Grantee Highlight: Musician Lacey Guck

One of our values at The Arts Partnership is supporting local art and the artists who make it, and one of the main ways we live that value is by awarding grants to artists in our community. Last fall, we announced our 2017-2018 Individual Arts Partnership (IAP) and Jade Presents Arts Partnership (JPAP) grantees. Every month since November, we’ve been highlighting each grantee so our readers can learn more about them and their artistic process. The featured grantee for March is musician Lacey Guck!

Lacey Guck is a pianist and self-taught guitarist who has been active in the Midwest music scene since 2012. She has gained recognition for her music by  playing cover gigs at coffee shops, bars, restaurants, sidewalks and “any scene that she could liven up with her tunes,” her website says.

Lacey received a Jade Presents Arts Partnership grant to record her first full-length studio LP of original music. As a naturally philanthropic musician, Lacey hopes her music encourages listeners to be “their quirky selves” and adds joy to their lives. You can find her on Spotify and iTunes.

Lacey Guck. Photo courtesy of the artist.

We asked Lacey a few questions to get to know her a little better:

TAP: Beyond other Singer/songwriters, what sources inspire your work?

LG: Inspiration for me comes from a positive balance between physical and mental health. Here’s some examples of what that looks like in my life:

  • I love reading autobiographies of other creative people. For some reason, I’m drawn to autobiographies of actors/actresses. They always seem to be able to nail down the mindset of a creative person, and it’s encouraging to read their paths and feel reassured in my own.
  • The less toxicity I have in my life, the more inspired I become. Over the past couple years I have done a complete overhaul of my life, although it is still a work in progress. I have rid myself of toxic friendships and poor habits, and have tried to surround myself with people who help me become the best version of myself and vice versa.
  • New experiences. Whether it’s a new coffee shop or a new country, getting out of my routine helps my synapses fire.
  • Taking care of myself. Fitness and health are a daily battle for me, but they are oh-so important. Sometimes I work out vigorously. Lately I’ve just been walking on a treadmill for an hour while listening to a podcast about overcoming anxiety. I also try to create new recipes that are both healthy and yummy.
  • Finally, my faith. This is another work in progress that I try to improve daily.

As artists, if we’re constantly seeking the approval of others, we won’t get very far. So to remain inspired, I believe it is of utmost importance to take care of ourselves so we can create whatever it is we’re meant to make.

TAP: What advice would you give to someone starting out in the field?

LG: Creativity is beautifully daunting, and doubt will walk beside you in nearly every creative endeavor. Don’t listen to the doubt; listen to your intuition. There are two quotes I always keep in mind during the start, middle, or end of any project/pursuit:

  1. “First do what is necessary; then do what is possible. Suddenly, you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi
  2. “It doesn’t matter what you do…there’s always room for a good one.” -Scott Bintz, founder of RealTruck.com.

TAP: If you had a chance to do it all over again, how would you do things differently?

LG: I would have started seriously pursuing my artistic goals sooner. I remember when I was age nine, someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said, “A singer, but that’s probably impossible.” I hadn’t even reached double digits and I was already doubting myself because of culturally-driven fear. When I was eighteen, I decided to start letting myself believe in the idea of being an artist, but I didn’t really get moving at the right pace for three more years. So, if I could do things differently, I would have pushed the fear aside sooner and got moving earlier. Hindsight is a blessing, though.

Thanks for your input, Lacey!

For more information on the artist, visit www.laceyguck.com.

Photo courtesy of the artist.

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