- An Interview with Illustrator Shelly Laslo -
Tiny black laced shoes dancing across a page; a vista of colourful stacked buildings and cross hatching and textures that hit a happy place inside my soul.
I had to know more.
Shelly was kind enough to agree to taking part in an interview!
So, here we are:
Shelly, thank you so much for taking a moment to tell us about yourself and your work.
Firstly and most importantly, tea or coffee? How do you like it?
Tea, and only in the winter. Mint with a bit of sugar, in a tall floral mug.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career as an illustrator?
I'm a self-taught illustrator, working from a tiny desk in my living room. I finished my degree in fashion design, but realized soon after that my true calling is illustration. My first jobs combined my two loves, as I was illustrating the graphics for baby tees for a national baby apparel company. I allowed myself a few years of exploring font design and surface pattern design, and I sell those on Creative Market. The past year has been me focusing on how to reach my dream clients and hopefully seeing my illustrations on beautiful products, be it home decor, stationery, children's books.. the possibilities are endless!
What five items can you not live without, and why?
1) My iPad! It's completely changed how I draw, and has allowed me to explore art "media" that I may not have otherwise tried.
2) A bottle of water- it has to be near me at all times, I spin off my axis if I'm not hydrated. :)
3) My camera. It's a bulky Canon 60d, and though it's a pain to lug around, taking beautiful photos allows me to see the world in a fresh, inspired way.
4) My Schmincke watercolour pan set. It was a birthday present from my husband last year, and it just has the most beautifully pigmented colors.
5) My phone. I'm not proud of this, but I truly am a bit obsessed with social media. It's a habit I'm committed to breaking this year!
What spaces give you the most inspiration?
New places get me very excited to create! Pretty much all the sights on my recent visit to Prague made me want to huddle over my sketchbook and illustrate- the Christmas market and busy, colourful toy shops were an inspiration overload for me.
Are there any things that you do to encourage and motivate yourself to create art?
First I clear off my workspace - I'm not a neat-freak by any means, but I simply can't work in a cluttered space. If I'm feeling a bit stuck creatively, I might treat myself to something at the art supply store- that usually motivates me to get something on the page.
What is your process for creating your artworks?
It depends on my mood. Some days I might allow myself to doodle mindlessly, and then I try to puzzle together a new piece from the doodles. Some of my best patterns have come about this way. Other times, I'm more intentional- I decide on a direction for what I want to create, look up several reference images on Pinterest, and create concept sketches. I usually try the same illustration in a few different media before I'm happy with a particular one.
Can you tell us about your work space?
I have two, though they are very small and humble. The first houses my computer and Wacom tablet, and is where I work on Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as where I do all the administrative stuff for my business. The second works pace is in a separate room, and is for my analog artwork- it's where I paint and draw, and allow myself to get messy. I separated the two workspaces when I was finally fed up with the paint splatters on my keyboard. :)
The list is very long and varied, but some of my very favourite are Abigail Halpin, who creates magical folksy illustrations. She has equally amazing skills in drawing people, florals, patterns and hand-lettering. Another favourite is Emily Winfield Martin. The worlds she creates are oddly both fantastical and familiar, and I've loved following her work for years now. I also love Isabelle Arsenault's work, it's so delicate and charming.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I hope to be posting more artwork on social media, like, a lot more. I've always been more of a behind-the-scenes kind of gal, but know that putting my work out there is the only way to grow.
I hope to hone in more on what I consider to be my personal illustration style.
And, if I'm already asking favours of the universe, I would also love to land a big-name client and have my illustrations on products that make the world a more beautiful place.
Do you have any top tips for aspiring illustrators?
Create more art, try new things, and always be looking for ways to learn. Take courses, workshops, whatever you need to grow your artistic arsenal. Network more, and don't be afraid to reach out to the artists you admire- it's easier than it's ever been to write to someone in the field and ask questions.
Lastly, learn to love where you're at right now in your artistic journey, it's good enough.
Can you tell us a bit about Creative Market?
Creative Market is an online shop selling a huge variety of digital design resources, from fonts to clip art to themes and stock photography. I love selling on there as it's a wonderful creative outlet for me- I think up designs that I'd love to have, and then create them for others to enjoy!
This latest product, "The True Love Collection", features seamless patterns, hand-illustrated illustrations, and hand-written overlays, all in a sweet, love-filled theme.
Here's a direct link to the product:
Where can we find you?
Creative Market: https://creativemarket.com/ShellyLaslo