LaNia Sproles is an artist whose mostly figurative work reflects her research on the philosophies of self perception, queer and feminist theories, and inherent racial dogmas. Through painting, drawing and printmaking LaNia creates imagery that is free from the barriers of social constructs. She is a 2019 Nohl Fellow and co-organizer of a monthly art auction to benefit criminalized survivor, Chrsytul Kizer.

What are you most proud of? "I am proud of how much I’ve changed as a person just in these past couple of years. I feel like I am getting closer to my truth year by year. I think that is all I could ever want for my wellbeing."

Is there something new that you've started doing over the past months, during quarantine? "I have started being more active in my community by creating opportunities for myself. For the past few months, I have protested, helped organized various fundraisers, started tattooing and made so many new connections because of it. I really did not know I had that in me."

Is there something you’ve stopped doing/caring about in this time? "I am trying to care less about social media, it really does distract me and make my anxiety worse. I’ve also have naturally let some people go and started to reach out more to those who have always been there. It’s hard to not feel like a burden but I am learning that love and intimacy are not only exclusive to romantic relationships."

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up? "I think about the ways I can make my day feel special. By reminding myself to always make room for pain but joy as well."

What’s your favorite thing about (or place in) Milwaukee? "I love the community I have here, there are some incredibly talented people here that I wish nothing but the best for. Pre-pandemic I would love to go dancing with friends at Mad Planet and Quarters and I would say Pueblos Food Market is such a gem."

Who do you think needs advice and what would you like to tell them? "I think men are in dire need for reforming the way they feel about feminism so they can benefit the way queer & non-men people do from it. I’ve gotten close with a few men in my life and they really all have struggled with their identities and expressing their pain. I think people need to understand that yes of course feminism is for everyone but it’s really about queering everyone’s understanding/narratives that will be everlasting and life changing."

View LaNia's work on Instagram @laniasprolesartist