Loriann Overlin is Mrs. Los Angeles and the Arts Ambassador for the County of Los Angeles. She and her husband also run a photography studio. Here is a link to her website:
Q: What exactly does an “arts ambassador” do?
A: My role is to connect resources and artists together to foster mutually beneficial relationships.
Q: What made you interested in art?
A: Envy– Selfishly I am interested in art because of envy. I wish I could take those images in my mind and create something out of nothing like I see artists do. I wish I could see beauty and life where only artists can see it. Additionally, I have been involved with theatre, film and music practically since birth. I love the process of performance art and that moment when all is ready and everyone is rehearsed, and the stage is set and the music is ready, and you stand in the middle of the stage and it is quite and the world is waiting for a moment that will never come again is like a drug. I admire all those people who can take nothing in the process and shift, mold and create an expression of self and share that with our community.
Q: What makes for an interesting photograph?
A: An interesting photography is something that shows ones honest self. We wear so many masks and I love to see into people and have it reciprocated through them showing me what they see through their eyes. Mike, my husband, talks about the photographer’s ability to have you to look at something other than what you would normally see. I love a photo that shows me something I would never observe because of my near sightedness, and it ties into my envy issue.
Q: What trends in photography do you dislike? I like and dislike photojournalism style wedding photography.
A: I love seeing cool photos of wedding parties swimming in a pool of eels or something cool. (As an extreme example.) However, let’s face it, your wedding day is something you and your family look at in years to come and I think it is more important to remember how lovely it was to get married rather than what a hipster you were”. I hate to hear about people looking at such important photos saying “what was I thinking or what is up with my husband’s pants!” I think it’s more important to remember how much in love you are rather than how cool you are—cool fades, love doesn’t.
Q: Who are some of your influences in photography?
A: That would be Mike Overlin – I took photo classes in high school and college, but it was all very formula based. Mike shows me his precious soul in his work. I watch Mike go into his head and leave earth to go to his creative world where he can create a vision out of light and space. He amazes me and every time I see him in his work, I fall in love with him again. He makes my heart hurt with love.
Q: Diane Arbus or Ansel Adams? Yes, and yes!
A: Diana Arbus, is cool, Ansel Adams is cool. I love the fact that they both found themselves in their art; so the answer is yes. Mike wrote a book on photography, and in it discusses the concept of style. He makes a comparison between our personality and our style, mainly in the way that we don’t have to do anything for either of them to develop. Both will develop on their own naturally. “We are all unique, and we all naturally make different statements in life. The same will be true of your art. Your style will be evident as long as you are not copying someone else’s style. Don’t try to be someone else.”
Q: What made you interested in running for Mrs. Los Angeles? I participated in a play at the Long Beach Playhouse years ago called Mrs. California, it planted the seed. I became a Mrs. not too long ago and figured if I’m going to do – go! Why not, I’m a Mrs. and I live in Los Angeles. I’m qualified.
Q: Did you find it challenging to be a Christian in the entertainment industry.
A: Nope; no challenge. I have worked in entertainment for a zillion years and it is just like any other industry creating a product and distributing it. Just because a person is a Christian doesn’t make them automatically a flag waving, capital punishment, anti-abortion Republican. God is huge – he made water- so I consider him pretty powerful. I also consider him pretty compassionate in the fact that he sent his kid to take on your and my sins. If you don’t believe in God that’s ok because I know he believes in you and me. So if you don’t want the cool stuff he has for you, bummer. I’ll take the left overs, I’m pretty grateful for the grace and gifts he gives us. God is pretty cool from what I’ve seen.
Q: What is your wildest pageant story?
A: Duct tape on the boobs….I don’t understand why people would put tape on their boobs to keep them “perky”. I realize that duct tape is the answer to the world’s problems, but to put them on your private parts is way beyond anything I understand….oh there’s a piece there.
Q: What is the most common misconception about beauty pageants?
A: They are pretty much what people think–it’s vanity, its superficial. However, for me it made me look at myself and ask if I like what I see? There are some things that just aren’t ok, and now I get to attend to those things.