Featured Artist: Lauren Kushnick

My favorite artists are:
It’s very hard to pick just a few, but my current favorites are Takashi Murakami, Swoon, Koralie, Kristen Rask, eboy, Hayao Miyazaki, Dale Chihuly, and James Turrell.
Right now my work is:
I have always loved illustration and street art for their ability to surprise and envelop viewers in new worlds.  I try to incorporate a bit of those elements in my work and vacillate between whimsical character driven pieces, like my Bread series and Pandabot, and more abstract, textural work.  I’m also interested in how new and old technologies combine and have been experimenting with bringing those elements together.
I love Queens because:
I was raised in Queens and have lived in Astoria for nine years, so I’m a huge fan of the area.  I’m constantly impressed with the vibrancy, diversity, and drive of people that I meet every day.  It’s an incredibly energizing place to be, and I love seeing how much Astoria has changed over the years.  But at the same time, Astoria is still a neighborhood, and there is a great sense of pride and ownership that other parts of the city miss.  Queens has heart, which I really value.
When I was a kid:
I loved spending time chalking the sidewalks, going thrifting, organizing elaborate craft parties with my friends, or spending time in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.  And as an adult, I still enjoy these things!
I find inspiration in:
My street photography.  It’s something I do just for myself- a sort of visual diary of the things I’ve seen, the colors and textures around me, and what I happen to see while walking around NYC.
I like trying new things.  I like pushing myself, and seeing what skills I can master, or experiment with.
I don’t eat meat.  I’m a vegetarian and an animal lover, and believe becoming vegetarian was one of my best life decisions.
Dream Project:
A tour of India by train, where I could photograph the colors, textures, people, and art I encounter.  It would be an overwhelming and transformative experience.
Instagram: @pandb0t

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