For many people, the dream of being a full-time working artist is just a dream. But Chicagoan Laura Berger is living the dream. Berger, an accomplished painter and Squarespace user, is a rising star in the art world with recent solo shows at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco and Amsterdam’s Andenken Gallery. Berger’s instantly recognizable color palette and distinctive yet anonymous characters come together to form striking scenes that blur the line between representation and abstraction. “The figures in my work are meant to represent everyone, and myself, with external identifiers of race and age removed,” Berger explains to Colossal. “Sort of a drilling down to the more pure level of what makes us human and a representation on that soul level of where we’re all the same and equal.”
While she has honed her style and grown her presence as a fine artist over the last several years, Berger has also seamlessly incorporated different creative partnerships and products like greeting cards, calendars, and even bespoke wallpaper. “I’m so happy I found Squarespace. My website has been absolutely integral in building my career, and it was so fulfilling and empowering to be able to set it up completely by myself and get my own ball rolling,” Berger shares. “Being able to manage my own visual portfolio that I can update easily in minutes as well as a web shop and an integrated mailing list has been the cornerstone being able to support myself and grow as a full-time artist.”
“For me, working with clients on design projects is often a great way to shift my mental landscape a little from the very internally focused way that I think creatively when I’m doing work for a gallery show, and that can then spark new inspiration, thoughts, and techniques to implement when I go back to painting for exhibitions.” A far cry from Berger’s audition-centric past in the performing arts, she shares with Colossal that most of these projects have arisen organically. Thanks to her strong online presence with a professional-grade Squarespace website and impressive Instagram, partners reach out to her, contributing both to the diversity of Berger’s style of working and to her ability to support herself as an artist.
As Berger looks toward the future of her multi-faceted creative career, she sees opportunity in the ways we are globally connected. “Being able have our work discovered organically by other creative professionals, collectors, and curators from across the world is such an enormous gift. I only see that as something that will continue to increase and for me it feels both exciting and soothing—that we can overcome other barriers and connect with and inspire each other through visual language in this way.”