We had the good fortune of connecting with Lana Pineda Köhn and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lana Pineda, what inspires you?
While my creative inspiration comes from many places in my life and is constantly evolving, my work is currently an exploration of cultural identity through mythology. The sagas and stories from mythology has always resonated with my and I’ve found it to be a fantastic conduit for reconnecting with parts of my past that otherwise felt lost.

I love to retell these stories by painting different goddesses/deities with symbolic imagery and motifs that allude to their story. Part of the challenge is dissecting what part of the story or figure still feels relevant to me and in a contemporary context; the other part is creating a piece that shows this without being literal. A lot of modern mythologically inspired artwork can tend to illustrate stories in this way. I wanted to approach it differently and find inspiration in what these myths represent to me as a human being.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Throughout childhood, I always was creating art. It wasn’t until I went to college for it that I started to really examine what I wanted to say with it. After graduating with my BFA, I knew I didn’t want to go straight into a masters program. I needed time and experience in the “real world” to realize what I wanted to do with my artistic career. I’ve worked in galleries and print shops, I’ve written and taught classes, I’ve completed art residencies and throughout it all continued to create my own work.

Someday I may return to one of these whether it be a masters program or teaching but for now I’ve found that what I most enjoy is creating work that people enjoy. There is a certain validation in putting a piece of yourself on canvas (or wood in my case) and it resonating so much with someone that they want to hang it in their home. But ultimately the biggest joy is discovering myself and who I am in the process.

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?
I’ve lived in San Francisco for over 10 years now and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Some of my favorite spots include:

– Cafes! Manny’s in the mission or Cafe du Soleil in Lower Haight when you want to enjoy great coffee on a sunny afternoon

– Bars! Molotovs or Delirium dive bar vibes or the Tonga room for upscale tiki drinks. Catch a drag show at Oasis or listen to some piano while sipping a martini at Martuni’s

– Parks! From Dolores to Golden Gate, you can’t go wrong packing a picnic and lounging on a hot sunny day.

– Shops! I’m an avid thrifter and SF has plenty of vintage and thrift shops. Upper Haight has vintage galore and the Mission has niche local artisan boutiques for any aesthetic

SF has something for everyone and you’ll never run out of new places to explore.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Throughout my artistic career I’ve been extremely lucky to have supportive people pushing me to pursue my passions. Since I was a child, my parents always motivated to explore my creative inclinations and ultimately convinced to study it. I was very nervous at the idea of going to university for an art degree having always been conditioned to think it was a waste and dead end career choice.

One moment that always has stuck with me was when I was deliberating what my college experience would entail. My dad sat me down and asked, point blank, “What is it that you want to wake up and do everyday?” The answer was easy. I wanted to create. I don’t expect to ever be free of self doubt or fear but remembering this has helped ground me and give confidence to push through artistic ruts.

Website: www.lanakohn.com

Instagram: @lanakohn_art

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lanakohnart

Other: www.etsy.com/shop/LANAKOHN

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