Exploring art has no boundaries. Capturing the art is everything that an artist will ever need. Being an artist is a therapy in itself as it’s you who can make your thoughts whimsical with the use of your own talent. All you need is a free hand that flows at the speed of your thoughts and the colours to make every thought look more beautiful when created on paper.
Our interview with artist Laura was an opportunity for us to understand art in its truest form and how art can be a ray of hope and a happy place for millions of people out there. Laura speaks of art with a spark in her eyes that only comes with being passionate about art and mindfulness.
Come, let’s dig into our conversation and know more about Laura and her life journey so far that revolves around her artistic approach to life.
What’s your story? Where are you from and what led you to art?
“Hi, there! I’m Laura, a self-taught artist based in Hong Kong since 2018, after living in Italy, the US, Germany, and Ireland. About three years ago, I realized that I wasn’t doing enough of what I loved the most: art. I always felt that it was part of my identity but when I thought of how much time I actually spent on it, I realized it wasn’t a whole lot. So, I decided I would make it a priority in my life. I followed some online tutorials and I joined a group of Urban Sketchers. I was welcomed by an encouraging and inspiring community and within a year, I had opened my art website, participated in a group exhibition in Ireland, and developed a whole watercolour series.”
What role does art play in your life?
“Art is not my full-time job, but it plays a fundamental role in my life. I have another full-time job as a team leader in a tech company. Most of my day involves managing people and creating schedules and plans. To complement such a rational and strategic job, I’ll always make time for art and creativity, as a way to maintain my mental balance.”
Laura’s art intrigued us and we wanted to know about her artistic style and where she drew it from. When we asked her about her artistic style, she said, “This idea of balance is reflected in my artworks: the dot work and detail blend in with the colourful backgrounds, the black & white complement the blue skies. It’s a harmony between the need to keep control and let go, geometry and fluidity, reason and instinct. The subjects of my artworks vary a lot. Whether it’s a homage to Hong Kong, a faraway galaxy, or a dreamy whale, the central theme will always be the embrace between rationality and heart.”
Laura takes her inspiration from the absolute beauty of nature like, wildlife, galaxies, and the places that have a special meaning for her. She also loves Japanese woodblock prints, which are quite recognisable in her style. Her favourite art medium is watercolours. She believes that it is very difficult to control them, but again, that is where the beauty lies.
How does your creative process help you with your mental wellness?
“I find painting so therapeutic, especially after staring at a computer screen all day long! I really get into the flow, it works almost like meditation and really helps me to find peace. I’ve called my art alias “the quiet place” as a reference to this.”
What messages do you try to communicate through your art?
“In today’s hectic world, I am committed to inspiring more and more people to take up art as a way to find calm, build resilience and create their own quiet place.”
How do you balance creating art for yourself and creating art for clients? (Leave blank if you simply draw for yourself)!
“I’ve taken several commissions but I’ll only take them if they align with my vision or art style. When I feel the need to refocus on art just for myself, I have no problem turning down requests from potential clients.”
As we went on with the interview to know more about Laura, we discovered that apart from drawing and painting, she is keen to learn sculpture and pottery as other art forms. Her self-care habits are very simple and effective to adapt. Other than art, she indulges in exercising, taking long walks in nature, and eating well to maintain her wellbeing.
How do you believe artists can help destigmatize mental health?
“Through art, you can express feelings and emotions. It’s not only a cathartic way to channel thoughts, even the negative ones but also a way to surface mental health issues, raise awareness around them and hopefully lead more people to accept it and seek treatment.”
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a person who wants to explore using art as a form to express their emotions or thoughts?
“There’s an unhealthy obsession with finding one’s unique style, while it actually develops with us and our emotions. I think this can be very damaging, especially if you are a beginner artist because it will preclude you from learning and expanding your skills. The best piece of advice I’ve received is to spend more time studying artists that you like and trying out new techniques, instead of obsessing over creating a completely unique and consistent portfolio.”
Laura was a complete delight to speak to and her art is a reflection of her personality. It would be a pleasure to see more of her art. You can check her out on www.thequietplaceart.com, or follow her Instagram page: @thequietplaceart.