ARTIST OF THE WEEK: JANE LEEMarch 16, 2017
Freelance illustrator, Jane Lee, talks to UO about her minimalistic nature and abstract work. Based in busy Los Angeles, California, Lee talks about the art scene there and shares with us the best places she goes to find inspiration for her work. We also learn about her interest in fashion and how she has combined this with some of her work.
UO: When did you realise that you wanted to pursue illustration as a freelancer?
I knew I wanted to freelance while I was in college- I loved the idea of being able to create my own schedule and be able to draw most of the time and put my work out there.
UO: Where do you most commonly find inspiration for your nature work?
I look at a lot of art, go to museums, and take a lot of reference photos at arboretums and botanical centres.
UO: Does your artwork reflect your personal style?
Yes- My personal style is very minimal and I like things that are simple but well made or have a unique aspect to them.
UO: Along with nature illustrations you also paint streetwear fashion. What made you want to incorporate fashion into your work?
I started incorporating fashion because I wanted to paint other things that interest me and that are relatable to others- I love unique combinations of certain colors and shapes. I have a similar approach to painting fashion as I do the nature illustrations.
UO: You received education from the Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena in Illustration and Fine Art. How was this experience for you?
It was really intense and challenging- I would sometimes have 8 hour days of classes and then have to pull an all nighter to finish projects and go to class again in the morning to present my work at critiques. But I think that experience was valuable in building my work ethic and taught me how to be professional even under stress.
UO: What is the art scene in Los Angeles, California like?
There’s a big range from low brow to contemporary art galleries like Blum & Poe and Venus over LA. There is definitely a big art scene here and it’s really fun to go to a handful of openings in one night.
UO: What do you like to listen to get you in the creative mood?
Right now I like Abra and Divine Council.
UO: What motivates you?
Wanting a better life for myself and making a career doing what I love.
UO: What other artists inspire you or inform your work?
Henry Taylor, Henri Rousseau, Julie Beaufils, Tala Madani
UO: Can you tell us about any future illustrations that you are working on?
I’m planning to make some figurative paintings on big canvases and panels, to explore what my line drawings look like on a larger scale.