Continuing on with the Sunday Artist Interviews – many are lined up, so keep checking back, I think we need a few more distractions from the rather scary times we’re all living in right now! I’ve actually been doing these interviews a year now! Here’s Laura to tell you a bit about herself and her art….
First of all, who are you?
Helloo! I ‘m Laura Slade, a full time artist living in Buxton and working from my home studio. I trade under the imaginative name of Laura Slade Art, specialising in bright and colourful watercolours of wildlife and pets.
When you were asked (all those years ago!), “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What did you answer?
When I was younger I went through a phase of wanting to be a pop star (who hasn’t?!) thanks to the likes of the Spice Girls and Boyzone, and won a day as a choreographer after writing an essay on why I would like to be a dancer when I grew up. Then for a very long time I had no idea what I wanted to be! All I knew was that I enjoyed drawing but thought a career in art was only reserved for the likes of Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.
What is the funniest thing as an artist that has ever happened to you?
I can’t actually think of anything funny that has happened to me as an artist, but I suppose a slightly awkward thing is that I quite regularly have people who think they have seen my work at a particular craft fair or gallery, but it turns out it was another artist (one of the perils of painting bright and splashy watercolours – there’s quite a few of us out there!)
What is the hardest part of being creative?
I think the hardest part of being creative is that we tend to be super critical of our own work. I know I always tend to have a particular vision in my head of what I want to create, but very rarely does the finished piece end up matching that vision! Especially with watercolour, it can be a very unpredictable medium so over the years I have had to learn to embrace that quality and try to go with the flow.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Try to find your own voice and style in your work. There are a lot of amazing artists out there and it can be quite hard to get seen in the early days. Be as prolific as you can, experimenting and just creating as much as you can as often as you can. I get asked a lot ‘how do you do that??’ and the answer really is just practice, practice and more practice! Take advantage of social media too, it has been a hugely helpful tool for me and my art business.
What subjects inspire you?
Looking at my work it’s probably not hard to see where my inspiration comes from! I have always loved animals, and wildlife in general, and this is what I almost exclusively paint. There is endless inspiration in the natural world, though I often find myself drawn to the same subjects over and over! I’ve probably painted more foxes than any other animal.
Who are the 3 greatest living artists in your opinion? (they don’t have to be famous!)
I’m not sure if I can say who I think the 3 greatest living artists are out there, but I can tell you who are 3 of my favourites! I absolutely love Emily Lamb, she is also a wildlife artist who creates the most amazingly colourful and expressive works. Stephanie Pui Mun Law is another favourite, she’s a master of watercolour and her work as a fantastical, dreamlike quality which I just find so inspiring. Finally I have to go with Eudes Correia, a Brazilian watercolour artist who is an amazing portrait artist. He creates a lot of his work outdoors, capturing people as they go about their day. He has such a good a way of creating movement and energy in his paintings, using a mixture of hard and soft edges with the paint.
Who are the 3 greatest dead artists in your opinion?
I’m going to cheat with this answer and lump all the Pre-Raphaelites into this category! I absolutely love the whole Pre-Raphaelite movement, but in particular J.W.Waterhouse is a favourite of mine along with Enward Burne-Jones. O oh and also Mucha, who was a little bit later but his work is fantastic.
What is your favourite work of art you have ever produced?
It’s so hard to choose a favourite painting of mine as they change all the time! I think if I really had to, it is my piece called ‘Siren’. It’s so unlike most of the work I normally do, and I just love everything about it! It was painted from a photo of Lauren Isebeau, who is just the most perfect Pre-Raphaelite-esque muse.
What was the last piece of art you sold?
The last piece of art I sold that wasn’t a commission was a little kingfisher 🙂
And finally… Because this is really important….
What’s the best type of cheese? (haha)
Ooh I do love cheese! This will be a tough one. Right now I think it’s got to be goats cheese, I love it on anything and everything haha. I just had some for lunch today on crackers with some chorizo, delish.