Rethinking Waste with Abstract Artwork from Recycled Materials

Laura Mychal is an artist and art educator living in nearby Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She creates out of her natural abundant energy watching as the process affects her work. Sometimes it is completed quickly, in fluid movements of gestures and other times she engages in a deep conversation with the piece, adding layers of paint or pieces of recycled materials, scraping, cutting or sanding the surface until the work feels complete. Little discoveries occur and so the process is key to her work.

She is forever influenced by the environment, both natural and human made. Her organic marks reflect this, as does her use of recycled and found materials. Resourcefulness is an important concept of the work. Laura believes that by utilizing what one has a greater sense of understanding can occur.

What are five hashtags that describe your work?

#abstract #organic #recycled #colorful #intuitive

What is your artist origin story?

I have always been an artist. I inherited the natural inclination for art as a child with two artistic parents. I remember always getting art supplies for birthdays and holidays and loving it. Once when I was in elementary school I nearly won a drawing competition, but lost because my work didn’t look like a child did it according to the teachers. I always excelled at art and was supported in pursuing my passion by my awesome mom and dad. I grew up north of San Francisco and was always playing out in the woods or at the beach. Nature is deeply rooted inside me and appears in all aspects of my abstract work. I took classes at the SF Academy of Art, obtained a BA in Studio Arts from Mills College in Oakland, CA (2010), and an MA from the University of Arizona in Art Education (2015). I took a few years to do the Peace Corps in Peru and made environmental murals and recycled art projects with my community. I just moved to Brooklyn to pursue my dreams and passions of being a full-time artist!

What is your favorite medium right now and why do you love it?

I am lucky to have a large open space to work in with a lot of windows. If I catch it at the right time of day I have the perfect amount of sunlight streaming in while I work.

What is on the horizon for your work in the next year?

I’ve started to incorporate portraits into some of my work, being inspired by the beautiful and diverse community that exists here in NYC. I am also pushing my textural paintings so that they are more sculptural and use found materials in new and challenging ways.

How has being in Bushwick influenced your work?

The materials I come across and the people I see in Brooklyn are making their way into my work. The energy of this city definitely is affecting the marks I make and the colors I choose. Interestingly I think it’s pushing me further into my reverence for nature because of the lack of it around me. I am inspired everyday here.

If a movie is made about your life, who would play you?

Emma Watson I think.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?

My mom, cause she’s the best.

In a parallel universe, if you weren’t doing what you are doing, what would you be doing?

I would be a National Geographic photographer and journalist, traveling around the world meeting people and having epic experiences.

Was there something you want to share that was not asked?

Come see me on Instagram @LauraMychal

You can learn more about Laura Mychal here.


As part of the Arts in Bushwick activities and events, like Community Day and Bushwick Open Studios, we are showcasing the many artists participating.

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