This mixed media assemblage is by Lazaro Iglesias who is being interviewed by Mary Ellen Merrigan

Mixed Media Assemblages Showcase Creativity

Lazaro Iglesias shows a student's mixed media assemblage to his audience for Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.

© 2017, Lazaro Iglesias with student’s mixed media assemblage

Cuban born Lazaro Iglesias believes we all have the creativity muse within us. He describes creativity as inspiration, passion and what we see all around us. 

A mixed media assemblage artist, Lazaro talks openly about the mind and the mind’s eye seeing things in a whole different way. He credits his creativity to dreams, visions, walks and inspirations from other artists as well as music and nature.

“The one important factor about creativity is that you need to find your own style and uniqueness and that stands you out from the rest.”

This mixed media assemblage is by Lazaro Iglesias who is being interviewed by Mary Ellen Merrigan

© 2017 Lazaro Iglesias

Lazaro’s dedication to art began early. He admits to coloring on books and walls and remembers at age five, an impression of an art form as his aunt in her couture boutique beading dresses by hand. 

To this day he recalls the magical moment of ‘wow!’ when, after weeks of hard work, the final piece was done. It launched a love for fashion, and Lazaro’s work after college as a visual merchandiser, visual manager, visual director and window dresser. For 35 years, Lazaro describes art as accidental.

Then, he stumbled into assemblage and found objects. Collage journals and canvases plus photography helped him get back into art.  

Determined to follow his dreams, he left St. Louis, Missouri and Neiman Marcus – a great paying job, financial security and a very good life style – for an art journey. In his words:

“That is why I love so much butterflies. They are always evolving and that is just how I feel. I’m always evolving within my art life and it would never have happened if I haven’t gone through all the scenic roads I took in life…”

How do you feel when you’re in your creative space?

“My creative space is my haven! When I come to my studio in the mornings and I open the curtains to my art studio, suddenly everything comes alive! All the objects are wanting to be part of my next piece! I start out with my cup of fresh coffee and looking around to what my next piece will be. I stand still for a moment letting it all speak to me and then comes that first vision.”

“There is a rhyme and reason to the piece even when it doesn’t make any sense. You pull it together to tell a story or emotion. You create your story by finding, metals, rocks, wires, broken things, jewelry. The sources are endless and the final result can be mesmerizing!”

As an artist are there doubts and struggles you face?

“I believe that all artists struggle. We all have that other voice that messes us up, that finds something wrong all the time with what we create. I’ve learned to shut that voice out from my mind when I work! It’s not allowed in my studio, but sometimes it just peeks in. I say, ‘get out right now!’ 

How has your art changed your perception of the world and how the world sees you?

“My art has helped me to find peace within my soul, faith to keep believing and trust in what I create. I want to say that the world sees me as an artist that brings joy into their life through my work. My art is that feel good type of art When you hang it on the wall it gives you a re-assurance there is hope in life every time you pass it by.

“I want for my art to be a healer in peoples’ lives. My art grabs you and shakes you and then leaves you in a sense of wonder because it takes your imagination into other realms. I will leave you with this amazing text from Steve Lacy, who went to my gallery opening without having ever seen my art. He wrote:

Letter from a Lazaro admirer

“Please tell Lazaro I just woke up from a long dream that involved his art.  In the dream, I was looking at his pieces in a big house by a bayou (I think) near salt water, enjoying what I thought were shrines or reflections of something from the past/future, but then I realized they were in fact windows and doors to this whole other world that is right behind ours – which was somehow more real than ours. I climbed thru one of these “windows” and was in Lazaro’s world with its shadows and vibrant colors and Caribbean power and mystery and whispers.  As I explored this world of his, the essence there whispered mysteries to me.  Then I’d climb out of that one and I’d crawl into another and it was completely different from the first, but had all the same mystical variables and power and calm of the first.  The light was different in each one.  I did this over and over until woke up – stunned.  Wow.  Now that is art!!” -Steve Lacy

Mixed media assemblage and its impact according to Lazaro

Lazaro wants to impact the world with positive feelings and yearnings. In addition, he wants the world to know that art can be used as a healing tool. 

This mixed media assemblage is by Lazaro Iglesias who talks with Mary Ellen Beads about creativity.

© 2017 Lazaro Iglesias Mixed Media Assemblage

“Art has all the energies and connections our mind needs. It opens the SOUL and cleanses the negative.”

Is Lazaro passionate about mixed media assemblage?

If you doubt that Lazaro is passionate about art anything, consider his closing words: 

“Be open to explore endless possibilities. Art heals the heart and wounds as you let yourself go through the process. I can testify to this in many levels of my life.” 

“Thank God I was able to use my art to heal when my mother was deathly ill. I started to create from pain. As a matter of fact, my new collection is called ‘Creating from Pain.’ It has been the most amazing and healing process for me. I found my work to even have more energy and soul connection. I was looking for answers to understand the ‘what if she left this world?’” 

“I kept creating, trusting and opening more and more. It brought me to understand 1.) We are all here on borrowed time; 2.)We need to enjoy life to the fullest and surround ourselves with good people that lift us up; and 3.)The only way to love others and life is by loving ourselves first; 4.) We have no control of what life sends our way – “Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional”; and 5.) In ‘Life,’ there is always a solution, so live life to the fullest!”

These participants were part of Lazaro Iglesias' Mixed Media Class at Fiber Arts Fiesta 2017, as recorded by Mary Ellen Beads, Albuquerque.

© 2017, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Participants in Mixed Media Class, Fiber Arts Fiesta 2017

Disclosure: I had the pleasure of being a part of Lazaro Iglesias’ Mixed Media class, “A Dream I Once Lived In.” We had a blast, made new friends, and added new techniques. I’d definitely do it again. Yes, that’s me, second from the left with my mouth open, living life to the fullest. And that’s my butterfly that Laz is holding in the first picture. Thanks Laz!