Interview with Lauren Raye Snow

Lauren Raye Snow with a display of her art (Photo by Dianita Cerón)

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? Where can we find you on social media?

I grew up and still live in San Antonio, TX.

You can find me posting art and art-related things on Instagram as @laurenrayesnow, and you can find me ranting about politics, social change, immigration, and the rise of authoritarianism (with the occasional art-thing) on Twitter as @laurenrayesnow.

What kind of creative work do you do?

I am a visual artist, and I’m also a social activist. I’m forever working on ways to bring those two things together.

Had you ever been to a Worldcon before?

No! This was my first Worldcon, and hopefully the first of many.

What did you expect being part of the Initiative would be like? How did your experience compare with that expectation?

I had no expectations whatsoever, simply because I didn’t know what to expect! I hoped that I would hit it off with the other Mexicanx Recipients, and I definitely got that in spades - I left feeling like I had stepped into a new community of culture co-creators.

Tell us about one highlight moment of your WorldCon experience.

It’s hard for me to isolate one moment. I probably had two favorite experiences.

One, my time co-boothing with other artists and writers at the Mexicanx Table in the Dealer’s Room was singularly special. It was the perfect way to get to know a handful of my new siblings; hustling together was both rewarding and fun. I’ve been a part of selling experiences before, where it can feel cutthroat and competitive, but honestly, there was nothing like that going on at the Mexicanx Table. We were all helping each other sell, and when it was slow, we were admiring each other’s work and comparing notes. I had such a great time - I could truly do that every day and be happy.

My second highlight was this: John’s advocacy of The Mexicanx Initiative being recognized by George R. R. Martin at the Hugo Losers Party. It was John’s Alfie, deservedly. George’s recognition of the Mexicanx Initiative felt like a much needed reminder that, in these poisonous times, the culture at large is STILL shifting toward progress, toward greater inclusion; that by showing up and sharing our unique voices, we become co-creators of a better world in which we can live, and thrive.

That’s what still echoes for me, when my work feels hard.

Recommend any or all of the following: a song, a written work, a piece of visual art, and a movie. Tell us why you love them!

This is a great question. I access the visuals that present themselves in my art primarily through music and poetry - the written word serves kind of like a plumb-line for me to give shape to ephemeral, uncomfortable tensions I experience. So, songs, poetry, and often my own journaling helps me to see the stuff I end up painting.

I recommend two songs:

Lacy Rose - "Hope I, Mvt II"

Lacy Rose’s music is truly otherworldly. I will do my best to describe it:

If you ever wondered what bereft vampires listen to as they idle away the millennia in a ramshackle but sumptuous tower, it’s definitely Lacy’s music. Her music is the music of vengeful ghosts and undead saints. It’s Shakespeare’s dead heroines and biblical murderers. She's channeling something from The Beyond.

This song of hers was the direct inspiration for my work, “Crown of Elfenbone” — the title is taken from the last stanza of the song.

Emma Ruth Rundle - "Heaven"

I found Emma Ruth Rundle after running through Chelsea Wolfe’s entire discography and still needing something dark and beautiful to listen to (just - listen to Chelsea Wolfe, that could be an entire article). Emma Ruth’s music is both introspective and explosive, and at all times transcendent. Her song Heaven is a great example of these qualities.

Where should new people start familiarizing themselves with your work?

Instagram is the place I post progress shots and muse about doing the work, so come hang out with me there! I also keep my website up to date - you can find me at RayeDraws.com.

Pablo Defendini