Featured Artist: Lauren Nicholson


FK chats to Melbourne based artist Lauren Nicholson, who’s imaginative work can take you to faraway places. Lauren recently debuted at the Melbourne Markets!

How would you describe your style of artwork and how has this evolved?
Stylistically I like to play with symmetry and repetition while feeding my addiction to various colour combinations and at the moment this is taking the form of digital collage which I sell in limited editions.
This style has evolved through a lot of experimentation. I do a lot of random mark making just exploring colour and shape and then more realised illustrative work. Concurrent to this I’ll play around with imagery I have found in second hand books – I like to bring these old and forgotten things back to life. Finally, everything is scanned and then reworked in Photoshop which involves more experimentation which I find to be a really rewarding process.

What is your background and when did you start illustrating?
I’ve drawn ever since I can remember and think I’d been illustrating long before I realised that was what I wanted to do – I studied visual art after high school and was about to do a fine art degree in print making when I decided that illustration would better suit me and have just finished my bachelor studies in Melbourne. I have also recently completed NEIS which has given me a clearer idea of what is involved in running my own small business as I am now out in the big wide world.


2LNimage credit – by photographer Mark Lobo from A/W Melbourne Finders Keepers 2013

What inspires your work? and where do you head for regular inspiration?
I find I am often inspired by places and landscapes – real and imagined – and the idea of adventure, and escape. This may have something to do with not travelling for quite a while and way too much day dreaming! I guess this also ties back to a love for the natural world and a curiosity of the unknown.
I also find books to be a great source for ideas or just to get lost in. Anything second hand on far away places, or anything obscure or full of old photography wins me over. I love Perimeter Books in Thornbury for a good art book fix and online I regularly check booooooom! Some artists/illustrators I am currently liking (from a long long list) are Laith McGregor, Kaye Blegvad and Julia Pott.

What materials do you prefer to work with and which ones would you like to explore more?
My favourite materials are watercolour and ink as I love the unpredictability and have had a lot of happy accidents. I am also very fond of paper. I am interested to see how my work translates to textiles and clothing and hope to explore this through screen printing in the not too distant future. Also making work on a much larger scale is something I’m excited to try.


6LNimage credit – by photographer Mark Lobo from A/W Melbourne Finders Keepers 2013

Describe your workspace and surroundings and what your creative process is.

A good mixture of order and mess depending on how I’m feeling. and coffee. I am just about to move into a new studio in the city sharing with Andrea Innocent, The Seven Seas and Cat Rabbit which I am really excited about! I haven’t been a regular in the city for a while so I’m looking forward to rediscovering it and working away through winter. So at the moment my work space is a bit of a blank canvas that I look forward to filling it up with new ideas.
My creative process involves lots of looking through old books, cutting and pasting, drawing and experimental mark making usually in watercolour and then lots of time at the computer mixing it all up in Photoshop. I am addicted.

What advice would you give others wanting to follow a similar path?
I’ve found that good opportunities have presented themselves through hard work and have found Melbourne to be a great place to be creatively. I would also say to just go ahead and do what you love and do it now – there are so many platforms for illustration, which I think is really exciting.



What has been your favourite project or exhibition and why?
A collaboration I have recently been involved in was creating album artwork for a DJ/Producer from London in which I worked with my friend Stefan Nott who is a multi talented designer/art director. The finished artwork is in watercolour with a focus on texture and colour. I really like the relationship that exists between art and music and look forward to doing more of this kind of work.

What aspirations do you have for the future and what would be your dream project?
This year I aim to do a lot of drawing which will hopefully culminate in a new body of work for a solo show. I am also planning for an international residency next year, I am dreaming of Reykjavik or Tokyo!
My dream project would be to create the artwork for Meredith / Golden Plains, the funnest festival around.




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