It’s Friday! I don’t know about you guys, but I need the weekend. To ease your way in say hello to Laura Wilson, the lovely illustrator who has kindly taken part in today’s Five Things interview.
1. Hi Laura! What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently doing some branding stuff for a music therapy company. It’s is definitely not my normal line of work, but is pretty interesting! I’m also working on a series of illustrations depicting my experiences of being a 20 something year old woman, trying to show the mess and the chaos of existing as a woman in today’s world. Fashion illustration has long been an influence on my style, but I’m trying to come at it from a less glamorised and airbrushed angle, if that makes sense!
2. Where does your love of mermaids come from?
I grew up near the sea and spent a lot of time as a child with my dad, learning to sail or just messing about by the water. I’d loved the idea of mermaids, whether they were innocent and friendly ones, or more monstrous, ship-wrecking ones. I used to draw mermaids over and over again. I still have some of my early attempts – horrifying / hilarious. Eventually I realised that I kinda liked this drawing thing, and that maybe I wanted to do it for the rest of my life. So I kind of think of mermaids as my creative muse.
3. We did the same illustration degree. How did the course influence your creative work over the three years?
It seems like so long ago! The degree was great because it gave me so much opportunity to experiment and become more secure with myself and what I wanted to put out into the world. I remember at the beginning of the course I was much more focused on narrative based work, such as book illustrations. But by the end I had realised that actually I’m pants at narrative stuff, and that really I wanted to focus on putting out work that had more of a feminist slant to it. Also, I used to be terrified of using any colour in my work, whereas now I’ve finally started to embrace it.
4. What project would you work on if you had unlimited time and funds?
I would do loads of huge scale illustrations of women, relaxing on their own in their homes, watching a tv show and eating takeaway in their pants, or sitting on an empty bus with headphones on scrolling through their phone. I like showing the moments when women can drop all pretences and just feel comfortable to sit and not think about how they’re showing themselves to the world. It can be a bit exhausting to be a woman in public, there’s a lot of pressure from outside sources but also from ourselves, to keep up this constant act of being the best version of yourself. I’d like to work more on showing people existing without that mask.
5. Where do you want your work to be in a years time, and how will you get there?
I haven’t exhibited in a while so it would be nice to do that again… We should set something up in Cardiff!
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m very excited about the idea of Laura exhibiting in Cardiff again. We did a body positive exhibition together whilst at University and it would be so exciting to possibly collaborate on something again. What do you think?