This month we interview Louise Dear, a Brighton based artist with a simple ambition that being to create beautiful paintings. Louise creates large, contemporary, figurative works. She is passionate about colour – shocking, vibrant and intense – continually exploring the power it has to invade our senses and influence our emotions. Here Louise brings us into her world and shares her thoughts on her creative process and advice on starting out in the art world.
Hey, Louise How does your day start and how does it finish?
I like to start my day with a swim. My apartment is right on Brighton seafront, overlooking the sea and unless it’s super wild, I have to get in. It’s my morning meditation, my calm before the storm of the day and it’s where I get a space to think. Some of my best ideas come to me in the ocean. My day usually ends with a glass of wine or two chilling with my partner discussing our day and putting the world to rights. The rest of the time I paint!
What is your creative process?
My inspiration comes from everywhere and everything and I am always coming up with new ideas. My daughter Lama is my main muse and if I’m not actually painting her, I’m painting an aspect of her to portray a feeling or an emotion. I carry a sketchbook everywhere and am always jotting down ideas. I usually work out the exactly finished painting in my head and then it changes and evolves as I begin to create. Sometimes the materials take over or something new I have read or seen on the walk to work totally influences what I do that day. I love to make rules and boundaries for myself just so I can break them. I work on panels of aluminum which are sanded and scratched before I throw a multitude of mixed media at it then I begin to paint.
My works are multi layered as are we and I work on different sections depending on my mood. This is a process I have devised over the years so that there is always something for me to work on no matter what my state of mind. If I’m energetic and flamboyant I work on crazy abstract backgrounds or turn the music up and paint up a huge seductive face. If I’m feeling a little tired or in a quieter mood, I paint flowers or fill in sections of pure colour which is so relaxing and totally lifts my spirits.
I’ve recently begun work on a new project #loveyourselfie where people are sending me their selfies and I’m creating small original portraits from them. These are pieces I can work on anywhere so when the sun shines I can take my work to the beach. I recently had a week in Greece and spent every day painting selfies sitting on the rocks with my toes dangling in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean … divine.
What is on the horizon for 2017?
It’s shaping up to be a very busy year! My biggest commission to date, a painting called KissKissBamBam, will launch on Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, next month and I have another huge commission in New York that I will be starting in the new year, as well as some private commissions. I’ll be continuing work on the #loveyourselfie project which had already proved to be incredibly popular as I’ve been sent literally hundreds. I’m in talks with a new gallery, a licensing agent and a makeup brand who want to work on a new branding project, all very exciting.I’m really enjoying the moment of being in such demand.
What do you believe is the secret sauce to creating a great piece of artwork?
Passion. Simply passion. I have an urgent need to create and deep desire to paint. Art has always been a part of my life and I yearn for it when I am away. I am an incredibly emotional person and I pour these emotions and feelings into my work imploring my viewer to be seduced and feel the way I do.
How has your painting style evolved over the years?
I have matured, honed my craft, developed my techniques. My works have evolved as I have.and continue to do so. My subject matter is similar yet my works have become more ambitious and braver as I’ve gained recognition. I continue to experiment, to research and learn new ideas and will always do so. I love discovering a new artist, studying their technique, pinching some of their ideas and inserting them into new works.
You have pretty much been exhibiting your artwork since 2000, what has been your most favourite to date?
I’ve always got a new favourite and sometimes I have a work that I struggle to let go. I have a piece in the studio at the moment that I created earlier in the year. It’s called ‘I love You MADLY’ and I do! I simply LOVE it.
What challenges do you face in your everyday life and how do you overcome them the barriers faced?
My main challenges are finding the time to do all the other things that are not painting. The admin. Finding the headspace for all the aspects of running a busy business that I don’t enjoy. I do have a couple of wonderful assistants but sometimes there are problems that only I can solve and these usefully get resigned to the ‘do later’ pile. What advice would you give to aspiring artist out there that are starting out?
This business is certainly not for the faint-hearted. If you dream art, breath painting, create in your sleep then you will succeed. But if there is something else you’d rather be doing, go do it. Being an artist is no way to make a fast buck. It is a career of peaks and troughs, highs and lows and many a month you will struggle to pay the rent. To be an artist you need a rebellious nature, to be a maverick and a desire to live on the edge. If this is your nature and you can handle the pressure the rewards are supreme.
What mantra or quote do you live by?
Ooh, I’ve got several! But I think they all boil down to the same thing … Believe in yourself! You are supreme, unique, a one off! You are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul.