I write, draw and sing about being a loving person living in harmony with nature. Some of my books are fiction and some non-fiction (recipes and instructions for sustainable living); all are published hand-lettered in my cursive script, and illustrated with my ink line drawings or color illustrations. I design my own books, and prefer them to be printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. I also write the music and lyrics for most of the songs I perform and record, as well as the stories I tell in performance.
My story-and-music performances are a feature of my book signings and art gallery openings. I license the hand-lettered illustrated pages of my books to fashion designers that print or embroider them on organic fiber fabrics; then I perform my songs at their fashion exhibitions. I have produced eight music albums, including writing or licensing the songs, arranging the songs, performing the lead vocals and some other tracks, choosing the other performers, editing the tracks, working with the audio engineer on the mix, creating the cover art and package design, writing the liner notes, booking the tours, doing the publicity, and managing online sales.
Bucket list: I want to make at least one animated short film, combining my storytelling, illustration and musical compositions.
I wake, breathe, live and die at the whim of my inner muse. She’s a pushy, chatty, idealistic, highly inventive being that never gives me a day off. “Try this! Do that!” she suggests as I draw or write. I always have daunting to-do lists and piles of paper to sort, scan, edit, or recycle. On the other hand, I have no fear of booking a two-hour performance with no script, nor a song list. She’s right there, every minute, recommending the next song, the next story, the next dance move, responding intuitively to the unspoken needs of the audience.
My muse has moods. For eleven years, we had a wedding business on Maui, in which we functioned as the event designers, equipment designers, floral designers, advertising writers and designers, ceremony musicians, on-site coordinators, logo and product designers, business admin and public relations staff. When I turned 50, we staged a revolution. We sold the wedding business, got a contract with Random House for the 30th anniversary edition of my first, best-selling, book, updated, re-lettered and added illustrations to the book, and then spent a year setting up an eight-month-long, self-funded, book and music performance national road tour. Then we recorded my first music CD (all original songs) to sell during the tour. That launched my current modus operandi of performance tours during which I sell my books, art, recordings and other swag.
I’m turning 70 in May, and show no signs of slowing down.
Alicia Bay Laurel is an American visual artist, author, musician and storyteller. Born May 14, 1949 in Hollywood, California, to sculptor Verna Lebow, MFA, and surgeon Paul Kaufman, MD, Alicia grew up in a bi-lingual, intellectual, artistic, musical and politically active household. Laurel is best known for her 1970 book “Living On The Earth”, a notable guide for participants in the American back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The book sold out its first edition of 10,000 copies in two weeks. The Random House Vintage Books edition (1971) became the first paperback book ever on the New York Times Bestseller List. Alicia was recognized as a Woman of the Year in 1971 by Mademoiselle Magazine. Her extensive, worldwide exhibits and performances incorporate fashion design and illustration, music and art.
Full bio here: aliciabaylaurel.com/bio/ (It’s a must read!)
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell her truth without shame.
2017 New Apple Book Awards Official Selection
2016 Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers’ Favorite Finalist
2016 USA Book News Best Book Finalist
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage