Find out more about our licensed artist Lisa Parker and what inspires her work.
1. How did you get into art?
I've always drawn from an early age, in fact I can't remember a time that I haven't drawn. I remember sitting and drawing in nursery, I would have only been around 3 or 4? I've always loved animals so I was going to either draw them or work with them. I've got a very good visual memory, take me to a pub quiz though and I'm rubbish! I can't remember anything else. I'm worse than my mother!
2. What inspires your art?
The environment. I love all things living. I love forests and wildlife, I often walk to the woods with my dogs. I also love films, going to the cinema is on the list of my top ten things to do. I love film company logos, like Tristar and MGM.
3. Do you have a favourite space where you like to work on your art?
I like to sketch from life outside. It's on those days I feel really lucky to be able to sit outside with a sketchbook. I'm looking forward to some hot sunny days when I can sit by the pond with my two tame ducks and draw them - it's a little too cold at the moment. Inside though I work surrounded by my three dogs, and a lot of snoring! I have plants everywhere and i've planted trees and plants outside the window. I'm extremely fortunate to live in the country so I try to give back to the earth as much as I can, last year we planted 40 trees and over 600 lavenders to home more birds and bees. We had 4 species of bumble bees and the lavender was covered with butterflies. All wildlife is welcome here.
4. What is your favourite thing to draw?
Cats are my number one favourite animal to draw you can add a lot of expression and mood to a cat. I love cats and you can use a cat in a artwork to represent a feeling. The cat often represents me, especially in Midnight Vigil. If I drew me it would be too personal, by using a cat we can all picture ourselves there.
5. Of all your artwork, do you have a favourite piece?
I usually hate all of my artworks as soon as i've finished them, i'm highly critical of everything I do and I always want to do better than anything I've done previously, but I guess I lean towards "Midnight Vigil" - it's a very personal piece to me.
6. How long does it take to finish one piece of art and how do you know it’s finished? Is it tempting to keep adding more?
I always have loads of ideas, it's difficult to sleep. My mind constantly races and the hardest part is focus especially if a company wants a dragon but I have a better image clear as day of a cat in my head. I have lots of images flitting about like a slide show and I try to sketch a load of thumbnails to get them out of my head. The composition is the main part and that comes in drawing composition and composition of light, light has a composition all on its own. However its the detail that takes the time and these days the artworks need to be over 100cm for the larger printed items like duvets so it can take several weeks just tidying the detail. Yes it can be hard to know when to finish so it's good to share on social media to get a bit of feedback.
7. Are there any art trends right now that you’re aware of or following?
I don't tend to follow trends, however the companies I work with do. I get a lot of requests for dragons and white wolves inspired by Game of thrones. I will occasionally add a few artworks that are requested however my best sellers are always my cats. I've been told many times not to draw certain things but I do it anyway and they always end up licensing it. The trouble with bending to requests too much you aren't developing your own style.
8. Is there a theme for the thoughts and emotions you want to portray in your art?
I get my images literally like a slide show, it's like i'm being shown them and I get a lot of them - ALL of the time! The more i'm out and about the more images I will see. Let's say I'm in a pub and there's a beautiful candle on a table, instantly I see the entire scene, a cat staring down at a single feather, rain on the window behind him. I'm lucky enough to be in a position to draw what I want. I choose the images I like best and try to get them into an artwork as best as I can. I love light and drama! I love to be able to portray an emotion and I prefer the darker stuff.
9. How do you think your work has evolved over time?
I'm more comfortable in my style and abilities these days. Artworks always go through a ropey stage where they look like a 5 year old has drawn it and I have a few days of telling my husband that I can't draw and I'm going to have a give up my art career because I'm useless but overall these days are fewer and fewer over time. I know now to take a break, take a look at some reference and come back to it. I like to push myself. I want each artwork to be better than the one I've done before and I get frustrated if I'm not learning enough. Absinthe was difficult to draw with the glass and fairy, my brain literally ached! but I feel i've evolved some more on that one.
If you're interested in finding out more about Lisa, you can follow her on Facebook.
Here at Something Different we stock a wide choice of exclusive Lisa Parker products including glasses cases, canvas plaques, incense and cone burners.