Paige Smith
He She It | 9.22.16

Paige Smith is an Artist, the label she's been given would be “Street Artist”, her art literally happens in the streets.

She builds Geodes , installations made out of materials like paper for example, that look like cristals or minerals.

She places those Geodes into nooks and crannies outside.

Most of her stuff you will find in LA, but also in far away  places like  Bali, Dubai and Istanbul .

Oh, she also designs rad leather goods for her label VereVerto. BAMM. This cool artist is not messing around.

FC: How did you sleep last night?

Paige: I always sleep so-so. Not great, not horrible. It’s my constant. I think my mind can’t stop.

FC: When do you go to bed and when do you get up?

Paige: When I’m not working, I go to bed around 11, and I wake up around 8:30. I sleep a lot.

FC: In your words, what are (your) Geodes?

Paige: My Geodes are three-dimensional sculptural installations. They look like geodes: minerals, crystals, that are tucked away- usually they can be found in ugly rocks and I put them in the sides of buildings crumbled away. Sight specific places where they are growing out of walls.

FC: How do you stake out- how spontaneous are the places where you put them

Paige: They are pretty spontaneous. I am just living my life and I see something and think, that would be amazing, and then I return.

FC: Once you put the Geodes into cracks and crannies of buildings, what do you base your choice of material on?

Paige: Usually the location dictates so if it’s outside and very exposed I’ll choose resin because it will last longer. I used to always do paper, but it would melt away with rain, which it looked really beautiful, but my hands got tired.

FC: Do you check on them?

Paige: I don’t purposely check on them, I don’t take them or move them. If I happen to walk by it later, sometimes I say, oh, that’s gone. Or it’s half way gone, or just see what’s happening with it, which I think it’s really cool. I like their lifespan.

FC: Out of the many installations that you have done, which installation is your favorite?

Paige: My favorite installation would actually be the very first one I did for the Standard hotel in Hollywood. The piece that I did was so insane. It was made out of thousands and thousands of pieces of paper and some acrylic spray paint. I set my bar really high. I really wanted it to be impressive. It still remains something where I can’t believe I did that. I put a lot of work into it. 

FC: Does the Standard still have it?

Paige: I actually have it. I took it apart. A lot of the little panels were framed and sold. But I have a 5 foot by 8 foot piece framed.

Outdoors, there are too many that I liked. But there is one I did in Downtown LA. That was like a big crack, it was copper.

FC: When I first came across you as an artist, you were on one of those 20 young modern artists to know list. Your work is fascinating. Actually, for some reason, It also looked like your work was done by a male artist

Paige: So many people assume that it’s a male street artist. And that’s okay. I mean, it’s kind of cool.  I don’t want people to know it’s a man or a woman. I just want it to be a quality artist on the street.

FC: When I see your art, I feel like it’s done by a person that has to create art rather than wants to create art.

Paige: That’s true! There is no stopping me.

FC: When and where are you most creative?

Paige: I don’t think I can answer when or where. I am not a creature of habit. I read a lot. Every day. I guess I am reading throughout the day. I read books, but also, if I have an idea or see something on a blog, I’ll start researching. If I find crystals interesting, then I’ll look up crystals and read about that so, maybe “where” I am most creative is my iphone.

FC: Why is art important?

Paige: I think art is incredibly important. For so many people it’s a creative outlet. But I also think it’s a way to engage others in your world, the community’s world. I think especially for street art, it can do some many things. It can bring people to the neighborhood, to uplift the neighborhood. I think it can be healing, I think it can be uplifting, it can make you happy, it can make you sad, I think we just need it as a human emotion,

FC: Do you sometimes doubt your process? What do you do if there is a time where things are not flowing?

Paige: I am a huge doubter, I am really hard on myself. I have high standards. If something isn’t working, I just take a step back. I try to write a lot, actually. I just try write my thoughts, and hopefully try to figure out a new direction to go. If something is really not working, I’ll just work on something else.

If an installation isn’t working, I don’t keep trying over and over, I just have to  sit and think about how to solve the problem.  I am definitely a problem solver- that’s where my design background comes from. I always have a lot of ideas for how I can solve it. I’ll have like 5 ways to solve a problem, and so I just have to figure out which way would work best.

FC: Do you have reoccurring dreams? If so, of what?

Paige: I don’t have reoccurring dreams, but I do tend to have anxious dreams, that are really fantastical too. Like, I’ll be doing a project over and over and over, and then a monster appears, or whatever. I have some pretty wild dreams.

FC: Please define home

Paige: For me, Home is where I go to rest. The nest I created. It includes animals and people. Something I can go back to and find my full rest.

FC: What has surprised you recently?

