Lauren Tepfer is an 18-year-old Photographer and Director living and working in New York City, where she attends Parsons School of Design. Her haunting images of suburbia at dusk perfectly encapsulate the dreamy essence of teenage life.
Lauren is the youngest artist to ever be featured in Papirmass. We are blown away by such a unique vision by someone so early in their practice. What is most remarkable is how well developed her creative voice is. From photography to directing music videos, Lauren’s signature style of dreamy teenage suburbia is consistent and strong, truly capturing the perspective of a generation that frolics at dusk.
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Tell us about these photographs (not pictured).
These four images were taken at different times in my life.
‘Moon’ was shot in 2014 on one of the first cameras I owned. I’ve always been really inspired by the moon and the sky and this photo was one of the first times I explored this inspiration.
‘Gradient’ was shot on 35mm film, on a street that is just around the corner from my house. I love the way the colors came out through the developing process. It feels so raw.
‘Wildwood’ is a digital photograph of my brother running on the beach. It was early spring and the shore was really foggy that day. I love the vastness of the photograph.
‘Collingswood’ is a digital photograph taken in 2016. My mom and I had been driving around and I spotted this beautiful scene. We drove by it and I asked her to go back so I could shoot the photo. I knew if I hadn’t asked to go back, I would’ve regretted it.
How do you get into the creative zone?
My creative process involves a lot of consumption and observation. I love to listen to music, watch films and study other artist’s work for inspiration. Music plays a really big part when I’m shooting and working on my images.
What have you learned about yourself through being an artist?
Being an artist has allowed me to be more compassionate and honest with my feelings and ideas. Throughout my transformation into being an artist, I have discovered a deeper sense of understanding.
Where is your studio?
My workspace is the world! I’m always shooting in different locations. I love the movement and spontaneity. As of right now, I don’t have a designated studio space.
How has your practice changed over time?
In the beginning, I wasn’t really shooting or working for myself. I was creating things that I thought would be received well. I wasn’t creating honest work, which was frustrating and felt wrong. Overtime, I’ve dedicated myself to authenticity and shooting based on how I feel. I share what’s important to me, what feels right, and less of what others will expect of me or my work.
What is the best life advice you’ve heard?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was from my friend Tavi. She told me that it’s important “to protect my flame”. I’ve carried this idea for a long time and it means a lot. It reminds me how important it is to be honest and authentic with myself.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
The best part about being an artist is being sensitive. I love being able to share my vulnerability with the world in beautiful ways. Artists are so compassionate and have the most interesting perspectives.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
My advice for aspiring artists is to create, create, create! All of the time. Even when it’s hard or you’re uninspired. Create for self expression. Be honest and authentic in the work that you do. It will feel the most rewarding.
What do you think it takes to make original and visionary work today?
I believe that visionary work is developed by artists who practice authenticity and work really hard at what they make. Visionary artists are those who aren’t afraid to express themselves in whatever ways feel most comfortable.
Lauren Tepfer is our March 2018 artist.
See more at www.laurentepfer.com