Layl McDill

Layl McDill, Circus Queen Layl McDill, Goddess of The Lake
Layl McDill, Circus Queen
Layl McDill, Lady Riding a Bird What Lives Under a Mermaid

Artist Statement

Layl's Web Site
Layl's PDF Mentor Statement
Layl's PDF Resume

Layl McDill grew up in Gillette, Wyoming where she began creating things at a very young age. She made dollhouses and even an entire Smurf Village in the basement. Out in the Wild West most of her exposure to art were cards and stickers in the local gift shop and western paintings. She learned a variety of different arts and crafts techniques in 4-H, everything from dough art to taxidermy. This exposure to trying different techniques gave her the confidence to venture into any technique she felt the whim to try.

When it came time to choose a career she decided to be practical and major in illustration at the Columbus College of Art and Design. She planed to write and illustrate childrens books but the mixed media materials she used in the community outreach programs she taught continued to intrigue her. Layl did illustrate three books for a small publishing company in Columbus, Ohio.

When Layl found success selling her art at arts festivals while she was still in art school she began to realize conventional illustration was not her real love. She found she could actually make a living making what she really loved to make. Layl made Story boxes, Story Quilts, Story Scraps, Story Vests made of fabric, found objects, and polymer clay. Over the years polymer clay has become her dominant medium. In the past eight years she has worked primarily in clay creating series of work that tell stories about her life as a mother and an artist.

Layl now lives and creates in Minneapolis with her two daughters and husband. In 1999 she and her husband, Josh Blanc, opened their studio/showroom Clay Squared to Infinity in North East Minneapolis. Here she sells her work and Josh makes and sells tiles. She still does many festivals through out the year and teaches polymer clay classes around the Twin Cities area.

Layl's goal has always been to never have a real job. She has been self employed since graduating art school. Over her 14 year career she has learned that half of the work of being an artist is being a business person. She is an avid reader of business magazines and spends at least half of her time working on the selling and promotion of her work. As a WARM Mentor Layl can offer advice in many of the areas that art work can be shown and sold including arts festivals, gallery shows, web sites, consignment shops and wholesale. Layl has also had over 20 years experience teaching art to adults and children. She has taught in a variety of settings including after school programs, artist-in-residencies and workshops.

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