Welcome to the wonderful, whimsical world of Lyncara Beshirs, aka Virgie Whisler.
Despite my growing hatred for social media platforms, including, but not limited to, Instagram, I can thank the platform for housing Lyncara’s world, and also pointing me in its direction.
About 2 months ago, I asked to interview artists plain and simple, no requirements, no-nonsense. I am thrilled today to give you a glimpse of Lyncara and her work, as well as launch Anti-Standard, a place on Thrifts and Prints where all art is welcome and explored.
Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where’d you grew up, what’s your favorite food, and what song are you usually listening to?
A. I grew up in a small southern town in Oklahoma, close to the borderline of Texas and Oklahoma. Not much to do then in the 90’s around my town, so I usually was outside exploring nature and making houses out of junk I found by digging through dumpsters and molded food (mostly bread) to play house with. I was eccentric starting out, even then haha. I love all sorts of food. I’ve enjoyed learning to cook since my late 20’s and I love the hard yet skillful art of making bread, cooking meat, making pasta from scratch, etc.
Since I discovered music at a very young age, believe it or not, I loved composed music like classical or orchestra composed soundtracks for movies the most. I find music with lyrics to be distracting for me, and I can create imagery in my mind better, with just music alone, which I prefer it that way. I do occasionally listen to lyrical music too though, don’t get me wrong, it just feels magical to create something in my head with just rhythm alone.
Q. Your art is very unique, where do you draw most of your inspiration?
A. I started out experimenting with natural environments, like landscapes of nature and abandoned buildings when I was 19. Then gradually over the years, I became in love with thrift stores more so than I was in early high school. I think it was more of the fact I could escape my personal struggles in life and extreme boredom I had going on at that time, with weird nostalgic Kitsch, and the thrill of searching for the overlooked treasure, no one dared take home. I found I got settled in fast, with the unusual items I would find, take them home to collect, and started seeing this strange pattern of behavior within myself for the desperate need to use them in art. It felt like this surreal alienated sensation, of a calling from each item, to direct me to make this otherworldly creation; almost like this mystical or ghostly being from another realm, is telepathically directing me to create this message from another place, and watching it manifest in this realm. Even to this day, it’s an ongoing effect.
“It felt like this surreal alienated sensation, of a calling from each item, to direct me to make this otherworldly creation…”
Q. When photographing, do you use color intentionally, or does it just find its way into your work? What does color mean to you?
A. I’m extremely attracted to bright, bold colors, unconsciously. It just seems to flood my ideas more clearly and precisely, then there are some days a more muted color, has this elegance and richness to it, that just makes sense.
Q. What got you interested in photography and film? Have you tried out any other mediums of art?
A. I was first attracted to film because of my mother.
When I was growing up, I stayed in mansions in the countryside of town, while my mother cleaned these mod contemporary gothic architecture mansions. She was a maid for doctors with peculiar style. So to pass time for me while she worked, she would turn on VHS movies for me to watch, like Batman movies or just dark, and strangely bizarre movies. It felt natural to me—the colors, imagery, acting, sounds, composed soundtracks, the whole works. But I found mostly I loved the sounds, so I wanted to be a foley and soundscape artist.
But as I like to say, even if you can’t have that as a full-time profession, you can still carve a time and way to adopt it into your hobbies. I have a love for sounds—so I make soundscapes for my short films by being the Foley artist—I have a love for making faux diner food—so I’m learning to make that for my photo shoots. I love voice acting—so I’m learning to act emotionally and record my voice while I read my old story books for future audiobooks I want to make. It’s boundless what you can learn, as long as you’re ambitious.
Q. What does the future look like for you as an artist?
A. The future is such a vast wormhole in unpredictable directions that I could take for the path of my life. I’m seeing this different direction in making my art as of late, like primitive skills—such as woodwork, culinary, and home remedies, especially during the 17th-19th century. The art in surviving was a horrific struggle for them during that time, yet was still so enriched in beauty and learning to tap into the powers of the human mind in surviving, that it’s such a fascinating thing for me to want to learn, the older I become.
Q. Tell us one fact about yourself you’d consider being the most fascinating, doesn’t have to be art related!
A. I love walking around old downtown historical buildings and pretending to roam the streets like a ghost, lost in an endless residual haunting; touching the bricks and glass while I smell restaurants cooking—which soars my senses and makes a powerful concoction of imagery in my head, of what history might have felt like in the past where I am walking around. Of course, I don’t act it out physically, just imagine it in my head while I walk around.
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