“Art means a lifeline to me. It means I can communicate my thoughts, dreams, wishes, hopes and everything in between. I can lose myself so easily in art. Whether it’s my art in my studio or in an exhibit in a museum. Art is how I communicate.”

Name: Laura Saint-Cyr
Art materials: acrylic paint, canvas, gesso, brushes and my fingers.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been an artist all my life. Art is my therapy and my studio is my sanctuary. It is where everything is released. I can be very quiet and withdrawn, but I can also be very loud and obnoxious too. I am lucky enough to be married to a very accepting and loving husband. A few years ago I moved from the stress filled world of DC to the calming world of New England. I am surrounded by nature and peacefulness. When I am not in the studio I am working on my Etsy shop, binge watching (I just like the noise of the TV), hiking, walking my dog or working at my part-time job at an art store. I suffer from PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder. While those illnesses don’t define me they play a huge role in my life. I have suffered in silence for so long that I am never not going to talk about it. I need, to be honest and open about it. For my sanity.

What was the turning point when you decided to be open about your mental health?
I was taught not to talk about my trauma. Not to talk about my problems to random people. Don’t be too open. However, I felt safe as I began painting more and connecting with others on Instagram. Which is huge with anyone who has any mental illness. Once I feel safe I open wide up. I thought there HAS to be people out there who understand. There HAD to be people who could relate in even the smallest way. So I opened up about three years ago. I am open and honest. I have received amazing feedback. People appreciate my honesty. There have been people who have been rude about it, but the good outweighs the bad enormously.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Honestly, from everything. Bad answer I know but it’s the truth.

I don’t think “everything” is a bad answer at all! But if you had to pinpoint it to a few things that get the creative juices flowing, what would they be?
-Nature
-I work at a craft store so I am surrounded by inspiration there.
– social media. I love seeing others take on color. It makes my mind go crazy.

Tell us about your creative process.
Painting is a release for me. I begin by color playing. Choosing different color palettes and just experimenting.  I occasionally will blast music to push out my thoughts. Though most times I will embrace my thoughts and paint in silence. Some days I have plans and I know what I am going to paint. Those times I am kept awake with colors and ideas. Other days I have no idea what I am doing and just paint.

Do you think there is a reason behind why you were drawn to this type of style vs. painting objects, creatures, people, etc.?
I think I am drawn to abstract because it doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be outside the lines and it can be chaotic. That’s my mind. Full and spilling over. No control at times. That is my art.

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What is the story behind your artwork, if any?
Like I said before, art is my therapy. It is my release. Each painting is a snapshot of my day. What I’m feeling that day, what my mood is. Whether it is chaotic, depression, happiness, or anxiety ridden.

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