Laura Callaghan is a London based illustrator whose work has recently made its mark on the web. We stumbled upon her art on Tumblr and quickly became interested in getting to know a little more about this promising pop art queen. Callaghan’s work is a world of neon 80’s feelings, summer pool parties with your girlfriends, girl power and diversity. Azha and I were inspired by the inclusion of WOC in her paintings as we don’t often get to see the representation of girls like us in illustration. Check out our interview with Laura below.
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1) Where do you draw most of your inspiration for your pieces? (Whether it be movies/music/eras/artists)
Honestly it varies, I tend to carry an idea for a drawing around with me for a long time before working on it - the catalyst could be a film I’ve seen, or an article I’ve read or a photograph where the model held their hands in a certain way. A lot of my illustration is environment or situation based so that is usually the first thing I think about. The amount of inspiring content readily available online can be a bit of a double edged sword, there’s too much to look at, to get inspired by. It’s easy to get bogged down in research or for work to feel derivative. I’m trying to limit my use while drawing something and let stuff happen more organically. It’s hard.
2) Now that the internet makes it so simple to foster collabs/promo work what has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you (artistically) since your work has circulated?
I still think it’s really weird that I get emails out of the blue from people wanting to use my work….in a good way! The internet is a big place so people finding and liking my work…..it’s a good feeling. I recently put my first (short) comic online and had such an encouraging response, I’m trying to get into the rhythm of doing more narrative work, but am not a cartoonist. I’m still really new to the whole process and nervous about making and posting comics, so it made me think maybe I can do it! Some cool stuff came out of that. I’m in the process of making another comic for an anthology and am taking part in some comic events here in the UK, it’s the most excited I’ve felt about my work for a while! :D
3) Will you ever visit SF/LA/NYC? Your work has an amazing, thrilling fun bright vivacious big city feeling to it.
I would kill to visit the US, it’s the dream. I went to New York on a college trip for 4 days when I was 18. Our tutors wouldn’t really let us use the subway so we walked everywhere, we stayed in a hostel where the toilets weren’t working on one floor so you had to pee in a bucket. I saw Marina Abramovic perform at the Guggenheim without even realizing who she was and we were too young to get served anywhere other than Irish bars….looking back it was a wasted opportunity I’d like to go back now I’m a grown up with a fully formed brain! There’s such interesting things going on with illustration and independent comics over there, I need to start saving some cash and booking some flights :) Plus you guys have great food.
4) These pieces are very dreamy, what is a piece of art that you personally look at and get fuzzy feelings about because it’s so ethereal?
I just found the work of an artist called Lauren Satlowski who paints these insane melting, disfigured bejeweled figurines in a hyper realistic style. They really stuck with me, there’s something recognizable about them but in other ways they’re completely surreal and fucked up. Maybe not so much dreamy as nightmarish.
5) What do you wish people take away from your art ? How do you hope they feel?
I just want them to feel something, be it a positive or negative reaction, apathy is the worst. The ultimate goal is to make people feel creeped out. I haven’t achieved that just yet but there is still time!