Hello! Welcome back to #SafetyMeetings, our new-ish series where we talk to cool people doing cool shit. This week we have Bianca Lago, a fine artist, muralist, women’s rights advocate, podcast devotee (read for her top picks!), and all-around #coolpersondoingcoolshit


Bianca Lago

You’re a cool person doing cool shit. What’s your name and where are you located?

Oh, well thank you so much! I’m Bianca Lago and I’m located in San Francisco.


And what kind of cool shit are you doing?

Currently working on an MFA [Master of Fine Arts] at the San Francisco Art Institute. I also started a mural painting business last year which is starting to take off. So those are some of the cool things I’ve been doing lately.


Where can we find some of your murals?

There are some that are hanging out in The Mission in San Francisco. I think the one at the Sycamore got tagged, but there’s one outside of Slate Bar, there’s one in Union Square and then there are others that are in people’s private residences. I got hired to paint a preschool.


When did you realize you wanted to become a full-time artist?

I think when I was fourteen.


And what was your “Aha!” moment?

I’ve had a few of them. The two that stick out the most: one was in 2015 when I decided to switch my major from Environmental Science to Art. I was at Humboldt State University, going into their art department to fill out the paperwork and they had such a cool hallway covered in art and I was like, “Yeah, this feels right”.


The second time was when I was invited to a baby shower for a friend. It was in the middle of the woods in Humboldt on this super remote property and I met this woman who was one of the top 100 hyper-realist painters in the country. Like, what are the odds? We totally hit it off and she’s like, “Are you looking for a job?” – and this is right when I’m switching my major. 
There’s been a lot of those synchronistic moments reaffirming, “Yep, that’s what you should be doing”.


How do you get into the right state of mind to paint and/or feel creative?

When I’m working on murals I really like to work with an assistant because it’s just so much more fun that way. But when I’m in my studio, working on originals, I really like being alone. I’ll put on house music on my headphones – or a podcast. I like to start with music to kind of get in a trance-state and then I’ll bust out maybe like 3 projects at once and kind of rotate between them. I like for one thing to be drying while I move on to the other and then that way it keeps me with a fresh eye because it can be easy to turn blind to the things that you’re painting if you’ve been working on it for so many hours straight.


Okay, we have to know… what podcasts do you listen to?

Okay, I love Art Holes, oh my god! Everybody please listen to that. And I also have to plug my homies fucking awesome podcast, Lighter and Tighter. I really like Historical Figures, too. 

Last question: How do you unwind after you’ve had a super long day in the studio? What’s your ‘relax routine’, if you will?

I don’t really have a ritual for unwinding, I kind of just, like – come home, roll a spliff, write in my journal, and just hang out.

Follow Bianca where you can visit her virtual art gallery, see her dressed like a clown, or simply appreciate the beauty and complexity of her work in the comments.

Bianca Lago