Traditionally we are taught that creating stories, even visual stories, begins with words. When working as an illustrator one generally reads a provided text, or brief, then generates images in response, and often artist/authors follow a similar process. Lauren Simkin Berke works differently, taking an improvisational, and often surrealist approach to story, creating images first, and allowing juxtaposition to lead the direction a narrative takes. These stories have taken the form of comics, zines, art books, visual essays, and visual memoir. Most of Berke’s work starts by establishing a particular process, then allowing their subconscious to drive image generation, and trusting their intuition when it comes to selection, editing and assembly of images. Once a group of images have been selected, it’s time to see what patterns and stories emerge. In this lecture Berke will present examples of their narrative work, including The King That Was Very Very Small (a story created while in 3rd grade), Fineberg (a weekly comic strip created as procrastination from grad school), as well as A Face Book of Missed Connections, Just Another Saturday, Neither the Other or Myself, and much more.
Lauren Simkin Berke is a Brooklyn based artist and illustrator who identifies primarily as a drawer (of the ink on paper variety). Most of Berke's personal work start s with drawing based on photographs and ephemera, which get transformed into paintings, etchings, mixed media, assemblage, and collage work. Berke's illustration work is figurative, narrative, and increasingly conceptual, intended to evoke the experiential memory of the reader (whether from the experience of reality, dreams, or the imagination). Berke create illustrations for clients such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Paris Review, Simon & Schuster, and Rémy Martin, and has been publishing art books and zines under the name Captain Sears Press since 2012.
The Storyteller’s Series at the School of Visual Arts invites visual storytellers from all walks of life, careers and media to share their work, professional practice, personal development and creative approach to Visual Narrative. This series is open to the public and SVA students.
Presented by the MFA Visual Narrative program and the School of Visual Arts Library.
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