Paige: Nature is constantly surprising me. Recently I was looking at some beautiful photographs of animals that National Geographic just released. And they have the looks of some of the animals that I didn’t even know existed

FC: Define Beauty

Paige: Beauty to me is very personal. I think it’s so complex and I think that for me beauty is something that makes you happy makes you smile makes your heart warm. I always find it in the unexpected I think- like coincidence- I think that’s like the most gorgeous thing to have happen. Like, slice of life, for me, that’s beautiful.

FC: What is the most magical place for you?

Paige: Barcelona. It is one of the first places I have ever traveled to, and I was so blown away- every time I turned a corner there was a crazy Roman wall, overgrown with trees and kids playing guitar. It’s just amazing.

FC: What is your most interesting attribute?

Paige: I guess my need to create. My many projects, my many ideas, my constant exploration.

FC: Do you surprise yourself with that?

Paige: Yes. All the time. I step out of myself and I say, I can’t believe I just did that. I actually did it. Because I am so hard on myself it’s a comforting feeling to know that I’m not failing, and I can keep going no matter what. And that should make me happy.

FC: When you finish something, do you move on? Or do you look back

Paige: I move on. I used to look back constantly, and now, I would rather move forward always. I don’t want to linger on things that could have been. I want to learn from it and grow.

FC: What is more important- the past or the future?

Paige: I am a little nostalgic. I can get attached to things. If you asked me 5 years ago, I would have said the past. But now, I say the future. I get excited for having knowledge and wisdom and using it. I know that comes from the past but It’s more of the action. I think I am more action based now.

FC: You have really accomplished a lot of things for being in your 30’s, does that separate you in any ways from your peers?

Paige: I think once I had a taste of it, I couldn’t stop. It had to be done. It can separate you at times. It’s interesting, just the very fact that I chose a Freelance lifestyle, and I took my career in my hands. I’m not going to someone to work 9-5 and rise through the ranks slowly I just think, well, I’m going to do this thing because I have control and I can do it. It’s empowering. So many people say to me, you’re so busy, you have all these businesses, how do you do it? And I’m just like, I just do it. I don’t have another answer for you besides just fucking doing it. There is no answer. If you want it go do it. Just make it happen. There is no wrong or right time. Nobody is going to wait for you. Nobody is going to give you permission.

FC: What is the main thing that holds people back? Do they not want it?

Paige: Sometimes I think that could be the truth.

FC: Should they want to?

Paige: No! It would be a problem with society if everyone was creating. Have you ever read The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy? It’s a philosophy book. There was a joke about these ships being sent off to save this world so the community could live, and they separated the ships according to where their place in society was. All of the creatives were on this one ship, and unfortunately that was the only ship that survived, there were then no doctors, no people that were into public service. It was just a bunch of useless adults there. I loved that vision. I think we need us in society, it’s a joke- it’s a writer writing that but it’s also kind of funny. I don’t think we could all be that. We need to be ourselves. What is true to us.

FC: When you were a child, what was your favorite costume?

Paige: I am obsessed with animals. I have this really great rabbit costume. I like to have bigger ears.

FC: How important is perfection?

Paige: To me, it’s very important. It’s hilarious, but every idea I’ve come up with is some kind of multiplication thing, but it’s also something that requires to be done well, over and over. But I don’t think it’s important for everyone.

FC: Should it be more important for everyone?

Paige: I think there is also great beauty in mistakes. It’s hard for me to be okay with imperfection. But I’d like to be.

FC: What matters most, the perfection in executing the process or the result?

Paige: I think you have to make your own rules. Someone can find flaws your your perfection at any time.

FC: What is your favorite texture?

Paige: I am very tactile. I have to touch everything. I love water. I love being in water. I am a total water-baby.

FC. What is the value of spaces?

Paige: I think there is tremendous value in space and how we communicate with it and live in it. I am always thinking about space, I do a lot of site specific designs. If I am designing a space, I’m thinking this person is going to walk in and what do they do? Where will their eye lead them and where will they walk.

FC: Do you want to manipulate that?

Paige: I want to enhance… If I am able to do that.

FC: For the space or for you?

Paige: I think for the space. I always say my work is site specific. But someone once told me my pieces are site sensitive because the site dictates how I work. That’s actually 100 percent true. It’s all about the space for me, and I’m dreaming about how it will move and grow and react and change.

FC: Do people change?

Paige: I like to believe yes, because I think I’ve changed. But it was through great self will. I had to want to.

FC: Do you think that we could go to sleep and wake up different?

Paige: Potentially yes. You could have dreams that change your life. I have been inspired by my dreams. I am very internal. I solve problems by thinking and thinking Even on a small base level, you could be happier than you were the day before. Sometimes you wake up, and you’re like, yeah, I’m good! So, yes. I think so.

FC: Thank you for the conversation.

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