Linda Sue Price
Location: Los Angeles
Occupation: Neon Artist
Written By: Desiree Cormier
Linda Sue Price is an abstract neon artist based in southern California. She creates neon pieces of art that differ from her peers in appearance because she loves to break the 2-dimensional plane. Unlike your typical neon signs that have their tubes bent into shapes, whilst staying flatly placed on a surface, Price creates art work that breaks convention and brings tubes of neon directly outward. This gives her pieces a complete 3-dimensionality and in turn, as she put it, “no one has ever called what I make signs.” And if working in neon wasn’t already cool enough, Price is about as versatile of an artist as they come. With a background in painting, graphics, television, video editing and now a master at neon art, it seems there isn’t anything she can’t do.
Prices background in television has helped her transition to neon art. She states: “There are similarities in the luminosity of After Effects especially when you’re creating motion graphics. Just like I do in my art you can create layers and add motion. There were a lot of commonalities in video production which included wiring equipment together and spending tedious hours focusing on new exciting projects in the studio.”
Not everything has stayed consistent and similar (and thankfully so) in her leap from television and graphics to the neon world though. Price discusses some of those differences, especially in the men she’s had to deal with throughout her career, and shows us how she has always been a fiercely creative woman in a man’s world:
We Choose Art: How many years total, including painting and television, have you been in the art world?
Price: Since I was about 22-23. That’s when I started art school and finished studying journalism. I went to work for a city government television studio and ran their production team. This was around the time “After Effects” had just come out and since I was the only person that had studied graphics I knew how to manufacture graphics…and in those days you had to do it by hand…and so it all just kind of evolved.
We Choose Art: How did you get into the neon art? What inspired you to do neon stuff?
Price: I’ve always like neon. I purchased a piece of neon art 25 years ago and I wanted another piece. I had been searching all over and I couldn’t find anything that was exactly what I wanted. A few years later I realized the Museum of Neon Art was offering a class, so I took it. And although my background is in painting and motion graphics and watercolor. I took the 8 week class and right away I knew THIS IS IT! This is what I wanted to do.
We Choose Art: Is it hard being a female in the art world?
Price: Working in television and production gave me the opportunity to work with men. It was always an EFFORT! When I met Michael, my neon teacher, mentor, and studio made, It was easy and It felt right! I told him what I wanted to do. I took a pipe cleaner and wrapped it around a pencil, I sprung it and I said ‘this is what I want to do’ and he said ‘you’re going to have to learn how to bend’ And immediately said ‘OK!’ Because he was so welcoming I didn’t really want to go out and find another space. It was perfect and effortless.
As a female you’re going to get discriminated against, you’re going to run into sexism and you just kind of have to bear it and persevere. Since Michael was so welcoming I really didn’t feel like going back into that environment. He’s a great instructor! probably one of the best teachers I’ve had in my life.
We Choose Art: So it seems like perseverance is a continuing theme, you mentioned it in respects to the tv and film industry, in persevering through the sexism and in reference to something like working on a tedious neon piece for months or a year, is that something that you feel you’ve LEARNED over time…
We Choose Art: …or is it just naturally part of your personality?
Price: No, it’s something that I’ve learned. When I first came to work here, Michael was working on solving a problem for a custom piece he was creating and I was just watching how he didn’t get
irritated, he didn’t get pissed off, he just kept working at it, and so just kind of witnessing that… You know? Like doing animation you spend 15 hours on 20 seconds, so I kind of built that sense of “it takes time.”
The last and final question for Price was “Why do you choose art?”
I choose art because I enjoy the art making process. I like learning how to make things, discovering new tools and media. I choose art because the projects I do are my way of sharing things I’ve learned about how we humans make sense of the world and maybe others will find my perspectives helpful in some small way. I want to have an interesting life. Choosing art helps me achieve that.
Well we are happy that Price learned, not only the art of perseverance, but the art of neon, and continues to choose art. Her show, “Change is the Only Constant” , is currently on view at the TAG Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. This show runs from November 20th until December 19th and includes wonderfully luminous neon art pieces. According to the release for Change is the Only Constant, “Price draws upon her interest in how people make sense of the world. Seeing change as the only constant, her work combines the physical transformation of the medium (the bending of neon tubes) with the challenges of imagery (the curving, abstract forms). “
Her show is thoughtful, provocative and radiant, make sure to catch her opening reception on December 5th, 5-8pm and her Artist Talk December 12th, 1-2pm.