Artist Profile: LYNN SCHAEFER
Where did you get inspiration for this particular series?
I started to experiment with the concept of tubes after designing a custom shoe case for a company called Nfinity in Atlanta. I kept thinking about shoe laces and composition, and it eventually turned into me developing a biological sensation of tubes in my stomach. My personal art turned towards visually externalizing pains and twists that occur internally. The propaganda art came from a love of silk screening and political science. I try to replicate political and economic theories through my own graphic style.
Your primary focus at Evergreen is Russian studies. How has your academic trajectory influenced your art?
My academics have broadened my style, my focus, and my modes of thinking. I now take an extremely lens-based view, filtering different concepts I want to paint through a variety of stylistic lenses. For example, how would a WPA artist such as William Gropper portray the green revolution? I also take a large amount of inspiration from Russian writers. Their style had to circumvent government censors throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, so politics and art meshed into beautifully layered pieces of aesthetic quality and political/personal substance.
Why did you transition into doing more graffiti art?
I honestly just wanted to try something new. I wanted to be able to work from dark to light as opposed from light to dark, which is more customary with watercolors and pencil. Graffiti can be layered and molded easily on the go unlike silk screens. It takes more spontaneity and free flow than what I have been used to.
How has that changed your overall style?
On the surface graffiti has changed my mediums and my love of bold black outlines. I have transitioned from a realistic aesthetic to an almost surreal one. Graffiti really makes you consider composition and forms. My work has been simplified in the quantity of detail, but expanded the function of each of the forms present because of my experience doing graffiti.
What role does creating art play in your life?
Definitely therapeutic. I won’t use mediums that I do not like, even if it means a longer or more difficult process. I never use acrylics and would rather paint with silk screening ink. While silk screening I will always hand cut the film based on my own drawings instead of using photo emulsion. The process is the personal gain I extract from my own art. I am happy if the experience of making the art was therapeutic, fun, and pleasing in the tactile sense. Art assists my other creative processes as well. I find I can write a better paper if I conceptualize a thesis as a visual work of art. I can also better mentally process pain or health issues when I try to visually externalize the experience.
By Melkorka Licea