10 Questions with Laura Gulshani
We are in love with the fashionable paintings of the talented artist Laura Gulshani. She is just 25 years old and lives in Toronto, Canada. Her work is marked by a vibrant use of colour, heavy brushstroke work and a focus on details. She has collaborated with brands such as Missoni, Chanel, Saks Fifth Avenue, Burberry and Hussein Chalayan.
1. Hi Laura, tell us something about yourself.
I am 25-year-old artist based in Toronto, Canada. I appreciate all forms of art, and dabble in photography and writing along with painting. When I'm not painting, I like going on runs (when it's not snowing), following politics, exploring museums and coffee shops, and watching Bill Burr specials.
2. How did you get started as an illustrator?
Drawing and painting were always my hobbies, as I've been interested in the arts since I was a child, thanks to my parents who registered me for every creative class under the sun and took me to lots of museums during our travels. But I never took it very seriously, until about three years ago after finishing my undergrad at Ryerson University in Fashion Communication, when I realized there could be a career in this field for me if I worked hard enough at building my style up. The catalyst for that was meeting my now-agent, who helped me get started with gigs, and the encouragement I received from really kind editors during editorial internships and at a job as a copywriter I had post-school, who discovered my work online and offered me commissions. I don't know if I'd be doing this now had it not been for their support.
3. How would you describe your style?
I would hope my style conveys some sort of influence from the works of the Post-Impressionist period that I love very much. My style is this sort of hybrid between painting and illustrating I think, because I go all in with acrylics and oils, but I'm not very concerned with painting subjects or objects perfectly as seen. Sometimes, I leave areas more unfinished than others, and like for the underpainting or outlines to show through. I also unconsciously make colours more saturated and figures/objects larger than they are, the latter probably so I can get more brushstroke texture in.
4. What’s your technical/creative process?
I start with collecting imagery for an idea already floating around in my head that's been inspired by something I saw in a book, magazine or something I saw come down the runway. Sometimes, an idea will even pop into my head as I'm dozing off at night. I do a really quick sketch that really only I can decipher because it's complete chicken scratch (I have no patience for sketching), and then I start experimenting right on the canvas.
5. Who or what inspires you and your work?
Nature, architecture, fashion and fine art inspire me the most. I love designers who play with details, colours, textures, patterns and strong silhouettes. I find painting large areas of colour so enjoyable, which made me think I should be a house painter, so that's my possible career back-up. In terms of fine art influences, my top guy is Matisse, for his pattern mixing, loose, painterly style and so much more. Right now, I'm also into Pierre Boncompain, Henri Rousseau and Pegge Hopper, and always Jean-Phillipe Delhomme.
6. Which brands do you work for or do you love to work for?
I love working with any fashion/beauty/lifestyle brand interested in applying art to marketing in a fun way, and that has a project in mind which suits the style I work with. It has been a great privilege to work with each and every brand on my roster, whether big or small. Every project has allowed me to develop on my style, gain experience and meet so many interesting people.
7. What is your favorite thing in the world to illustrate?
Fashion!!!!!! I adore fashion design, and placing avant-garde, high fashion styles in simple, real-world settings.
8. Name 3 things you can't live without?
My local art store, coffee and the Wendy Willams show.
9. Any new creative plans for 2018? expositions? books? collaborations?
I have two print collaborations to be released soon that I'm so excited for, and a couple of other projects in discussion. An exposition is the goal, eventually!
10. Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists?
I still consider myself an aspiring artist, but something that helps me in tough times is "Don't take this too seriously, but also work really hard." I also look at things as working a little every day towards my goal, as to not get overwhelmed with trying to achieve things quickly. I tell myself that good things take time!
Thank you Laura!