Meet Derrick Lauglaug: Representing the world

By Kasey Carty-Campbell

(Below) Derrick working in the KSU ceramics studio

on one of his characteristic samurai figures.

Photos by Melissa Ray

If you ask ceramics major Derrick Lauglaug about his distinctive last name, you will see his face light up with the pride. His father, who is half Japanese and half Filipino, is the son of a Navy diver who was also a former secret agent graduate from West Point. With this kind of background, it is no surprise to hear about the fearless way that Derrick is pursuing his passion for both 3-D art and music.

Known for his “weird armor spikes,” Derrick creates samurai figures by throwing plates and bowls that, when cut in half, become the armor of these figures. Although the figures he creates are faceless and body-less, they are “created around the human form with a distinct torso and head area,” he says.

“Derrick had a turning point this year as he took the language of armor and gesture and incorporated that into his vessels,” says Assistant Professor of Art Keith Smith. “Without directly identifying these things, you can see his pots and see the samurai and armor within them.”

In addition to putting his tastes and views into the pieces he creates, Derrick also incorporates his love of music into these vessels. He plays guitar in a local rock band, and writes the music for the band. He calls on the skills he learned at KSU in printmaking and sculpture to create merchandise and sets for the band. “Derrick is pursuing both his music and 3-D art while also working. He shows a lot of ambition, sets on-target goals and is always ready to tear into a challenge,” says Smith. 

After taking Art Survey III with Associate Professor of Art History Diana McClintock, Derrick began to see the connection between his role as an artist and the world in which he lives. “She showed us that an artist is a true reflection of the world at that time and represents all things at all places,” he says.

This realization has led Derrick to extend his own passion for art with a passion for exposing others to art, particularly ceramics. He serves as president of Mudslingers, KSU’s ceramics club. “The point of art is to make a buzz and make people think, so I would like to bring ceramics to the school and present it the way it should be,” he says. He credits Smith, faculty adviser of the group, with much of what he has gained during his time at KSU. “He has helped me to realize that life won’t wait for you and life will do what it wants,” he says.

With a love for pursuing new challenges running through his veins and the passion to make his dream of being an artist/musician come true, he is ready to enter the global art arena, “Everyone dreams big, but art can change the world, your world and somebody else’s world."

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