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Art & Life with Lily Cozzens

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lily Cozzens.

Lily, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve been an artist since I could hold a crayon, although I haven’t always thought that way. I was lucky enough to grow up with parents who supported my artistic side, but for a long time that backfired. As a teenager I was very cynical of art and was seriously considering pursuing another subject in college, but by the time I graduated high school I was burnt out on academics and decided that art was, and really had always been, the only real option for me.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I primarily do a whole lot of drawing! My favorite and most used medium is ballpoint pen – it lends itself to my style well, in addition to being inexpensive and easily portable. I make large and small scale drawings, as well as printmaking. I design and screen-print gig posters for touring and local bands.

In terms of my more “fine art” practice, I pursue realism as a valid practice. Realism gets a bad name, especially in modern and contemporary art, as being dull and antiquated. However, I feel that being able to accurately and realistically capture something – a person, an object, a moment – lends itself to a permanence beyond what is being captured. A realistically drawn image has an air of magic that something like a camera, which is often touted as the ultimate tool of realism, could never quite live up to.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
The best advice I can think of is learning to really incorporate small and meaningful changes into your life and practice – Get places on time. Make eye contact with people. Learn to give and receive meaningful feedback. Try to avoid burning bridges whenever you can help it. Keep experimenting until you find something that really works for you, and then get as good as possible at that thing. Pursue things that you think are beyond you, but also don’t be afraid to take time to revive yourself.

In terms of what I wish I had learned earlier, I can think of one main thing – cynicism is a complete and utter waste of time and energy. Being overly critical of anything and everything, and believing that being negative is a personality trait, gets you absolutely nowhere. People don’t respond well to it long-term. You might get a laugh with a self-deprecating joke, but if you aren’t willing to take pride in your own work, you can’t expect other people to.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I’ve been in a few exhibitions in galleries around the city as well as smaller DIY spaces, but the easiest way to view my work is on my website or social media. People can currently purchase my work or commission me through my website. Some of my work is available for purchase at ShopColumbia (619 S Wabash) as well.

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