artist interview - laura blythman

Feeling a little low this Saturday night? Need something to pep you right up? In our expert opinions, you need a dose of Laura Blythman's quirky artwork, which will very soon have you grinning from ear to ear.

After seeing her designs around the traps on creative work for brands like Lark, T2 and A Skulk of Foxes, we got in touch with the clever lass to find out a bit about how her illustrations come to be.



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What is your name and how old are you? Hi I'm Laura Blythman, and I am 31.

Where were you born and where do you live now? I was born in Melbourne, I have lived in Geelong for three years and now I am moving home to Melbourne in Jan 2014. Soon! Excited!

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How does where you grew up and where you live now affect your art? It's not where I have lived and where I grew up that has affected my art (and I have lived in loads of places!), it's more the many colourful and awesome people I have met along the way.

Please describe the space where you do most of your creation – whether it's your art studio or kitchen bench! I create my work all over the house. I have different 'stations' set up on the dining table, on my big comfy couch and also in the creative chaos and clutter of my home studio. The studio is mostly saved for client work though, and I sometimes find it hard to work on my own art in that room, which is why I spread out around the house!

What kind of mediums do you use? Why do you choose to use these mediums? I sketch with lead pencils and pigment pens, I splash paint with a mix of watercolour and acrylic, I stitch with neon thread and I cut and paste with any paper I can find, or make. For client work, all of the above, plus my beloved iMac and Wacom tablet to finish things off and colour things up.

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Is there a running theme to the work you create, or do you just make whatever comes to mind? I'm not sure if there is really a theme, but I definitely go through stages of what I feel like creating. I'm influenced by colour, music and random imagery that sticks in my brain. I go through phases where I just want to do hand lettering, and then I just want to experiment with paint and neon, or just cut and paste paper. And then I have the urge to create something digitally! I get restless quite quickly. I love if everything I create has some kind of added extra specialness - like neon stitching, or some collaged glitter paper, or golden pops of paint. Little surprises make things more interesting to me and make my eyes and heart happy.

What kinds of ideas and things are you working on at the moment? My head is a little full at the moment. I've been so busy with client work that creating my own new art has had to slow down a little. I am constantly noting, sketching and planning the new images I want to make. When that precious time appears I'll just start working on whichever I think will let my mind go into 'blank, relax and happy creative zone' the quickest. I'm thinking, a combo of painting and paper cutting collage. I am also exhibiting at Supergraph Art Fair in Melbourne in February, so I've got a lot of preparing to do for that!

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If you were to teach an art appreciation class, what kind of lessons would you try to teach your students? Your style develops over time, so don't get hung up on what your 'style ' is too soon. Try not to think too much, just play and experiment. If it doesn't make you happy, don't do it. Don't be scared of the white paper. If you stuff it up there is always more white paper, and maybe the mistake sheet could be cut up into pieces and turned into something else.

What is the strangest thing or thought that has inspired a piece of work? The idea of delicious vanilla ice-cream mountains topped with edible golden glitter inspired a recent illustration of mine called 'Glitter Mountain'. This illustration has since been used for the packaging of an artist series candle for Grace & James, and I'll also be releasing a limited edition gold embellished print of the illustration soon!

What do you doodle when you are daydreaming? Tiny lines of pattern, cute faces on things and scripty words.

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What other budding artists do you love? He's not exactly 'budding', but I am so in love with the work of Lucas Grogan. Love his humour. Also love the work of Charlotte Swiden, Kasper Raglus, Bridget Bodenham and my best friend Peter Cromer (his work is a party for my eyeballs).

What do you enjoy doing when not creating art? I love visiting design markets, openings and spending fun times with family and friends. Also going on adventures with my nearly three-year-old son or just staying at home and cuddling him all day are the best and happiest times.

Where can we see more of your work?
laurablythman.com.au
laurablythman.bigcartel.com
Instagram: @laurablythman

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