A big welcome to Laura Van Leeds! Laura came to Wraptious through our Spring Artist Competition, and we love her unique, illustrative art style. Here's a little more about Laura!
1) Where are you based?
2) What mediums do you work in?
I usually like to use ink and watercolour but recently have re-created my favourite brushes and textures so I can ink digitally too with a similar effect. I use both mediums and simply select the one most appropriate for the project at hand.
3) What inspires your designs? Where do you get inspiration from?
Nearly always by nature and the outdoors. I've always loved animals and really like to use them in most of my work. I get inspiration from walks and spending time creating and growing my garden. When I can't go out or don't feel like it for whatever reason, I often turn to books about plants and nature to help feed my work.
4) Which artists do you admire or have influenced you?
I've always loved picture books and my inspirational artists are Oliver Jeffers and Il Sung Na. They both have unique styles with a hand-drawn feel that I like to look at when I'm stuck for ideas or feeling blocked.
5) What’s your top tip for other artists?
Go with your instinct! It's always useful to hear feedback and advice from others but ultimately you always know what you want to do with your own art deep down. Just listen to you heart :)
6) What is your favourite piece of your own work and why?
I love the Winter fox that I submitted for this, Foxes have been one of my favourite animals since I was little and the Winter animals series was where I found a style that I loved to work in and seemed to flow easily.
7) What would your dream job be?
Illustrating picture books full time. It's a hard industry to break into but I would love to be able to not have to do anything else for work.
8) Where do you create art, and why?
At the moment I work from my spare room, facing the garden. I'm awaiting the build of an outdoor garden room which is where I intend to work from in future so that I can be immersed in my freshly developed garden and watch it grow while I work.
9) Favourite quote!
Honestly, it's actually a lyric :P "I'ma do the things that I wanna do, I don't have a thing to prove to you" by Weezer. I love it because it uplifts me each time it comes round on the playlist.
10) Something not many people know about you?
I can do some mean cementing, including re-building broken walls and paving a patio!
You can find Laura's brand new Wraptious giftware range on her Wraptious page.