Tempe Artist Clarita Luli?: 100 Creatives

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Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 66. Clarita Lulić.

Clarita Lulić is a little all over the place.

The Tempe-based artist, who's originally from Newcastle, England, recently attended Pilchuck Glass School in Washington and caught up with Jackalope Ranch while visiting India to research the human hair industry and the production of human hair extensions.

See also: Phoenix Writer Jake Friedman: 100 Creatives

"I'm in Southern India right now and have donated my own hair (known as tonsuring) within a temple in Tirupati and visited a number of hair processing factories, making contacts and learning more about the industry," she says. "It's been a great trip so far even though I was pretty sick at first. Everything is great now, and I'm enjoying the curries (I am British after all) and I'm confident I know how to wear my saree corrrectly and not trip over it (thank you YouTube)."

She says she's working on formal portraits for a project called "Complete Offer" and beginning to explore human hair sculpturally, in addition to her ongoing project "Beholden," in which she photographs her husband Stephen. "Towards the end of this summer I'll be attending the Anderson Ranch for a workshop before heading back to Arizona to complete the final year of my MFA," Lulić says.

Soon after that, she'll exhibit work from her series "Seven Short One Long" as a large-scale installation in Oxford as part of the Photography Oxford Festival in September of 2014. "Also there's my thesis exhibition in Night Gallery May 2015!" she adds.

And she plans to pull from these international efforts when finalizing that show. "At this point I can say India has hugely inspired me with my thesis work, I have first hand experience of the process from start to finished product. It's important to me to fully undress... the origins of the the medium I'm choosing to work with."

We can't wait to see it all come together.

I came to Phoenix with a bunch of cameras, an exchange Visa, hiking books, my wedding dress (but not my fiancé) and 5 external hard drives.

I make art because I have something to say and a strong desire to share my personal experiences. I can definitely communicate more confidently through visual art than say writing or talking, and I take so much pleasure in making.

I'm most productive when I have a number of different projects on the go, I have to admit I have a short attention span so I like to switch between projects to keep thinking fresh and motivated.

My inspiration wall is full of... I don't have a wall, I've never really lived anywhere long enough to put things on a wall, and then how would I choose? I do have have workbooks filled with notes but I really my inspiration wall is floating in my head, I like to ride the bus or train to "zone out" and think about ideas, see what pops up.

I've learned most from making mistakes, and persistence. It took me nine years to navigate through a variety of undergraduate majors from medicinal chemistry, electronics, marine biology to find my place in art. I wouldn't change a thing, I make so many new mistakes all the time, I'd rather try something new out, fail, and learn. It may be a longer process but it sticks with you. I'd say trying new things is always the best way to learn.

Good work should always be honest, an experience, not just fill a gallery space but fill a heart or a mind of a person. It should inspire more good work.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more funding for grants for individual artists.

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal 80. Julieta Felix 79. Lauren Strohacker 78. Levi Christiansen 77. Thomas Porter 76. Carrie Leigh Hobson 75. Cody Carpenter 74. Jon Jenkins 73. Aurelie Flores 72. Michelle Ponce 71. Devin Fleenor 70. Noelle Martinez 69. Bucky Miller 68. Liliana Gomez 67. Jake Friedman

Editor's note: This post has been modified from its original version to clarify a quote.

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