100 Creatives 2013: Lacey Crawford, Her Painted Animals

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What She Does: Lacey Crawford is a painter and sculptor. Her latest works are heavily centered on animal prints and Victorian styles, giving her an almost steampunk sort of verve that you should really have hanging in your home if you're interested in maximum elegance.

Her pieces use soft, pastel colors over-textured backgrounds to give the viewer an impression of murals on a wall. It lends tremendous depth to the images, as well as giving them a slightly Wonderland charm. Plus, she jokes that the multiple layers from the textures allow her to display in the mixed media shows, which is a smaller scene than strictly painting. It's a curious effect, with her subjects so cartoonishly perfect over these vertical blasted landscapes. It's like Dali, but more hopeful.

You can catch Crawford four or five times a year at the First Saturday Arts Market in the Heights, as well as various festivals. She prefers booth shows to galleries because of the control it gives her over her work.

Crawford grew up around art thanks to her interior and graphic design father who also dabbled in painting and sculpture. Her father and uncle built a bronze foundry in their backyard when she was a kid, and practice with it led her to do her own bronzes later in life. She draws heavily from visions that come to here during meditation, though occasionally visions will just fly out and hit her in the head. A mental image of a baby goat at the circus that came to here as she was cleaning her studio has inspired works she's produced over the last five years.

Why She Likes It: "I love the animals. They were an accidental gift; I'd never set out to paint animals but they have been perfect for my style. My favorites are baby farm animals, those at their most innocent, and I paint them in the best light that will convey that innocence and purity. I use them to create metaphoric scenes of hope in an effort to save all creatures from further abuse. I am becoming vegetarian because of my subject matter. I have also embarked on an artistic campaign to help curb the extinction of African wild animals, especially the elephant and rhinoceros."

What Inspires Her: Crawford describes her inspirations like a psychic tuning into a mental wavelength, with ideas getting progressively louder in her skull. She writes them down in journals rather than sketching, as the latter takes too long before the ideas get away. She's also very into music, everything from Debussy to Pink Floyd to Iron & Wine.

She's a fan of Caravaggio because of the way his subjects emerge from darkness. She's also heavily into the contemporary art scene, always looking for new masters to be moved by.

If Not Here, Then Where: "I had always felt very productive when close to water. I guess it's the constantly regenerating waves and the nature of water that causes us to understand better the cycles of our own life, death, and creativity. I would probably try living on the upper east coast, Oregon or perhaps even Canada. I've heard Vancouver Island is stunning."

If Not This, Then What: "I'd be a musician, either piano or guitar. I've toyed with both a little but didn't pursue them as a creative outlet. Once I finally retire from my day job and am doing my art full-time, I will take up a musical instrument in earnest and see where it goes."

What's Next: Without going into too much detail, Crawford let us know that a new series is in the works which will be considerably darker than anything we've seen from her before.

More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Homer Starkey, novelist Jenn Fox, mixed media Shohei Iwahama, dancer Erica DelGardo, metalsmith Bob Clark, executive director Houston Family Arts Center Kerrelyn Sparks, bestselling romance author Lindsay Halpin, punk rock mad hatter Drake Simpson, actor Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer David Matranga, actor Crystal Belcher, pole dancer Daniel Kramer, photographer Blue 130, pin-up explosion art Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker David Wilhem, light painter Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster Browncoat, pin-up pop artist Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist Vincent Fink, science fashion Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer Sameera Faridi, fashion designer Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre Outspoken Bean, performance poet Barry Moore, architect Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist Ty Doran, young actor Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet Justin Garcia, artist Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer

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