Lauren Mortimer, an incredibly creative Londoner
Inspired by the world of Wes Anderson, the illustrator Lauren Mortimer finds inspiration in nature and vintage objects. She uses the pen to play with shapes and textures, and get surrealist works perfectly worked. Intrigued by the creativity of this londoner, we went to meet her to find out about her career, her artistic talent and her future projects…
Hi Lauren! You obtained your BA in Fashion Communication at the world-renowned Central Saint Martins School in London, but you eventually decided to go down the graphic design and illustration route. What steered you in that direction?
I realised fashion didn’t come as naturally to me as illustration. Whilst in my year in industry during my time at Saint Martins, I did various internships, and I did some drawing for one of the magazine layouts I worked on. I realised very quickly that was where my heart was. Of course, I’ve always drawn anyway so it wasn’t a huge step for me to take. And I don’t regret the decision for a second!
I find that your pieces exude cool, whilst still retaining a very retro side. How would you define your world?
Probably the characters of Wes Anderson film set in a forest full of animals.
Talk to us about your creative process. How do you find inspiration? Where does your interest for the surreal come from?
Nature and surrealism are a huge inspiration for me. The natural world is fascinating and slightly bizarre to me. I love the fact that it’s possible to create weird and wonderful things that stem from something in my mind; things that aren’t possible in reality. I like the idea of morphing beautiful and dark things together. I use Pinterest boards a lot for inspiration too. Anytime I see an image I like, I pin it. That way I have a kind of mood board of cool pictures and my ideas can sometimes stem from there.
You work mainly with a pencil, why this tool rather than another?
It comes very naturally to me. I started using pencils without really thinking about it. I like the patterns and tones it can create.
Can you describe your workplace for us?
I’ve been working from home now for just over a year, but I’m looking for a new studio to work from. I have a lot of vintage mid-century furniture. There are a lot of grey and red tones. It’s modern with a vintage charm.
When you’re creating, do you think about the fact that people are going to be judging your work, trying to understand what you wanted to say? Does this influence your work in any way?
I don’t like to express my work into words; for me that defeats the object. The image speaks for itself and I love the fact that people can have their own unique view on it. I want them to feel something, something of their own, and think of the image itself individually, rather that me, the person behind it. I do have artwork that is more popular than others though, and I do look at them and ask myself why that is, what it is about them that people like more. I think that is does influence my next work a little, but I do try and forget about that as much as I can.
What made you want to work with OLOW for this Spring-Summer 2015 collection?
I thought the brand looked great, and was something I’d like to have my name to.
London is buzzing every day with new creative projects. How does this influence the evolution of your work?
I’ve lived in London since I was two years old, and so I’ve grown accustomed to the buzziness, the chaos, and the fast pace of it. It’s only when I go away and come back again that I learn to slow down and take in more things that are around me. I actually think that it’s in going away, stepping out of London, and coming back that I think can evolve my work somehow. Or maybe it’s about going away and not having the distractions around you that can help you sit and think.
A London-based artist that we absolutely need to hear about?
What are your projects for the coming months?
I’ve just finished the sequel to my book ‘Tequila Mockingbird’. The new one is called ‘Gone with the Gin’ and is a cocktail book based on Classic films. It’s one of my favourite projects that I’ve worked on, and one that I’m most proud of so it’s very exciting. I’m looking forward to that coming out. I’m very lucky to have had been busy and have been working on some great projects, so it’s time for me to set aside some time for myself to create my own new work, so that’s going to be my focus for the next couple of months.
Thanks you to Lauren.
Find Lauren Mortimer on her official site.
– L.K –