For Natural Born Artists, There’s Only One Sustainable Option—A Life Lived True
If you visualize life as an inspired canvas, you can paint in any strokes you see fit, be it free-forming color, shades of gray or splashed brilliance. When you hold the brush with confidence and bravely let it speak from the heart, the inevitable creation of your own personal truths will surface.
“I definitely feel like I can be more of an individual here, which I haven’t felt in New York or Boston or anywhere else really,” says Rebecca, an artist who’s found home inside Los Angeles’ unique and flourishing creative community. “It’s really big, but there’s a lot of space to be filled.”
Perhaps that’s because diversity is a way of life in the City of Angels. What sets you apart is not a source of shame, but something to be embraced, nurtured and explored. The members of this artistic collective are categorically unable to be anybody but themselves, which is a beautiful thing. Their brand of self-possessed conviction makes LA a mecca for these resilient and resourceful dreamers. For humans, like Rebecca, who can’t help but be artistic.
Don’t mistake their cerebral demeanor for timidity, these risk takers are forces to be reckoned with, inevitably drawn to their creative craft, and capable of expressing meaning with every step they take. By trusting the passion of their inner voices, artists in this supportive community often give their souls articulation through a variety of mediums.
Think Miranda July, an award-winning filmmaker, author, musician and actor. Her participatory art speaks volumes in a multitude of imaginative languages. And by refusing to put boundaries on her freedom of expression, her creative voice becomes filled with insight inaccessible through ordinary means.
The same can be said of creative vortex Andy Warhol, who infused everything he put his mind to with wonder, and whose art invited a shift of perspective for an entire generation. By unabashedly being true to himself, he continues to inspire others in the artistic subculture to pursue that which fills their lives with meaning.
“Be yourself,” Rebecca explains. “I think people really appreciate individualism, and it’s rare, but if you are your authentic self, then no one can ever copy that.”
This frame of reference seeps into their external manifestations of selfcare, be it in their sense of style, which is singular, often an extension of their art, and can include a “signature” look. Whether it’s how they wear their hair, an accessory, or if they cover their skin with ink, their appearance is a direct reflection of their sensibilities. It’s thoughtfully thoughtless, as cutting-edge barber Julius “Julius Cesar” Arriola aptly surmises: “Today’s visual artists deliver a confident look. They choose to be different without forcing it too heavy.”
Whether hosting art shows in downtown lofts near Little Tokyo or browsing the collections at LACMA, MOCA or the Getty Center, this community folds into the fabric of Los Angeles seamlessly. And with free admission and an avant-garde program of films, music and dance that includes conversations between artists of differing specialties, the Broad Museum is helping to curate this next generation of creatives.
Meanwhile, for those who prefer to head outdoors for their inspiration, they need look no further than Echo Park Lake and its blossoming fountains and lotus flowers. The revived boathouse, now home to locally-sourced and sustainable Beacon Café, provides nourishment, like green eggs and spam, that is as inventive and out of the box as the community it feeds.
“Everybody here has their own unique style, which I love,” says Rebecca. “I think people in LA are more open to new ideas, the kinds of ideas that eventually migrate to other cities.”