We had the good fortune of connecting with Layla Luna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Layla, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
For the last thirteen years my studio practice came first. Every major decision was made in reaction to the impact it would have on my work. I moved to attend art programs, traveled for artist residencies, and chose “day jobs” that fueled my practice. Seven months ago, I became a first-time mom and my world was turned upside down in the most wonderful of ways. Pre-baby, I feared that motherhood would steal from my studio practice but that hasn’t been the case at all. Being a mom has profoundly broadened my awareness and my purpose is far more pure. I completely lost the drive to make work during most of my pregnancy and I was terrified that was going to be my new normal but my motivation came back shortly after having my daughter. I still feed my studio practice daily, it just looks different. Time in the studio can be unpredictable and I have shorter stretches of time, but my work has morphed to fit within the new parameters.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My studio practice is dedicated to unpacking the idea of home. For years, I believed the only way to know home was to continually leave it. This is an exhausting state that requires you to remain untethered and in constant motion. Then the craziest thing happened…I had a baby. Emmie’s arrival provided the truest understanding of home. It also reconnected me to my kid self which led to a fantastic studio superpower: the confidence to play. My time of moving fast and forward led to the many things that form the armature for the work I make today. It sparked my love of the desert. It made me believe that certain places and objects hold hauntedness within them. It rekindled the joy of storytelling and allowed me to find charm in the fact that memories cannot be entirely trusted. Or I could’ve just said that I make landscape paintings, draw silly illustrations, and write stories.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My pre-pandemic answer is a lot different than what I would suggest today. The museums (Amon Carter, The Modern, and Kimbell) would be at the top of the list.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am thankful for the support of my mom and boyfriend. I took art classes from age 10-18 (Thanks FW Museum of Science and History for providing a great program for young artists!) and Mom made sure I went to every class even when I wasn’t feeling motivated. She is my biggest fan. My boyfriend, Brandon, has been extremely supportive. He takes over baby-duty when I need a block of studio time and supports all of my art endeavors. My daughter, Emmie, is the biggest encourager of my success in the studio. I want to show her that through hard work and perseverance, following your passion is a worthwhile thing to do.