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Artist Spotlight: LouLou Elliott

LouLou Elliott is 24 year old illustrator and 2018 graduate of Illustration and Visual Communication based in London. We had the pleasure of interviewing LouLou to find out more about her life, her work and what inspires her. You can view more of LouLou's work on her Instagram and Website.

Can you tell me a little about yourself and your work?

I’m a London based illustrator and painter of nature, travel and experience. I explore quiet narratives through evocative colour and shape. I love natural spaces and landscapes, focusing on moments of tranquility and rest - the gap in the busy lives of people. I mostly work with gouache and paper on a small scale (around A6/A5), as to create a sense of intimacy and draw the viewer into the scene. I enjoy the texture and tactility of paint on paper, and the uniqueness of the painting. Creating paintings that are personal and valuing that specific connection is really important to me, especially for private clients.

What inspires you?

My work is all about natural and architectural spaces, so I find that going on walks anywhere and noticing small things on that walk to be helpful and inspiring. Anything I can capture that’s intimate, and any particularly interesting shapes, plants or landscapes. Things I notice or spaces that feel restful and meditative. I really like the connection we have to nature, it being a timeless sort of entity, so respecting that connection and portraying that timelessness is important to me.

What do you wish for viewers to take from your work?

Recently, my artist friend Anne Ehrlich said this of my work in her newsletter: “exuding a sense not of loneliness but rather a shared experience of introspection”. My aim with my paintings is to create a small window of rumination and meditation, a sense of inner peace and freedom. To be given space to stop and think in the midst of the busyness of our lives. In that isolation, we’re able to notice and appreciate everything that we usually turn a blind eye to. It’s not about loneliness, but realising the shared connection between us all.

How did you develop your style?

The first real breakthrough was when I did a painting at University, of a cafe in Brighton. A singular person sits by the window, and colours are moody purples and greens and in fairly block opaque colours. It’s one of the first full illustrations I’ve done, and something just clicked. I’ve always enjoyed observing people and spaces, and I realised subconsciously that my strengths were in the gentleness and poeticism of my artworks regardless of my physical style. I started focusing more on quiet spaces, thinking about escapism and contemplation, and that lead to where I am today. I decided that my main focus would be on the shared connection we all have, and my main purpose was to provide space to stop and connect with people.

Any advice for artists starting out on their creative journey?

Style-wise, for me Uni provided that space where the development of my work didn’t rely on money or similar concepts, I could do it just for ‘me’ and not worry about the outward perception of success or the stresses of time. I don’t believe that Uni is necessary at all, but I do think it’s important to create dedicated time to work out your strengths and specific interests, and gain constant feedback on that. Decide what your values and what you want to portray and achieve through your work. It doesn’t have to be world changing, just something that is important to you or something you’re constantly drawn to. My advice is skewed to the freelance illustrator side, but industry and professional artist-wise, I’d sign up to as many classes on how to do that as possible. Stuff like finances, how to deal with clients, gain clients, and if you’re going freelance how to set work days etc. Sites such as The Dots, Creativelive and Eventbrite have both online and in person classes, and are really helpful for any art orientated job. I’d also suggest to connect through various social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, not for followers (although it’s undeniably important to build a clientele as an illustrator), but to see what everyone is doing in the real industry. Finding areas where you fit, where you can make money, how to deal with essentially the paperwork of client outreach and networking.

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