We had the good fortune of connecting with LOLO Mangual-Lenke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi LOLO, how do you think about risk?
The biggest risk for me, was taking a chance on myself and sticking to my journey no matter what. I have had my fair share of frustrations, fears of not getting to the level of success I could see myself at and I’ve wanted to quit many times, but inside, I was holding on. Some days felt like I wasting my time, but deep down, I knew I wasn’t. I just learned the art of enjoying the process, developing patience and loving myself and that took time for me. It wasn’t easy, but inside I was hopeful and believing that the light would manifest at any time. I held on for it and here I am. My thought was, I had enough skills to keep me going, so why not take that risk and keep developing myself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Simply put, I paint my feelings. It’s my visual poetry. I paint intuitively and I like seeing where that goes. Like music and dancing, painting is a journey into myself, my thoughts, my feelings. Where words fail me, painting doesn’t and I am not shy to show it. I love the use of color and light. I draw great inspiration from landscapes to people. I don’t want to limit myself to a style. I witness a lot of repetitive work. That’s just not me. I like to mix it up and try new things. Painting is my journey and my journey is full of flavor and my work is about that. I have a lot of fun when I paint. I paint to music and energetically see that in all of my work. Things I have been experimenting with lately and digging, is mixed media. It’s so freeing and cool to do. I look forward to doing more and sharing more very soon. Challenges I have had to personally overcome, was getting out of my own head about my work and to stop having expectations. I have learned that expectations are the root of all disappointment. I had to let go and when I did, I became happier and thrived even more. Lesson I learned and would like to share is keep doing what you love because you love it and the rest will follow.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For the past 5 years, RENU Wellness with LOLO began at the world famous Metropolitan at the 9 in Cleveland. It’s a luxury living place with a hotel, rooftop lounge bar, a restaurant, entertainment and a place you can see art including mine. It’s in the center of downtown Cleveland. There will be a couple of days to just hang out in downtown Cleveland, We got the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the other end of the same street that The 9 is located. The Cleveland Museum of Art is not to be missed as it is one of the best art museums in this country. We can grab dinner at Little Italy after. Then, we can take a couple of days to visit the Akron and Canton areas. The historic Art District is my favorite area of Akron and Gervasi Vineyard in Canton is absolutely beautiful and we can spend a day there wine and bourbon tasting and eating at their stellar restaurants and site seeing their beautiful property all the while catching an evening of me DJIng there at their distillery, The Still House. There’s a lot in these cities to explore. I can keep my best friend busy for days here.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have always said, in order to understand where your life is going, just follow the dots in where you’ve been and it will become clearer. So here are mine and the people I have to credit for my becoming. Frida Kahlo awakened me in 2002 to get back into art. I credit her surreal expressionism which made me want to boldly express mine on canvas. Around the same time, I met Prince at show in Pittsburgh. I danced his after party and he told me to keep dancing and never stop. Baltimore, Club 1722 and my friends who introduced me to the Underground dance music scene and Winter Music Conference in Miami, Florida. Those years led me into building the LOLO KNOWS Radio Show, Friday Night Mix and led me into DJing my own shows. This light went on and I have just been following it since. My mother, Carmen, told me at the age of 28 to be an Artist because she believed in my art more than I did at the time. I am so glad I listened to her. I have had multiple group and solo exhibitions. One of my paintings called, I Paint My Feelings, was featured in an exhibition at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan and was sold to a woman that is one of my art patrons to this day in Detroit. I am so glad my Mother got to witness my first solo show in April 2016 before she passed away October 25, 2016. That same day, I had to drive my painting to Detroit to be installed at that museum. My son and nephew made that trip with me. I will never forget that day as long as I live. I felt her spirit with us. It was so strong she kept us focussed on getting me there even though she died just hours before we drove and were up all night. Thank you Mommy. Lastly, my husband, Michael and my sons, Dominique, Jordan and Justice. They are my backbone, strength, confidants and loyal companions. Their love makes me believe in who I am and vice versa.
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Eartha L. Goodwin Black and white portrait of myself. Josh Land-Dj Photo Ricky Spanish- Me dancing in the crowd with my phone.