“It’s mostly about craving to go outside,” Hola Lou’s on her latest work and merging minimalism with “contained disorder”
Artist Hola Lou has been daydreaming about the outside world for some months now. She's not alone. For most of us, a trip to Tesco has become depressingly adventurous. But then again, most of us don't have the colourful, yet currently unexplorable streets of Yucatán, México, at our doorstep—a tempting reminder for even the most enthusiastic homebody. For Lou, a craving to explore has culminated in a new print series, one that dares to imagine future adventures in hyper colour.
With exploring off the cards, for now, Lou has been keeping busy working on digital commissions from home, painting original pieces in her upstairs studio, and creating crypto art—a recent first-time venture from the artist that had us bowled over. Throughout all these mediums, Lou's work is instantly recognisable for her use of abstract shapes and simple forms. Although for minimalist art, Lou's practice is far from plain.
"Even though I do minimalist works, there is always a hint of spontaneity or 'contained disorder' in my pieces, especially when it comes to crazy colouring," Lou told Evermade in a recent chat. "I like to remember my favourite feelings, landscapes, and social scenarios, revive them in my head and take my most cherished details from them, whether it's colours, shapes, or feelings themselves. Then I challenge myself to interpret them in the simplest visual way possible."
It's a slightly mind-boggling process for a goal of simplicity and a deeply personal one at that. But Lou's pulled it off once again for her newest work - a print series we're proud to have produced with the painter. Drawing both from her memories of a "joyful, down to earth" Mexico and her vision for vibrant days to come, Lou has crafted three designs in vivid tones. Lou's use of sharp, densely-detailed linework, and her refreshing take on minimalism, makes artwork built for commanding a space—although, we think they feel homely too. For a jolt to the ocular system, take a peek at the full energising collection below, available to purchase now with Evermade.
With her abstract new collection fresh on our minds and almost a year since our last collab with the artist, we thought it was time for a catch-up.
Hola Lou! What projects have been keeping you busy recently?
Hola! I've actually been painting some Originals for a few shows in different cities like Atlanta, Paris and Mexico City. Just got my first Crypto art piece published and it has been a topic that definitely has been grabbing my attention lately as the novelty and ingenuity behind it mesmerizes me. I also started the year with a couple digital illustration commissions for brands and have honestly been enjoying them much so far.
Tell us more about your home in Mexico. What’s the artistic scene there like right now?
I would say that a lot of it is still being held prisoner of the typical snobby gallery attire, but at the same time I do see a handful of artists that have broken free from that and are taking riskier paths (with art, design, fashion, music and everything in between) that eventually have been making noise on an international level. Mexico either way is already a culturally acclaimed country in the first place, but I am super happy with more modern artists popping up that are offering a unique, contemporary vision of what Mexico is for all of us. I would recommend everyone and anyone to come and experience its magic at least once in a lifetime.
In what ways does Mexico inspire your work? On the flip side, does your art ever transform the way you see your home?
Mexico and Latin America in general inspire a lot of my work, I am always taking long walks looking to find every single detail from our colourful streets that I may have missed last time, any weird-looking plant I could save in my head and interpret that in a sketch later. I base my art on my own ideals of music and visuals, therefore I do paint Mexico and my roots in an ideal way, sometimes even borrowing references from other cultures like Japan or Brazil, I take what I love from each... This definitely morphs my own perspective of mi casa, I like to pretend I'm changing bits and pieces from it with every artwork, hopefully letting everyone know how joyful and down to earth this place is.
What music have you been painting to at the moment?
Lately I've been obsessed with having tropical abstract jazz (if that's even a genre haha) artists like Kokoroko, Sol Monk, Maajo, Amir Bresler and Sefi Zisling playing in the background while I'm working.
"It's as if these designs were not scared of what people will say of them, and I think that reflects very much who I am working on to become."
Have you always been a fan of minimalism?
Not really, I first fell in love with it from design and photography rather than art but it definitely reflects very much who I am today, I like to think that even though I do minimalist works, there is always a hint of spontaneity or 'contained disorder' on my pieces, especially when it comes to crazy colouring.
Let’s break down your creative process! Do you prefer to draw shapes freehand or map things out digitally?
I always start freehand, even if it's a bad draft, having it laid out on paper first lets me get a clear vision of where I'm going next.
What does your day-to-day workspace look like? Do you prefer: a home studio or an iPad to create anywhere?
I love and have both in my house: A digital-focused workspace where I keep all of my gadgets and a painting studio upstairs where I usually paint bigger pieces. Both are awesome, I would say it depends on the mood I'm up for the day mostly.
In an era of lockdowns and staying home, how have you been getting creative with your family?
It's been hard, but I believe we've finally understood that our best way to cope with lockdown is to have both, a part of the day dedicated to work and self time as well as a family time when we usually go out for a long walk, spend some time at the pool, grill stuff, watch anime together, play videogames or do random experiments to keep our heads busy haha.
There’s a blank piece of paper in front of you. What word comes to mind?
You've said before that a lot of your work stems from memory. How and why do you create from memories?
I like to remember my favourite feelings, landscapes and social scenarios, those ones that marked you so heavily that they shaped who you are at the moment. I like to revive them in my head and take bits and pieces of my most cherished details from them: Whether its colours, shapes or feelings themselves. Lastly I challenge myself to interpret them in the simplest visual way possible.
For your new series of prints with Evermade, what memories and locations have served as inspiration?
Mostly my own craving to go outside, explore and meet new people. I've been daydreaming about it for quite some months now and it used to cause me intense anxiety to think I cannot do those things, so I've been kind of channelling those thoughts to again, idealizing how my next adventure will be like when I go out.
What's your favourite part about this trio of prints?
The fact that they have very bold colours and fine lines included on everyone of them. It's as if they were not scared of what people will say of them, and I think that reflects very much who I am working on to become.
Finally, in 2021, what would you love to experiment with artistically that you never have before?
I hope I can make a book happen (a mental health visual guide has been on my mind for a long time now), I'd also love to slowly get my hands into fashion.
All of Hola Lou's abstract prints are available to purchase now, exclusively from Evermade.
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