The process of creating the 2017 Guidecraft catalog cover An interview with fine artist and art teacher, Heidi Lanino
"I used the toys to help the students build their vocabulary around shape and form and color"
GC: What do you think the student ultimately got out of the lesson?
HL: Well, they definitely enjoyed the process, which for me, aside from building creative, independent thinkers, is the goal of anyone in the arts. Creative process is everything!
I don’t think I taught them anything radically new, but by building the bridge from verbal and visual (reading a book, looking at artwork), to working three dimensionally, to building back into a 2 dimensional space, but with the tactile and less permanent form that is collage, I was able to help them make the connections between 2d and 3d geometry, and to help them craft their own narrative in the final collage.
GC: What inspired you to become an artist?
HL: I never thought to become an artist. I just always made things and naturally expressed myself visually. Creativity and art were always a part of my life and who I was; it was my way of expression. I grew up in Long Island, New York and was exposed to travel at a very young age. My parents are from Europe so we would visit our family often which expanded my sight and view of the world. It really was the beginning of my art and design education. My father grew up in New York City so we would visit often. We went to musical events and spent a lot of time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The journey alone to the city was full of culture, design, and architecture. The Met has been an immense influence on my aesthetic and art education. I learned what art was through these visits as a child. My most recent body of work is connected to that memory, emotional space, and response I felt from the master paintings at the Met.
GC: Where can we see more of your work?
GC: What was your favorite toy when you were their age?
HL: I had so many I loved to play with. I tried to bring a bunch of toys to the first day of kindergarten which did not go over too well. It was a shock when I realized that school was not playing all day. Building toys were my favorite, we had Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. I really enjoyed building three-dimensionally. Another favorite toy was my Fisher Price Barn. I still have it!