Laura Morin was drawn to illustration by her love of stories. But as a budding artist she was faced with an all too familiar story: where could she exhibit her work? Unhappy with the ending, she has decided to re-write the narrative.
Upon graduating from Montserrat College of Art, Morin looked around for places to showcase her work. She found that many galleries were full and often used the same established artists. She tried magazines, but they weren’t paying top dollar for illustrations. She had a website, but to host a site also costs money and so she had to give it up — she now has a free blog.
Other artists might have been discouraged by these obstacles, but Morin has persevered.
She recently contacted the George H. and Ella M. Rodgers Memorial Library in her hometown of Hudson. The library was looking for an art exhibit to accompany its children’s summer reading program, which was themed
“Stories from Around the World.”
There couldn’t have been a better theme for Morin, whose love of stories was one of the reasons she began illustrating in the first place.
“I love the idea of the story,” Morin said. “I like to be able to take the written or spoken word and come up with pictures. This allows people to come into my world but also the chance to make it their own.”
The library gave Morin several stories they wanted her to illustrate and she found others online. One example of a story was “Little Red Riding Hood,” or “Little Red Cap,” as it was once known. Morin said the original version of this well-known fairy tale is quite graphic. She toned down the illustrations to make it approachable for all ages. While some artists use old works for an exhibit, Morin created many new pieces for the show at the library.
Working with stories is what Morin prefers; however, she does go out of her comfort zone and often makes up her own stories, using illustrations. She does not typically add words.
She said she was inspired by the works of Monet and Mary Blair, an artist most known for her work with Walt Disney. Morin’s illustrations tend to be more impressionist and she works in acrylics and pastels. She said anyone coming to the library for the exhibit will see large paintings full of color and emotion. Evoking emotion is her goal.
While some would like to separate different art forms, like music, art and literature, Morin said these are elements of the same family that are naturally linked by the story. She said when someone is reading a book, they can’t help visualizing what is happening, and when they listen to music, even if it has no words, they come up with a story to fill in around it.
Now that she has found a place to show off her work, Morin wants the world to know. She has sent invitations for the exhibit to her local selectmen and Governor Lynch. At the exhibit, her work will be for sale with 40 percent of the proceeds going directly to the library.