Last week, I discovered the Illustrator Laura Bernard on Frankie Magazine website. I have had an artistic crush (read Inspirations #1). She is only 21 years old and she comes straight from New Zealand, a tiny country compared to her huge talent. She is not graduated yet, but her career already took off!
JL. How did your artistic life begin?
LB. Definitely, when I was a kid. I can even remember the first time I have drawn a face. My mom would buy me sketchbooks and I just sat there with my crayons, draw what I saw and it was always a little crazy.
JL. There are some elements that seem to characterize your art. There are a lot of crowns, leaves, and mystical faces. Could you tell me more about it?
LB. I think I have just always been a bit of a dreamer. I used to draw fairies and goblins. And I am still into fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I am also into childish storybooks. I have always looked at the images over the texts.
JL. There are also a lot of feminine characters in your paintings. Are they a surreal interpretation of your inner self?
LB. My illustrations are definitely personal. All of the lovely ladies have hairstyles or hair colors I wish I could have.
JL. Do you usually know how the painting will look like before working on it?
LB. I have a very vague idea. I also use a lot of sketchbooks so I draw random things here and there. From that, I take out certain elements that I would like to paint. Or sometimes, I just sit there and sketch something out, and it will turn into something magically.
JL. What inspires you to start a new work?
LB. I used to have this little book that I wrote random things that I saw. I just kind of walk around town, then I would see a lady walking down the street carrying two China plates. She looks like she was about to juggle them. I communicate that to myself so later on, if I was to look at what I was inspired by earlier, I could turn that into a piece. A lot of emotions, and lately the feeling of entrapment also inspire me.
JL. Which artist has influenced your art most?
LB. Definitely James Jean. He is wonderful. I found out about him four years ago when my art started to flourish. He is very obsessed with details, so I have taken from that how detailed I could get something if I wanted to. I have always followed his process.
JL. Do you have any mentor?
LB. Not really, I have not been open with any of my art before this year when I put it on the Internet. My mom is probably the main mentor, but I have definitely gone through the process myself.
JL. What are your favorite Art materials?
LB. I have a little basket of gouache with really nice colors that I love to mix. I also have many brushes and a glass of dirty water. And I drink a lot of tea!
JL. What are you most proud of in your life so far?
LB. Deciding to put my art online was probably the biggest thing to me. I was not very confident in my work and my little sister told me to get an Instagram. I did that and since then it brings me a lot of opportunities.
JL. What do you plan to do next?
LB. In February next year, I am moving over to Melbourne. It is the center of Art at the moment. I just want to see how the international illustration scene looks like because New Zealand is quite small. And before leaving, I would like to organize my first solo exhibition.
Previous Group Exhibitions
2015. Match Box Studios. Wellington, New Zealand
2014. Pyramid Club. Wellington, New Zealand