We had the good fortune of connecting with Morgan Lugo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Morgan, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
The most important lesson I have learned along my journey as an artist/entrepreneur is the value and necessity of resilience. It has been absolutely necessary for me to understand how to keep moving forward when things do not go your way in art/life. That could be projects falling through, proposal rejections, art work breaking, or any other outside factor that inhibits your specific vision of success at that moment. The truth is: sometimes opportunities are just not meant for you, sometimes rejections to projects have nothing to do with you, sometimes events or opportunities get cancelled, and maybe (on very specific occasion) on the way to a show install you get into a car accident and all of your brand new work art gets damaged. Either way you spin it, if you are doing what is in your heart you will find a way to get back up and learn from the mistakes. My advice is to try to take it all on the chin and never take things too personally. For your own sake, please stand tall in your failures and stay humble in your successes.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a metal sculptor who works predominately in cast metal. For my day job I make national monuments for the US and Caribbean at Inferno Art Foundry. We make anything from small gallery work to 20 ft bronze monuments. It is a very exciting job but also very physically taxing. I also own a small metal fabrication/sculpture business for commission works. As well as, I am a full time gallery artist showing nationally and internationally. I am very busy all the time, but I think thats how I get my best work done. I am definitely someone who needs to have a lot going on or I will get lost in my head.
In general, I think there are a lot of things that set me apart from other artists. Some examples being: having the skill set to build monumental works of art, the materials I use, being a professional female metal worker, having a mastery of an ancient skill set, and having the ability to build a stable life around creating my art. I think what sets me apart from other artists in my discipline is the complexity of the process that I use. It usually takes me about 3-9 months to bring a sculpture from clay into metal. The process is intensive and requires a lot of specialized knowledge. I have been known to invent my own techniques to create new effects and ways to move metal around a mold. What makes me excited about casting metal is that I have full control of my pieces as they enter each new step of the process. And of course, I like fire.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
So if I had someone in town for the night: – We start off the evening with a little stroll through my neighborhood, East Atlanta Village. – Make our way to Gaja for a nice meal and some fresh cocktails – Followed by a little bit of bar hopping around the village. (The Earl, Flatiron, and Mary’s) – After East Atlanta we would move to the Claremont Lounge to dance to some oldies – Then we would head over to MJQ to finish out the night strong and then head home – In the morning, we walk over to Midway and have a nice bunch on the patio
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to shout out my mentor George Beasley! Thank you for helping me find my way in the metal sculpting world. Shout out to George for continually being patient with me as I stumbled my way into learning new techniques and processes within sculpture/metal casting. George has always brought me on as part of the team and never made me feel like I am less important than other more decorated artists.
I really have way too many people in my art career that have been so gracious to me over the years. I am unbelievably lucky and grateful to everyone who has helped me find my footing in this crazy art world. But today, I will keep it simple and just give George a shout out because I have yet to do so in an interview.
Image Credit: Sarah Stover