LANGLEY FOX HEMINGWAY

NATALIA BONIFACCI MEETS LANGLEY FOX HEMINGWAY. THEY MEET AT NOON AT THE HOUSE THAT LANGLEY SHARES WITH HER BELOVED CAT JACK SKELLINGTON AND HER ROOMMATE KAROLINA. IT'S A HOT DAY IN L.A. THEY SIT AND CHAT ON THE SHADED PORCH IN FRONT OF THE ARTIST'S HOME IN LOS FELIZ. LANGLEY'S QUIRKY SENSE OF HUMOR SHINES THROUGH WHILE SHE SHARES WITH NATALIA HER THOUGHTS ON HER WORK, INSPIRATIONS AND WHAT'S BEAUTIFUL IN THIS WORLD

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Describe yourself in three words.
Three words… Silly. Quirky. Creative (she giggles in the cutest way).

If you were to describe what you do for a living to a small child, what would you tell him or her?
I would tell them probably the same thing I would tell an adult: I draw pictures and, sometimes, I take pictures.

What projects are you working on right now that you are excited about?
Well, I have a sock collection with Stance Socks coming out right now, which I’m super stocked on because I love socks. I have some of my illustrations on them, some florals and what not. I did a Karen Millen video, when I was in London, a fashion video, it was kinda fun. I got to play with acting, but it wasn’t really acting (she laughs self-mockingly): I had to pretend to be upset at one point, you know… What else? I’m going to Coachella (she laughs), that’s lame.

First or second weekend?
First weekend. This weekend. Tomorrow? Urgh! How is it so soon?

When was the last time you did a drawing for someone and who did you give it to?
I did two invitations for some Coachella parties, that didn’t get used: one for Soho House and one for Stylebop. They both didn’t tell me (that they were not gonna use them), and then they sent me the invites. And I was like “Oh, cool, I didn’t draw that…” (she says it in a very plain unexcited voice, it’s really funny to watch, I’m just laughing). Now I have some random invites on my wall. I also drew myself a tattoo that I just got and I am drawing Marlon Brando right now for my friend Remi’s T-Shirts company. It’s gonna be ‘Stick To Your Own Guns’, I’m kind of promoting self-confidence.

How did you get into drawing?
I’ve always drawn, I’ve drawn since I was a little kid, I wasn’t always good at it at first. I was dyslexic growing up and coming from a great background of writers, well… I was really bad at reading. I was really bad at spelling. I was so insecure about it, that I would just draw all the time. It was something I could do by myself, I was really shy. My best friend’s mom in kindergarten was an artist and I couldn’t believe that. “Oh, you can do this as a career? Great! I wanna make money off doing fun activities all the time…”, so right off the bat I’ve always wanted to be an artist. You can get paid by doing what you enjoy the most? Done. I kept going with it.

What’s the image (a photograph, a painting, a movie frame, etc.) that has had the biggest impact on you?
This is kind of silly… My dad had cancer twice, he had stage four cancer. We grew up going to the Self-Realization Fellowship Center with a guru named Paramahansa Yogananda (I tell her I will have to email her about how to spell that name, we both laugh). He’s definitely googleable: long hair, wearing orange. I was about fifteen when my dad was given sixty days left to live. At some point, as spiritual as you are, you’re praying to anything, you know? At the time I had stayed in my parents’ bedroom on the floor for a month, and then, one day, I told them “I’m going downstairs tonight, it’s gonna be cool”. I went down and I remember meditating in my room. I didn’t meditate every night, but I grew up meditating. I was just putting it out there “This is gonna be ok, you’re gonna be fine” and I opened my eyes and I remember seeing an image, maybe it wasn’t, maybe it was, of my guru Paramahansa Yogananda standing right there in front of me. I sat there for two minutes, I was in the dark and I just stared at him till my human instincts freaked out and I turned on the light. He was gone. You know, my dad survived. He told me later “The night that you went to sleep downstairs I knew I wasn’t gonna die”. And I thought “Cool… I also saw a ghost!” (she laughs really hard in the funniest way).

What’s the quality you admire the most in people?
Honesty.

Which one is the one you like the least?
Dishonesty.

What’s the sexiest quality in a man?
I think… I mean, at the same time it’s the most frustrating, but… I like when men are kind of soft-spoken and they have some mystery, but they are not being an asshole. You just wanna get to know more (about them). They open up to you, but not fully. They just leave you thinking “What’s going on with you?”. It’s sexy, but it’s also so annoying (we both laugh).

You live in LA, what’s LA to you?
LA is the best place on the planet. We have the best weather, the best lifestyle, the sunshine… You know, it’s my home. My heart is in Idaho, where I was born and raised, but I absolutely love LA, it’s the best.

What’s beauty to you?
I think beauty is a way of feeling, it’s a way of waking up in the morning. It’s the happiness that shines through you that people see and that’s what is beautiful. It’s being a good person, that comes through I think. I really believe that happiness and being conscious of yourself makes you more beautiful. Being the best person you can be towards yourself and towards others makes you more beautiful.

