Interview: Louis Is Art | whiteknightonasteed

 Original image  Drag Me Down Music Video  (2015) / Edit  whiteknightonasteed

Original image Drag Me Down Music Video (2015) / Edit whiteknightonasteed

TUMBLR: whiteknightonasteed

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 second part in 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.

 

WHITEKNIGHTONASTEED

"It is undoubtedly a beautiful face, but I suspect my admiration for him as an artist and as the person I believe him to be very much plays into it, too. Purely aesthetically, for me, Louis is classically handsome. He has a real 50’s Hollywood-leading-man look. There is so much material to work with too."

 

 Louis Tomlinson sketch  whiteknightonasteed

Louis Tomlinson sketch whiteknightonasteed

How and when did you become interested in art?

I have always been drawn to art, but haven’t ever studied it, except for one life class term about 15 years ago, which I found extremely stressful and stopped. For better or for worse, apart from that, I am completely self-taught. That comes with some frustration. I grew up very much in a pre-internet/tech age, and I have battled that in blogging and in art, which is why, when I started trying to create something, I started with the humble pencil and paper. Looking back, I had always longed to draw, I think, but I had the common experience of my time of being told/deciding as a kid that was talentless, and so (aborted life class excepted) leaving it behind. It was getting into the 1D fandom and seeing so much creativity, and the freedom with which it was shared, that inspired me to take the leap again. So I started teaching myself to draw (watching a lot of fandom artist videos and YouTube) and gradually expanded into my version of photo editing too.

How much time do you spend on your art?

Oh dear….I spend a lot of time!! I am blessed to have time, though, so I feel very fortunate. I do everything from home, although it is mostly portable enough to take on my travels. A dedicated studio space would be a dream though….

What is your process when creating an artwork?

I always just choose photos to work with that I instinctively love (it is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Louis) and play around with what each one can be. The possibilities expand as my skills slowly do. I have a tragically large amount of unposted drafts…

What tools do you use to create your artworks?

I originally started with drawing with a very basic pencil and paper, getting better materials as I went along, as I came to understand the value in that (another shout-out to the fandom artists who share their experiences so freely). I was curious about digital art, but my lack of computer skills frustrated me (still does) so getting an iPad Pro and Apple pencil was a revelation. I can combine a traditional drawing method with a digital medium, and learn in a way that feels more organic to me. It makes my photo editing a bit different from the norm, I guess, as I edit by digitally drawing on the photos, as well as using basic Photoshop and iPhoto, sometimes switching back and forward multiple times. It is possibly (probably!) more inefficient and time consuming, but I find that method much more satisfying, personally - almost meditative at times. I do look at the amazing work of all the digital artist and editors and giffers and wish I had a fraction of their skills, so I do continue to experiment with it all. 

 Original image  Drag Me Down Music Video  (2015) / Edit  whiteknightonasteed

Original image Drag Me Down Music Video (2015) / Edit whiteknightonasteed

What do you enjoy most about creating your artworks?

I get more joy than I ever expected from it. It is late in life to discover this part of me, but I am incredibly grateful that it has happened - that it has opened up a whole new creative side. If others enjoy what I do, that only adds to it. I do try to see all the tags people leave, and I appreciate the kind words more than I can say.

What is your favorite Louis artwork that you have created?

Oh, this is a hard question. It depends on the day! I like my most recent one! I tend to remember the ones where I can see I made some progress, some discovery in how to do something in a new or better way. Sometimes it is that I think I have captured something that reflects what I see in Louis.

 Louis Tomlinson at the Pride of Britain Awards (November 2016) / Original image  REX  / Edit  whiteknightonasteed

Louis Tomlinson at the Pride of Britain Awards (November 2016) / Original image REX / Edit whiteknightonasteed

What attracts you to creating artwork of Louis and what features of his do you find yourself focusing on the most?

I never really understood the concept of the muse in the way I do now. I actually thought it was a bit odd at first, that I was continually drawn to work with one person’s image, one face. I was surprised to find so much possibility in one subject, but there it is. It is undoubtedly a beautiful face, but I suspect my admiration for him as an artist and as the person I believe him to be very much plays into it, too. Purely aesthetically, for me, Louis is classically handsome. He has a real 50’s Hollywood-leading-man look. There is so much material to work with too. All the boys have been photographed so extensively for so long, often in really high def quality, which is great to work with. I very much appreciate all of that, even as I worry about the level of exposure they have had to endure to create it all.  I hope I represent them with kindness and respect. Louis also seems to effortlessly manage such a range of looks, from the most casual to the height of red carpet tailoring (the whole Soccer Aid day comes to mind). He takes a mean selfie too (whatever their purpose). He is never boring. I am never bored of him. 

Anything else you’d like to add?

It is sometimes a bloody big challenge being in this fandom (and in particular, being a fan of Louis), but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have been inspired here. I have found my creative wings here. I have found in Louis, and his band mates, a renewed love of music. Louis is breathtakingly beautiful, for sure, but so much more; a brilliant writer with a beautiful, unique, pivotal voice; a magical presence as a performer no matter the constraints; and he is a brave, sweet, loyal and loving young man. A perfect muse.

 

 

We'd like to thank whiteknightonasteed for sharing her amazing gift with the fandom and for taking the time to be part of our LOUIS IS ART series.

You can see more of whiteknightonasteed's amazing work here: 

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 Louis Tomlinson in Doncaster, Keepmoat Stadium (May 2017) / Original images  FLYNET  / Edit whiteknightonasteed ( left ,  center left ,  center right ,  right )

Louis Tomlinson in Doncaster, Keepmoat Stadium (May 2017) / Original images FLYNET / Edit whiteknightonasteed (left, center left, center right, right)

Interview conducted and edited by: Rachel