Laura Fischer of RAW Answers the YabYum 7

RAW:natural born artists is a national organization aimed at promoting local arts locally. Arizona is the proud home of not one but two RAW cities (Phoenix and Tucson) that host monthly showcases to highlight some of the best artists of each area. RAW Event Director for both the Phoenix and Tucson Laura Fischer took a few moments from her hectic schedule to answer our YabYum 7. Discover RAW, if you haven’t already, and join us at their next Phoenix-area showcase this Wednesday, April 24, at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale. More info on the event here!

1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Laura Fischer and I am the Phoenix and Tucson Event Director for RAW:natural born artists.  My job is to find the very best local artists in each city and to give them the tools, resources & exposure they need.  I plan and direct one night artist showcase events throughout the year to feature these local artists and provide a platform for them to be seen, heard and loved in their community.

2. How did you get your start?

I have had a strange path getting to where I am.  I was in art school in college but switched over to business so I could get a better understanding of the monetary/business side of the arts.  I ended up getting a degree in accounting and graduated to become a public auditor for one of the big 4 accounting firms.  After about 2 years, I realized how far I’d derailed from art and I left my position to find my way back.

I wanted to paint but had to make a living so I split my time between selling bridal bouquet portraits and working part time at a school as the Development Director.  I put on several fundraising events for the school which was where I got my start in event planning.  After doing this at a couple different organizations, and burning out on bridal bouquet paintings, I decided to re-focus again.  I wanted to be fully entrenched in the arts and do more than just my own work.  I started volunteering as much as I could for arts organizations (particularly visual arts and fashion) to become familiar with the Phoenix art scene.

I found RAW:natural born artists online one day and sent my resume and letter of interest.  They offered me the volunteer position of Production Assistant. I absolutely loved the experience, the organization, & the artists!  Before long, the host of the shows left and I immediately offered to take on that position too.  I’d never had any stage experience but I couldn’t get enough of RAW and what they were doing for artists and I wanted in!

One day, the founder of RAW came to visit the team in Phoenix and when the chance arose, I pitched her on starting RAW in Tucson. She loved the idea and I was soon Directing RAW Tucson and hosting in Phoenix.  Only 4 months later, the Phoenix director moved up to a regional position which resulted in her handing over the Phoenix director title to me.  I’ve been running RAW Phoenix and Tucson ever since!

3. What inspires you?

I am most inspired when I see amazing artists succeed.  Whether it’s as simple as selling their first painting or networking with the right person at one of our events, or monumenta,l like being voted Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer of the Year!  Every time I see an artist have a success, I am inspired to work harder and to do more.

4. What do you like about Arizona?

Arizona is like a blank canvas.  There is so much potential here and we are only just starting to harness it!  On a daily basis, I see new and exciting things happening in every field (music, art, fashion, film, etc) and we have the unique opportunity to make Arizona what we envision since it is so young.

5. Where can people see you(r) work?

My paintings are only on display on the walls of my friends apartments to whom they’ve been gifted.  But I consider the RAW showcases my work in many ways and those are open to the public!

6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I really just want to make a positive impact in the arts communities and be able to say that I played a crucial role in the success of as many artists as possible!

7. What’s your mantra?

Be inspired and alive.  It’s simple but it says it all.