Illustrator Laura Wilson on art, feminism and the odd mermaid.

 

Floating around the restaurant with an enviable aura of calm, Laura never seemed repressed by the sometimes stiflingly misogynistic atmosphere of our work place half a decade ago. After her smile, I first noticed her tattoos- a tall ship, mermaids and an intricately twined circle on her back. Getting to know her a little better, I learnt she designed them herself. I've been in awe ever since and could not be more excited to introduce you. This is Laura Wilson. 

 

Were you artistic as a child? How did you get into illustration?

 

I wanted to be an artist from a really early age! Art was my favourite subject at school from when I was very young, and it was something I’d spend hours each evening doing. I drew an awful lot of mermaids! I had a few years during my teens when I gave into the ‘art isn’t a viable career option’ rhetoric that sensible adults were telling me, but eventually I decided that following my passion was worth not being as financially stable as I might be if I chose a different career path! 

 

Laura Wilson illustration, feminism, Women & Cats
Women & Cats - 2016 Exhibited in Sweet Art's 'Hand Maid' show in London, March 2016

 

How would you describe your style? 

 

I find this a really tricky question to answer. I guess I could say that my illustration style is stylised realism? I’ve been influenced by graphic novels and manga over the years but my style is evolving constantly. Recently I’ve started using a lot more colour in my work, which is something I avoided like the plague before!

 

Where do you find your main sources of inspiration? 

 

Fashion, art, music, feminism and life! At the moment I am really trying to focus my art on showing modern femininity as I experience it as a young woman, and pushing body positivity and inclusiveness within fashion illustration.

 

Frida Kahlo, Laura Wilson illustration
Portrait of a modern day Frida Kahlo

 

At what point did you begin to identify yourself as a feminist? Why do you think it’s important?

 

I guess I started really thinking about it and thinking about my place within the world when I was about 18 or 19; before then it just hadn’t occurred to me. Leaving my sheltered home life and going out into the world and fending for myself as a young woman really made me notice how pervasive patriarchal values and systems are within our society. I’m an extremely privileged woman; I was born white in a first world country, into a middle class family. Even for me there are obvious inequalities with how women and men are treated. For those women less privileged than me, the inequalities are vastly more pronounced. I think it’s important also to stress that these inequalities harm both men and women, as well as people who fall outside of the gender binary. Achieving true equality benefits everybody. 

 

Laura Wilson illustration, feminism
Work for Amelia's Magazine - Interview with musician Fable

 

Who are your influences or idols in the art world? 

 

Haha too many to list, but a few are Natalia Pierandrei, Martine Johanna, and Yelena   Bryksenkova.

 

Yelena Bryksenkova, illustration
Yelena Bryksenkova - from www.yelenabryksenkova.com

 

How about in the real world?! 

 

I have to say I think Nicki Minaj is pretty amazing and seems to be a really caring and strong role model for her young fans!

 

Laura Wilson illustration, mermaids
Personal work

 

Where can we find more of your work?

 

My website is lwilson-illustration.co.uk, and I also do monthly illustrations for online feminist magazine Bitchtopia.com! I'll also be exhibiting in London in July.

If you'd like to see Laura's work in person, you can check out SHE, an event focusing on femininity, identity and issues faced by women in this country and abroad. You can find it on 47/49 Tanner Street, five minutes walk from the South Bank and Tower Bridge, on the 30th and 31st of July. You can find more information at www.wearesweetart.com

 

Laura Wilson illustration
Degree show work
Laura
Laura

 

 

Thank-you again for taking the time to answer my questions Laura. I have one last question- can we still be friends when you’re famous??? 

 

Only if you let me come stay in your van for a night :)

 

 

Come meet us on the road Laura!

 

Fortuna, Laura Wilson illustration
FORTUNA - Work for Amelia's Magazine; 'That Which We Do Not Understand'

Write a comment

Comments: 9
  • #1

    Anna (Wednesday, 15 June 2016 20:52)

    I love these paintings!!!

  • #2

    Katie Featherstone (Wednesday, 15 June 2016 22:20)

    Me too Anna. :)

  • #3

    Alice Wallis (Friday, 17 June 2016 23:02)

    Lovely work

  • #4

    Agness (Tuesday, 28 June 2016 09:04)

    I love art because it expresses different people, situations and captures things that we may not be aware of or never pay attention to. What a lovely work, congrats to the artist!

  • #5

    Katie Featherstone (Tuesday, 28 June 2016 10:59)

    :)

  • #6

    Jed (Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:43)

    Great message Laura!

  • #7

    Holly Watson (Thursday, 24 November 2016 13:58)

    I love this girl. xxx

  • #8

    Agness (Friday, 23 December 2016 12:19)

    These images are so beautiful and express more than words!!!!

  • #9

    Katie Featherstone (Friday, 23 December 2016 12:24)

    Thanks guys.

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