Interview with Hailey Lamb
An artist, maker, and cat mom currently living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her primary mediums are collage and photography, but she also works with quilting and vinyl installation. As a soon-to-be graduate from Kendall College of Art and Design, her work primarily focuses on social media as a powerful and positive tool, contemporary femininity, and personal narrative.
How did you get into photography, collages, and creating?
Photography was and will always be my first love, even though I’ve been neglecting it lately. It really wasn’t until high school when I picked up a camera for the first time, but something about the feeling of when you take a photo and instinctively know it’s good really lit me up. I had incredibly art teachers all throughout high school who encouraged me to keep learning and pushing forward. Around the same time I started collaging after being inspired by Kara Haupt’s early work in art journaling and scrapbooking. Since then, things have never really stopped coming and I can’t imagine a life without creation as a part of my daily routine.
When did you know that art was something you wanted to do as part of your career?
Almost immediately from the time I started doing photography in my early teens it became clear that art is what I was meant to do. I had previously wanted to become a teacher or a writer, but neither of those things felt as right to me as art did. Now that I’m about to graduate college, I’m just starting to apply to “real” jobs in galleries and museums and I could not be more excited to take this step into doing what I love all day every day.
What's your process of setting goals and sticking with them?
I tend to work quickly, but not before carefully considering methods and ideas. Sometimes that means a little bit of a time crunch as deadlines approach, but I’m always confident in my ability to get things done. I’m a big believer in writing everything down and sharing my goals to hold myself accountable. I do my best to only work on things I am truly passionate about, so my art is always exciting and something I want to work on!
Where would you like to see you and/or your art in the next 5 years?
I graduate with my BFA in May and will be moving to Lansing, Michigan shortly after. I’m currently pursuing gallery and museum jobs there and would love to be surrounded by other creative working to make the community a better place. As far as my art, there are so many new things I would like to experiment with and learn after graduation! Natural textile dying definitely tops that list, but I also want to get back into bookmaking and knitting again. I think the most exciting part is not knowing exactly how I will grow and change in the days ahead!
What is a lesson that you've learned that you feel has been most prevalent or useful to you?
The artist and all-around inspiring woman Mei Ratz has the motto “Nervous means do it” and that is something that I’ve really taken to heart (and wear a pin in her handwriting on my jacket every day!). As someone who suffers from anxiety, things like applying for shows, pitching project ideas, and trying new things artistically can really wind me up. Reminding myself that my nerves or anxiety about something is because it’s ultimately worth going for has been really helpful, especially during such a transitional time in my life as I near the end of my college education.
How do you stay inspired? How do you get through creative blocks or lulls?
I tend to be very inspired by my materials no matter what medium I work with, so it’s very rare that I come to a creative block that a trip to the thrift store can’t fix. I spend a lot of time looking at other artist’s work, whether that’s online, in library books, or galleries of any size.
What keeps you working, keeps you motivated?
Seeing the success of other artists both locally and internationally is a huge motivator to me. If there is something I want but am not sure how to achieve, I do my best to find alternative paths to it. Always seeking new opportunities, new methods of creation, and new artists to be inspired by keeps me excited and moving forward.
Find more of Haley at https://www.haileyalamb.com/
This story was first published in Issue 5: Endurance.