When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. 

100: Lara Plecas

We're talking painters, writers, sculptors, designers, architects -- Phoenicians who are digging into the local scene and adding their own creative elements. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives. And while you're here, check out 100 Tastemakers on Chow Bella. 

Lara Plecas grew up in a small town near Chicago and started painting when came to Arizona for college. She describes herself as a self-taught artist: "I learned by just painting. By working in a productive studio environment with other artists, you develop your work ethic and begin to truly understand your craft."

Plecas is a member of eye lounge gallery in downtown Phoenix, where you can catch her hauntingly beautiful encaustic painting of landscapes and everyday objects.

I came to Phoenix with . . . the intention of going to ASU, and I ended up staying after college.

I make art because . . . I process things visually. I have a good visual memory and it is interesting to explore what surfaces after it has all been digested. We are inspired in one way or another by everything that we come across. I have always found art, be it dance or painting, to be an outlet to explore and to truly embrace what I am feeling.

I'm most productive when . . . I have uninterrupted time alone to really allow things to flow.

My inspiration wall is full of . . . I don't really have a wall of inspiration beyond the photos that I have taken, but the walls of my home are filled with work of my friends that inspire me. I find that it is more interesting to own a work of art when you know the person behind it. There is more meaning.

I've learned the most from . . . my friends from the House Studios.

Good work should always . . . be well crafted and thought-provoking.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more . . . mid-career collectors.

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