Lara Call Gastinger

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"Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."

 

—Mary Oliver

Name, Age, Location, Professional Title, Employer

Lara Call Gastinger | 42 | botanical artist | self-employed

What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?

I keep a vegetable garden and native plant garden in my yard. I love camping, hiking and biking with my family. I also enjoy yoga and strength training! Cooking in season is also one of my favorite pastimes. 

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Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?

Yes, there is a challenge balancing between commissioned work/teaching and really working on what I love. However, I am extremely blessed with my career and really do enjoy the challenge of being inspired by my students and commissioned projects. Sometimes, the bigger challenge is balancing being a mother and an artist on a daily basis! 

What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?

I am definitely most inspired and productive in the morning. My kids head off to school by 8 and I happily working at my desk until 12. 

 
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What are your creative goals for the future? 

I’d love to publish my perpetual journal! #lgperpetualjournal

Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

Right now, I am preparing to exhibit in July at the Royal Horticultural Society Plant and Art Show in London! I always find inspiration in nature and find plant specimens every time I go outside. The outdoor world is constantly changing and I charge myself with being a documenter of nature for others. If I am ever stuck, I go back to my journals where I can be looser and can find elements of a plant that I want to develop. 

What scares you?

Cups of water near my paper or being too busy that it affects my art when I get rushed.

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What does success mean to you?

Inspiring others to see the world in ways that they have not before. We are here on this planet to be in awe of the natural world and are the only species that can truly be amazed at the beauty and intricacies of the world. My goal is accomplished when a student looks at the world differently and sees the small details that are overlooked.

Why do you create?

It is a way that I can combine my scientific background and urge to document and categorize specimens with my awe of the outdoors. I’d like to think that I embody the words of Mary Oliver…"Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."

 

For more information on Lara and her intricate work, head over to www.laracallgastinger.com or follow along with her work @laragastinger.