Interview: Louis Is Art | alulawings
The One Direction fandom is known for many things; supporting the band's music and the individual members in their solo endeavors, raising money for charity, and being immensely creative. The depth of talent that is showcased is truly something to behold. From video editors and GIF makers, to singers and musicians, writers and artists, we are blessed at every turn. The time and energy that people voluntarily devote as part of this community adds an entirely new dimension to what it means to be part of this fandom and it would be a lesser experience without them.
This is the first part of our LOUIS IS ART series highlighting the talented artists in our midst, who willingly share their gifts with us, enhance our experience every day, and make us eternally grateful for their dedication and grace.
"Louis has fire. Whether mischief, or pride, or sarcasm, or joy, it shines and burns out from him. At times the sharpness of his words matches the sharpness in his face. I enjoy studying how to depict emotions and personality, and Louis is perfect for that."
How and when did you become interested in art?
I've been doodling ever since I was a hyperactive kindergartner hoarding crayons. However, I went through my schooling with no formal art training at all. Art remained mostly a private way to relax and de-stress on the margins of notes and on the backs of candy wrappers and receipts, until I started drawing for the 1D fandom in early 2015 and then started to teach myself in earnest.
How much time do you spend on your art?
I'd say, never as much as I would like! I don't often have the time to draw, just brief moments here and there on the fly, but such constraints have honed me into a speed demon and shaped my style to be more impressionistic and economical. When it happens, it's exhilarating to be able engage in fandom happenings in real time, you know? Some of my minimalist ink doodles take 15-30 minutes. I am not picky about where I draw, as long as there's enough lighting. (Sometimes good ideas can appear at the most unexpected places and times!)
What tools do you use to create your artworks?
I use whatever pens and pencils I have on hand: the generic kind, nothing fancy. The digital art program I use is FireAlpaca.
What is your process when creating an artwork?
I spend the majority of the time actually on the idea. Sometimes I start off with a general theme, and I would come up with dozens of concepts, trying to stumble upon the promising one that feels apt. It's like groping for a dropping ring in murky water. I think a great idea with an average execution is still good, but even an excellent execution might be soon forgotten if the idea is bland. Since I don't trust myself to have very strong technical skills yet, I try my best to not rush the planning stage. But once that's done, I sketch in pencil, go over in pen, scan it in, and color it digitally. I focus on capturing facial expressions and gestures rather than strictly accurate proportions.
What do you enjoy most about creating your artworks?
I love how much potential drawing has to bring joy, to myself as well as to others. Nothing compares to the magical feeling of when everything comes together before your eyes just as you had imagined in your mind, or even surpassing it! It is also fantastic to be able to brighten other people's day too, to make them smile.
What is your favorite Louis artwork that you have created?
There's a pair of Just Hold On drawings that hold a special place in my heart. One is a portrait I drew of him blowing a kiss to his mother in the sky in his first performance. I teared up watching that gesture - it was so heartbreaking and beautiful, you know? I tried to do justice capturing the emotions in his face of that moment. The second drawing is his performance on Jimmy Fallon and also shows Steve Aoki. I just remember drawing Louis's eyes over and over, anxious I couldn't get them right. I was lucky that Louis and Steve have interacted with that drawing on social media.
What attracts you to creating artwork of Louis and what features of his do you find yourself focusing on the most?
Louis has fire. Whether mischief, or pride, or sarcasm, or joy, it shines and burns out from him. At times the sharpness of his words matches the sharpness in his face. I enjoy studying how to depict emotions and personality, and Louis is perfect for that. I would say I am particularly fond of drawing the little longer curly bit of his fringe that frames his right eye, when his hair is casually styled. I also like to focus on the expression of his eyes and eyebrows.
Interview conducted and edited by: Rachel.