We had the good fortune of connecting with London Ladd and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi London, what is the most important factor behind your success?
My willingness is never to give up. Since the early 1990s, I’ve been studying and
creating art during which numerous times, whether for personal or professional reasons like raising a young family, creative burnout, or changes in the industry, I’ve stepped away for a while to reassess my life as a creator of art, being pushed to the brink of quitting art altogether. so many factors have driven me to the edge of walking away for good, but that passion for art brings me back with more determination to continue my artistic journey. It’s that emotive bond with the canvas, illustration board, and sketchbook unmatched by anything else in the world. Art has carried me through so many joys and pains. It’s helped help me through some of the most moments of my life to make images I didn’t know I could do.

So I’d say the most important factor in my success as an artist is my drive not to give up and to keep pushing forward even in the face of many obstacles and challenges.

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.
Most of my subject matter is primarily the representation of blackness in a way that is genuine and honest that is a reflection of Black people in all their inherent beauty My artistic approach is mixed media of acrylic paint on colored paper cut/torn into shapes, tissue paper, a palette knife, and a brayer. Just about anything nearby in my studio will create the most interesting textures for a particular piece. And I love it because it’s all me, heart and soul. It took years to figure things out stylistically, and I’m still learning each day with each piece
of artwork and project, but I truly love what I do and am passionate about it. This approach is the truest representation of me: loose, free, organic, and emotive. I hope people understand that we never stop learning, no matter how old we are and how much experience we may have. I’m about having an open mind to listen, humility to let someone know that I don’t understand or I don’t know, and expressing genuine empathy for others.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Great question! My ideal itinerary would start with a warm embrace because, most likely, it would have been a while since we last saw each other in person. Then some brief but pleasant conversation, jokes, and playful banter catching up on a few things. Afterward, a nice local, family-owned restaurant with quality food and drinks, hopefully, they have live music playing that evening. I love the live music/ lounge environment as the backdrop to any outing, so to have live music playing while dining is the best. The next day would be something outdoorsy, whether visiting a state park, trails, or something with nature is a must because it contrasts the previous evening. Where I live in Upstate New York, there are lots of really interesting sightseeing places, parks, lakes, and trails, so kayaking would be a must thing do. Driving around the region is always a treat I love sharing with my closest friends. I’m not an antisocial person, but I do like keeping things low-key and more personal because that’s the type of person I am, and my closest friends understand that as well, so quality time is key.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A big thank you to the Syracuse University Illustration Program faculty and staff for allowing me to experiment, grow and flourish as an artist in the ways that are truest to my heart of expression. I would not be where I am without their guidance and encouragement throughout my three years in grad school.

Website: https://www.londonladd.com

Instagram: instagram.com/london.ladd

Facebook: Facebook.com/londonladd

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