What does it mean to be a DIY artist in 2016? To answer that question, we invited Laura Kidd – the artist behind solo gloom pop and visual arts project, She Makes War – to BIMM Manchester, ahead of her appearance at The Deaf Institute.
Hosting the highly-anticipated Masterclass with Laura was Damian Morgan quizzed her on a broad range of subjects including her passion for visual arts and finding success as a DIY artist.
Addressing our audience of students, Laura spoke about her ideals for success and being self-sufficient:
“My measure of success is being able to support myself with my art, travel and meet new people, and make and perform my music – and that is exactly what I do.”
It was interesting to get Laura’s take on ‘growing organically’ as an artist and playing the role of her own personal agent by booking support slots and hand out business cards. She stressed the importance of creating a mailing list to establish a personal connection with your fans:
“That way you way you can get people’s attention, on a personal level, and keep them up-to-date with that you have going on,” she revealed.
Laura – who has previously toured with the likes of Suede, Gruff Rhys, Tricky and Viv Albertine – also praised the creative control that comes with being a solo artist.
“Being a solo artist means you have a great freedom to move around and touring is easy, I love it. The only down side is you don’t get to share the costs,” she said.
Following the Q&A, Laura opened up about the aesthetics of her art and even shared an exclusive link to her latest video Stargazing, which appears on her 2016 album Direction of Travel. Her ability to combine her talents multi-instrumentalist and a visual artist is both inspiring and a true reflection of her work. She is a DIY artist in every sense of the word, from producing her videos to booking her own tours.
The Masterclass concluded with an enchanting live version of her 2015 track, Slow Puncture. We caught up with two BIMM students after the session to get their thoughts on the Masterclass:
“Laura has a great story of perseverance – it was really motivational; you don’t have to be Beyoncé to be successful, you can be what you want,” revealed Claudia Martinez, BA1 Vox.
Echoing her comments was Olly Flavell BA2 Songwriting:
“It’s great to hear from someone who is out there doing what I want to do – it has shown me that it is possible and given me some great ideas to get moving.”
We’d like to thank Laura for taking the time to visit BIMM and wish her the best of luck with the rest of her tour.