Sharon Lake: Making Her Life Her Art

Sharon and I met about ten years ago in York, PA.  I was instantly struck by how alive and passionate she was about everything and am very excited to catch up with her after being separated by a country for the last seven  years.  Vibrating with East Coast energy and a distinctive joie de vivre, I present to you Sharon Lake.

Tell me a little about your family, where you were born and your life as a girl.

I was born in NYC.   My hometown (Queens) NY is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world!  (Look it up!) Being a native New Yorker has influenced nearly everything I’ve done in my life.  From my choice of companionship, to where I travel, to the music I listen to, the list goes on and on.  As a child I rode the subways in Manhattan watching some of the most fascinating people.  This has fueled my fascination of people and different cultures.  I truly grew up in one of the greatest places on the planet.   My grandmother fed my childhood imagination with classic films and musicals from the Golden Age of Hollywood.  She was (and is still) just as glamorous as the stars of those films.  I’d like to grow up to be like her…82 and fabulous!

See How She Sparkles: Sharon Lake | Photo by Jay Lake via Splash Of PaprikaWhat (or who) did you want to be when you were nine?

I have always wanted to be an Entertainer since I could walk and talk.

You seem to express yourself creatively in many ways: your personal style, creating intricate hair styles, singing, storytelling, communicating in sign language…have I missed anything?

I’ve recently started writing as well.

How did you develop such diverse interests?  What is catching your attention or focus now?

I have A.D.D. and have battled the negatives of that all of my life.  Along with that are some positives…I always need to be occupied with something that keeps my interest.  It is both a blessing and a curse.   Right now, I have started to spread my wings professionally by Interpreting for cruise lines.  I’ve just returned from The Bahamas and will be going to St. Thomas, St. Marten and some other islands next week.  When I’m home I like to catch the latest episode of the BBCs “Sherlock” on with the hubby!  The writing is SPECTACULAR!

Were any members of your family creative? Any of your friends or members of the community where you grew up?

Is there anyone from NYC that ISN’T creative in some way?  LOL!  My sister sat next to LL Cool J in high school, we would see Run DMC drive down the street often.  50 Cent came from the same building where I lived with my grandmother.  Members of my community started the Hip Hop movement that I hear playing on the streets of Hong Kong and everywhere else in the world!  On a more personal level, my grandmother is “fashionista” and phenomenal singer while my mother is a Hairdresser, Seamstress, Dancer…my creative sparks stem from them for sure.

Where do you find your inspiration?

One can find inspiration for anything by being observant to the world around you.  My husband is also an inspiration.  He’s constantly saying “If you’re not in a little over your head, then you’re not growing”.  He is always searching for new and exciting things and encouraging me to spread my wings as wide as I possibly can. He inspires me to explore this world and find new talents and interests.  He is my personal hero and ultimately my favorite person in the world.

Why is it important for you to make time to pursue a creative life?

We were created that way.  To love life, explore the world and whatever is intriguing to us.  To NOT pursue a creative life is to be lifeless, without purpose and boring.   In order for me to enjoy a certain quality of life, I MUST express myself in a way that I find interesting.

Describe your personal style, please.  Who or what inspires your style?

Hmmm…classic?  I feel certain things never go out of style.  Vintage is a staple in my closet…from the 1920s-1980s.   Following trends leads to a closet full of regret and wasted dollars!  I like to stick with the staples and add a splash of color or modern flare.  Lately, I’ve been exploring African themes with head wraps and African patterns…again…these will NEVER go out of style and will forever be elegant and exotic.

What are you reading now?  What is your favorite book?

I just read the Biography of Rita Moreno…FABULOUS!  Beautiful Latina surrounded by old racist Hollywood yet she made her presence known!  Great read!   Ultimately, however, the Bible is the world’s best selling book and for good reason!  It is the only book that really matters.

Paris | Unsplash via Splash Of PaprikaYou seem to have traveled extensively. Why do you travel to other lands and areas?

Traveling has become our obsession.  Meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, it feeds my soul and reminds me that we are all related and wanting the same things in life REGARDLESS of where we are on this globe.

Where have you been and where do you plan to go in the future?

Hong Kong, Italy, France, Macau, Vietnam, China, Belgium, The Caribbean…top places on our radar:  South Africa, New Zealand, Kenya and Japan.

Where in the world is your favorite place to visit? What are your favorite spots there?

Hate to sound cliché but…Paris is absolutely exquisite.  There’s a small unassuming restaurant in the Latin Quarter that has a secret dungeon underneath.  In that dungeon lies a stage with some of the best performers you’ll see ANYWHERE!   They’ll be singing French Classics, African Battle Songs, Ukrainian Dance Tunes, American Pop, Spanish Ballads, you name it, and they do it!  The French are fascinating…they just ‘get it’.  Great food, open minds and amazing style.  Sigh…Paris.  Cést Magnifique!

What is your life motto or mantra?  Do you have a favorite quote?

“Happy is the man who does not walk according to the advice of the wicked…he reads His (God’s) law in an undertone day and night…and everything he does will succeed”. Psalms 1:1-3

Follow Sharon’s travels on Youtube.

Photo Credit: Unsplash and Jay Lake, Jr.