Once, when I was about four, there was a thunderstorm with huge bolts of lightning and growling thunder. My dad came to check on me, and he found me with my hands pressed against the windowpane, eyes watching the storm.
“Do you see that?” I asked. “I did that.”
Black to Gold – 2014, mixed media on bristol board.
I’m no longer as certain that I can command storms from the heavens, but I have retained my appreciation of darkness and chaos. I am fascinated by nature and have a fierce love for all things that go bump in the night (so I’m quite fond of cats!). The dual influences of biology and horror manifest themselves in all of my work – I studied biology in college, and I enjoy combining scientific concepts with occult imagery.
Trained in several classic illustration and painting techniques at the Southwest Michigan Visual Arts Academy at an early age, I have continued to refine my style through practice and travel. Most notably, I spent seven months in Ecuador with a primary focus on biology and ecology, while also studying figure drawing at the Universidad de San Francisco De Quito. While in Quito, I was drawn to the metal subculture, which continues to be a strong presence in my art and life.
A Deluge of Plague & Stardust – 2013, mixed media on bristol board
Another major influence artistically is the old school tattoo aesthetic – I love the permanence and history that comes with tattoos, the time and pain that goes into the process. I have several tattoos of my own, and each piece teaches me more about patience, confidence, and commitment.
Is it possible to be vivacious and morbid simultaneously? The most truthful thing ever said about me was “Lenya gets a lot out of life – and the most out of death.”
The majority of my work is part of a series I’ve titled Lux Edo, which translated from Latin means either “eat the light” or “I who am the light consume,” depending on the translator’s fussiness. A graduate of Kalamazoo College, the school motto is Lux Esto, “be the light,” and my contrarian nature couldn’t help but subvert the motto to my own sinister purposes. I believe in the voracious consumption of truth and knowledge – to me, “eat the light” means to devour what illuminates your mind, passionately.
Pythoness – 2013, mixed media on bristol board