Interview: Louis Is Art | art-changes
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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 part of our ongoing 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.
"i just needed to capture his beauty on paper"
One Direction's music, at least amongst its fans, is perhaps best remembered for its dramatic shift in tone and style throughout their five-year, whirlwind tenure. From upbeat and colorful bubblegum pop, to more subdued, but no less energizing, folk and rock-inspired tracks. Much of this was thanks to the musical stylings of Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne, who took on leadership roles in the writing process. In the later years, Tomlinson's lyrical efforts penned more mature and complex songs, like “No Control,” “Home,” or “Love You Goodbye”. In his writing, Tomlinson was able to imbue the same light, fun energy the group's early music had provided, while allowing their style to grow with their fans.
Similarly, fanartist art-changes has found her personal artistic style and influences changing throughout the years, as a result of One Direction, and more specifically, Tomlinson. She notes, “I have a design degree and drawing was always a big part of my course of studies. I only started drawing portraits in 2014. Before that it was always abstract experimental work and a lot of cubism and expressionism. But since I became a fan of Louis I started drawing portraits. I just needed to capture his beauty on paper.”
One aspect of art-changes' work that stands out as unique to the style of other fan artists is her creative use of color; each drawing she creates is saturated with fantastic and abstract yellows, blues, purples, and all manner of other bright colors. And, while prior to 2014 she worked primarily with styles traditionally associated with darker palettes, she still experimented with color combinations and blending exercises she had learned in school. Inspired by artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, art-changes is drawn to artwork that stands out and arrests the viewer with its brightness.
This impulse followed her as she began drawing portraits of One Direction, and although the content shows a remarkable change, from expressionism to realism, this style of creative colors remains. art-changes notes that she was drawn to One Direction, and Tomlinson in particular, because he isn't just a singer to her. She explains, “he's the most wonderful, generous and beautiful human being. He inspires me everyday. Because of all this I enjoy drawing him the most. I love how [his face and body language can be] so expressive. I always love drawing his eyes the most, and his beautiful hair.” She jokes that if she could, she would draw Louis 24/7.
Like her finished products, her creative process is very exploratory. “I always make some (very) rough sketches beforehand and try out a few color combinations to see what looks best.” Once she has designed a palette for the drawing, she begins sketching the outlines, sometimes with the help of grid lines, then uses watercolor pencils to add each layer. Finally, she blends everything together with water. She adds that, “recently I started painting with Gouache colors again, I love them because I can blend the colors perfectly with water too even after the paint has dried.”
Although she has created countless artworks of Tomlinson, and indeed all of One Direction, art-changes cites one picture as her all-time favorite. It was inspired by Tomlinson's photoshoot for The Observer magazine. She adds, “I loved the lightning and colors in the photo so much so that I had to draw it. He's sunshine to me and in this drawing he is the sun personified. The only thing I'm sad about is that I did this drawing in a sketchbook and I can't frame it and hang it on my wall.”
Although she is unable to hang it on her wall, it will remain online on her Tumblr, where she is able to share it with her fellow One Direction fans, and indeed, her own fans of her artwork. She has been quite busy recently, but hopes in the future to do more collaborations with fellow artists and content creators, and is excited about the new musical styles Tomlinson will soon be introducing, hoping it will inspire even more artwork of his beautiful face!
We'd like to thank art-changes for sharing their amazing gift with the fandom
and for taking the time to be part of our LOUIS IS ART series.
You can see more of their amazing work here:
Written by Bridget | Edited by Rachel.