We had the good fortune of connecting with Leigha Lugo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leigha, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Light Era Studios originally began as a website design to house my paintings and prints in 2012. In the beginning I didn’t imagine it would become a business until I began applying to group shows, holding a solo show, and being accepted into an artist association. The thought of your creativity also being your business can be difficult to grasp until you find balance in knowing not all that you create must sell. Once my art took off Light Era Studios developed into a full-branded identity that represents myself as an artist, my creations of all types, and prompts lasting impact on those who engage. Honing and finding truth in the name I chose to identify with came easily. Our time on Earth is short, my goal is to ignite light in all others and the materials and subject matter will always be based around light. Light serves both a physical and a spiritual purpose. As the natural agent that stimulates sight and illuminates environments, light is also an expression indicating a particular emotion or mood. Era directly defines a period of time and also stands for Equal Rights Amendment. Studios is plural because I knew I would create multiple types of works and hence need multiple places to complete each artwork. I consider myself to be a designer, artist, maker, writer, vocalist, with the overlying title of creator. While I strive to make L.E.S. my full-time work and stream of revenue, it is a business focused on serving others with creative meaning. Whenever creations are made under the name Light Era Studios, I will find comfort in knowing that positivity, creativity and equality are embedded in the artwork’s DNA.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Discussing my art is exciting for me because my recent work possess many symbols. For example I coined my own term for furniture art called: furn-ART-ture. My most recent works have been my favorite to date. The title: Building a Religion is a set of two Porter Dome Chairs designed with complex and contemplative themes investigating fashion as a modern-day religion. These Louis armchairs were specifically chosen due to their curvature while the dome lends a roof to the inside of an imaginative fashion cathedral. The female subject is adorned with pieces inspired by fashion designers who have made their rise in the underground fashion scene. The side panels are windows from the rainbow mosque in Shiraz, Iran. The seat is an image of a labyrinth built into the floor of The Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Chartres where people from around the world visit to walk the labyrinth and find faith with God. Down the center I laid a dark catwalk symbolizing how easy it can be to walk with and worship false faiths. Around the females head you’ll see symbols of toxic spill, hazard, and flammable as these fabrics that wrap the back of the chair all create danger to our environments and those people creating the textiles. As an environmentalist and lover of fashion, I find myself torn between my love of textiles and at what cost it takes to create them. Is it fair to use fashion as an identity when the environmental affects intensely destructive? The main colors of the female subject hold strong symbolism as well. The Earth green color inspires growth, a healthy environment and evolution. Ultra-violet purple was chosen as Pantone’s 2018 color of the year and suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The color of a vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.” These chair together are aimed to bring hope and awareness that we will create environmentally friendly textiles that do not harm our waters or those communities who cannot sustain the increase in demand.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Dallas is a city of some of the best foods, historical sites and beautiful parks. When my friends come in town I always take them to have brunch at the All Good Cafe where we can listen to music and have a dinner experience inspired by Austin. From there we would take a stroll in Deep Ellum and visit Jade and Clover to build our own beautiful terrariums. For site seeing, we would venture over to the large robot to compare our size to the 20 foot tall metal man. Transportation within the city can be easy but on a nice day I prefer to scooter to Klyde Warren park to check out some tasty and unique food trucks before hitting the DMA for an intellectual walk through their rotating exhibits. My house lies near the White Rock Lake where I would take a friend to roller-blade or bike around and admire all kinds of beautiful blooms and houses alike. The Dallas Contemporary has become a favorite spot to visit when invited by friends where we hear form designers and artist first hand on their solo or group shows. If you go to the Design district early you will also find interesting manufacturers of textiles, carpentry, chairs, and more. For a night cap I have recently enjoyed joining friends at the Virgin hotel. All of their restaurants and bars are very nice and I love how knowledgeable the staff are about the creative works of arts and the cocktails too!
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?
My creative journey has been a wild and successful ride thus far and there are multiple people and reasons for my success. My parents are number one, having always allowed me creative freedom in my work and decision to major in the Arts, they too taught me how to build and make things. A few friends of mine, I could count on one hand, have been vital in my success as I consider them my board of directors. They help hold me accountable to my creative commitments and ensure I am challenging myself and staying positive. Thanks to Melina, Kristen, Liz, Morgan, and Taylor. So many books have really fanned my flame over the years, but as of recent I have loved reading ‘Ninth Street Women’ by Mary Gabriel. The book is filled with detailed accounts and relationships between two generations of female artists who pathed the way for the Abstract Art Movement and more importantly putting American Women Artist on the map. Bravo to Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler! I feel I owe it to them to keep forging forward and create as much and as often as I can. Finally, thank you to the Artist Association of Nantucket. What a beautiful place to live and create in. Thank you for accepting me as your first abstract artist in the Association. What an honor!
Photo credit: Nobuyuki Ogata IG: @nobuisworking