RAWsome Life with Lola LaVacious


Not Easily Kissed Boudoir & Portraits by Crissie

In June 2015, I joined the ranks of burgeoning local artists as we collected in the lush cavernous space of The Egyptian Room and take notes on call times, space set up, lighting and anything else we might need to know to have a successful showing at RAW: Natural Born Artists showcase July 30th.  I’m familiar with the flow and the signing of contracts and direction of the meet and greet…this is my 4th year hearing all of it but it was the first time as a solo designer which is exciting and a bit nerve wracking in a good way.

I’ll get the basics out of the way to explain how I got here by answering a few questions.  What is RAW:Natural Born Artists?  RAW is a collective group of artists working with and for artists to get their names out to the masses, offer support and networking opportunities and connecting communities.  That’s the short version…for me its so so much more.  When RAW first made its debut in Indianapolis I had the opportunity to perform with Angel Burlesque as a performance artist group and was absolutely bowled over at the diverse talent in all artistic genres…music, film, fashion, visual, makeup and more…all brought together under one roof!  Needless to say, I was hooked.  Indy has a plethora of talent and it can be a full time job just trying to keep up with whats new around town and here it all was…one nite and so many flavors of art to take in. After the show I emailed the director and signed up to help out at the next one anticipating what kind of artists wld be showcasing at the next show.

Photo: Michelle Spitz

For the next two years I showed up helping out in whatever form or fashion the showcase needed.  Some nights it was helping take tickets at the door, dressing models in paper dresses, wrangling models, modeling zombie makeup, pulling up gaff tape, stage managing bands or runway shows…literally anything that needed to be done to help put together a successful show.   During that time I met our community who works late into the night between full time jobs, medical issues, raising families yet still working on their craft.  They work not to perfect it, or to impress but because there is no other recourse BUT to create and give birth to new ideas and magnify old ideas and form it in their own voice.  I witnessed the blossoming of character and drive, saw friendships and powerful ideas collide creating even more beauty and other avenues for artists to create.
Saying I became inspired would be a rash understatement…it put a fire IN my soul and that part of me that has a voice to create.  No longer would staying in a pigeon hole of creativeness be an excuse to not share, to not develop, to not refine.
August 2013 I was asked if I would be interested in auditioning for the role of emcee/host for RAW starting the following season. The idea had never occurred to me before but it looked fun and my Toastmasters training would come in handy.  I created an insane performance art piece for the big night that would be filmed and sent to Los Angeles headquarters for the role of emcee. Totally nailed the evening and having the encouragement from this newfound community was so touching and meaningful regardless of the outcome.

Photography By Sarah Boutwell

Fast forward to June 2015…a year and a half of hosting in the books and I still haven’t stopped loving my job or being inspired.  Being a part of the artistic community is incredible. These artists I’ve come to know over the years are doing some pretty wonderful things for our community.  Frankfort, Indiana has a really great hip art gallery, Studio One run by Wendi Hall has rotating fun themes on a monthly basis bringing a venue of creativity to an area where something like that didn’t exist. Just very recently some of the great local artists have created an amazing youth outreach program inspiring the next generation of artists aptly named “Re-Generation Indy” and local band Bizarre Noir swept up 4 awards for Nuvo’s Best of Indy this year! The list goes on and on with the merging of talents in our city making a big difference and laying down the foundation of how important art is in our everyday lives.  I can only count my blessings to have the outlet for my creative endeavors and look forward to meeting and growing the circle of folks that I’m honored to call friends and family.

Learn More about RAW Here!
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