How use of the internet helped spark a creative career: Cyn Lagos’ artistic journey
Cyn Lagos has been able to use graphic design, photography and online resources to become more familiar with her surroundings.
Moving to the United States from Honduras presented many challenges for Cyn Lagos, particularly when it came to language.
Upon arriving to the U.S., Lagos often encountered various groups of diverse people, which prompted an interest in different cultures.
“I grew an interest in art from that because I wanted to sort of have a way to express the way I felt about that journey through something that wasn’t going to get in the way, like the language barrier,” Lagos told AL DÍA.
“So, for me, visuals were just like the right outlet for that,” she added.
While her first interest was in graphic design, Lagos later discovered photography. Use of the internet sparked her devotion to the practice, and helped her find an entire community of artists with similar interests.
Currently, Lagos’ main focus is capturing street photography, which she sees as a “reflection of cultures in each neighborhood.” While she initially started her street photography endeavor in her hometown of Miami, she has since ventured to Texas, Chicago, California and New York, with aspirations of eventually visiting and exploring the people and neighborhoods in all 50 states.
Through her experience, Lagos has come to find both striking similarities and differences in the people who live in the neighborhoods she’s visited.
“I’ll find so many differences in the way people live and what kind of homes they live in, what kind of food they eat, what kind of way they decide to dress and express themselves, and their attitudes,” she said.
With Lagos’ frequent online use, she came across the Adobe Creative Residency program and decided to apply.
While she anticipated a certain level of competition upon applying for the program, “My approach was more like, ‘Let’s see how far I could get here,’” she said.
Upon learning of her acceptance, Lagos found great excitement in using her residency as a way to communicate to others the opportunity that Adobe has invested in artists.
“I want my local community of artists to be able to pursue it and take advantage of something like this,” she said. “I think it’s important for diversity to be included in programs such as this because it really shows the amount of creativity that we could reach.”
During her current residency, Lagos has focused on a project called “Visual Language,” which she described as “the mindset and practice of being a visual storyteller.”
The project, which ties back to her personal experience, is designed as a solution to the language barrier that many others face.
“I wanted to explore how I could use my years of experience in graphic design and photography and to help mentor aspiring artists like me and teach them how to use techniques, visual language techniques to actually tell stories using their own work,” she said.
Considering how Lagos learned much of what she knows online, she now has an opportunity to be a mentor to others and teach them about how to use the internet to advance their own artistic aspirations.
“I want to continue following that mission, but also I want to allow space to practice the principles of visual language in my own project,” she added.
In addition, Lagos is also working on a project called “We The Peopls,” in which she helps “tell a story close to my own,” she said — the story of immigrants residing in the United States, and their pursuit of their own American dream. The goal is to use her graphic design and photography skills to visually tell the stories of these immigrants.
“I’m going to be able to practice the same techniques I have taught… of visual language, and I want to practice them within my photography, and show an entire series on what that could look like,” said Lagos.
The Adobe Creative Residency program provides the opportunity for creatives to take on the role of being leaders in their community.
“We’ve become spokespersons for our own journeys and the development of artists in the design community,” said Lagos.
Being a part of the Adobe Creative Residency program has provided Lagos with the opportunity to feel represented, and she wants others — “a Spanish-speaker, someone coming from very little,” she said — to also feel represented.
“It really shapes people to decide whether they think they can be an option, whether they believe they can have a chance to have this grand opportunity,” Lagos said of her experience in the program so far.
For years, Lagos has used the internet and social media to help guide her artistic aspirations. Moving forward, she hopes to be able to use social media to both showcase her work and to provide resources for other creatives to pursue their own artistic journeys.
“That is such a rewarding part of this entire project for me,” she said, “That I can return the favor of having learned things online to now teaching things online through the platforms that are free for everybody.”
In Lagos’ view, everyone has the ability to be creative. It’s more about fully utilizing the resources that are available to turn that creativity into something more tangible.
“It’s super interesting to think that maybe creativity is meant for just a few lucky ones, but in reality, we all can practice creativity because creativity is imagination and we all have that,” she said.
“But it is a muscle that you have to exercise.”