What scares you?
I guess… Outer space (she laughs). Things that I can’t control, but I am getting better at that. I guess loss of control scares me, but at some point you have to realize “I can’t control everything.”, you know? Losing yourself can be scary, not that I ever think I would ever really lose myself, but there is that thought, that you could lose your sanity at any time.

If you could host an imaginary dinner party and invite seven people, dead or alive, whether you’ve met them or not, who would you invite?
I’d invite Ernest Hemingway (her great-grandfather), I’d love to meet him, obviously. I’d ask him a lot of stupid questions, that nobody else would care about, probably a lot about cats, about his writing process… I would try to find out if we’re similar in any way “Are we really alike?”. I’d invite my dad. And my mom. I’d love for them to be there. They’d probably be stoked if he was there too, all of us sitting there? I’d probably like to invite Edward Gorey. This would be an awkward dinner, I can already see it. Tim Burton, yeap, we’d have him in there. I would take Z Berg (her best friend), she would love to be in this group, I am sure. Who else? I don’t know… I could have Audrey Hepburn there, that would be cool. She would ease it out.

You mentioned your great-grandfather. To what degree has being Ernest Hemingway’s great-granddaughter influenced your life, if it has in any way?
It’s definitely something I grew up with, so it never came up as a surprise. As a young child I knew it was something big, but I didn’t really know the extent of it. It’s such an honor, but it’s also really intimidating to be part of such a legacy. He was amazing. I know far less about him than a lot of people. So , it’s like being strangers, but we’re also family members. It’s weird at times. I will always strive for his creative drive, but, at the same time, he did leave his life in a terrible context. I’ve never have had any of those suicidal thoughts and I know myself well enough that I wouldn’t go there, but at the same time… I guess there’s a lot of pressure that comes with his name. It’s both intimidating and honorable.

Have you read any of his books?
I’ve read many of his books. My favorite is A Moveable Feast. It’s him in Paris in the 1920s. I actually did a collection of drawings, ten illustrations based on it, for Louis Vuitton. That book, to me, is about him going back to a period of time before he was known, where he shared his creative process. How he wrote, how he would drink. His hunger for writing. His hunger for food. Describing this relationship he had with so many different things. For me, being a family member, but also being so disconnected from him, this book is important, because at one point while reading it I felt as if I was reading his diary. Of course, it’s out there for everyone to read, but it feels personal to me. It happens a little bit with anyone you love: you have this feeling of “I get you” kind of thing. So, I guess, this is what A Moveable Feast means to me, it’s a way for me to relate my life to his.

What’s the best quality about you and what’s your biggest flaw?
My best quality… I think I’m the maturest immature person. I’m a child mixed with an old person at the same time, which I think ends up being a good mix of goodness. I’m very responsible, but I am also the biggest nerd and dork in a twelve year old sense of the word. I appreciate that innocence in me. There’s that thing with innocence, you can lose it at any point. I find innocent and childish behavior, while being aware that you’re an adult, very important. Don’t lose your child in you. I think my biggest flaw would be… Sometimes I need to let go more of things a little bit. Sometimes I can be very strict on the way I do work, it does help me and I do love it, but I think it’s also important to give yourself a break at some point. Not that I’m self-critical all the time, but I guess it’s ok not to be perfect at everything. There’s no such thing as perfection. I don’t think I am prefect, but there’s a perfectionism in the way I try to achieve things. I think, sometimes, I could be less hard on myself, in the way I try to be with people, with work and so on, which to some degree it’s good. I guess it’s a flaw and a good thing at the same time (she pauses). Uff.. Deep. (she laughs).

What’s the personal belonging you could never part from?
Can I say my cat? I still have my baby blanket, which is embarrassing (she laughs). It’s not so much of an issue anymore, but I wouldn’t wanna ever give it up, you know?

What’s the sexiest quality in a woman?
Confidence, but not egotistical confidence: just being comfortable in your skin, that shines through I think, but not being a jerk about it (she laughs).

What’s friendship to you?
I think friendship is when you get to a point with someone where nothing is awkward, where you can say anything, where you’re fully yourself. When someone accepts you no matter who you are or what you’ve done. Friendship, to me, is being able to be the most honest to one another. There’s no judgement in friendship, if you feel judgement, you are not as good of a friend as you thought you were.

What’s love to you?
Something I can’t get (she laughs). It’s like a fairytale book. Love is that deep dark hole in your heart that you’re just always reaching for, you know?

What’s your favorite song and why?
Going To California by Led Zeppelin, because I always think that a beautiful man is gonna come over from his hardship and find me with flowers in my hair and we’re gonna flow away (she laughs). We’re just gonna lay in a field and he’ll say “I’ve been dreaming about you” (I tell her I feel the same way, we both laugh really hard).

Do you have a motto?
Always be yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously.

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