work often in my own practice. I have a lot of favorites, but Anni is my number one.
Do you have a top customer moment or favorite project you've worked on?
Right in the beginning of my time at AFS, I had a designer bring me these downright awful 80s prints. She even admitted to me, “I know they are hideous, but my clients late mother left him these and they are the only remaining pieces of her he has – please help!” The main issue was the backgrounds - the images themselves weren’t so bad. We used unique mat windows to cover the background, utilized engraved plates to maintain text that we had to cover and polished it off with a modern faux leather frame. We were all literally stunned at how well they turned out. After that project, the transformative powers of great framing were quite possibly the closest thing to magic I have ever experienced.
You spent time in Pittsburgh getting the same art education as Andy Warhol - what's your favorite Warhol work?
Andy Warhol’s earlier work is my favorite because it shows his roots. He made lovely pen and ink drawings of various objects when he was a successful commercial illustrator. In particular his cat renderings are playful and genuine unlike the imagery one typically recognizes from Mr. Warhol. If you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh, visit the Andy Warhol Museum where you can see many of his earlier works as well as better known work by him as well.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A late summer evening outdoors spent with good company, delightful finger food, intelligent conversation with a hint of absurdity, intermittent acoustic musical performances, a crackling campfire and adult beverages (if we are so inclined but not absolutely necessary).
Which talent would you most like to have?
I don’t know how I ever got the idea, but I always thought voice acting would be a lot of fun. I’m not a very good actress; I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve even when I’m trying my hardest not to.
What living person do you most admire?
I most admire the author David Sedaris. He is unapologetically himself and simultaneously hysterical. I adore his cynical wit and quirky observations, which he selflessly shares with the whole world. His work makes me laugh out loud and think about how normal life is actually complete chaos and that’s okay. As someone who wishes to live her life with more humor and honesty every day, I warmly appreciate his existence in this world.