The other day I was shown the beautiful artwork of Laura Redburn. She creates illustrations and collages, which give me a nostalgic vintage feel. Love! Laura was so kind to do an interview for Deer Lolita. I hope you'll enjoy to find out more about her like I did.
Tell me a bit about yourself. Where do you live? When did you start with your art? Somehow I get very nostalgic when I look at your work, what do you want to express with your illustrations and collages?
My name is Laura Redburn, but I use the name cardboardcities too (for some reason i prefer it all lowercase as that's how I tend to write). The name came from mis-hearing lyrics from a Modest Mouse song many years ago and it just stuck with me since. I live in Cardiff at the moment, but I tend to move around quite a lot, so I don't know where next. I have always had an interest in art (in all its forms) for as long as I can remember but I would say I became more serious about actually making things myself when I was about 16 or so. But I did use to love making magazines and similar things with my sister and our friends when we were little. I've only really properly been making collages for maybe 3 years now, but I've definitely been more prolific in turn out in the past year and a bit.
As with a lot of people, I have a huge fondness for nostalgia, memories and the like and I think that sometimes comes out in my work whether it was intended or not. I have to be honest, a lot of the time when I'm making something, I make it based on colours, shapes and images that I like together, rather than having any real intended meaning. I hate the thought and feeling of being contrived so unless I have a particular idea in my mind, I prefer to work with an organic process and I like the idea of people using their own experience and imaginations to interpret a piece.
Where do you seek inspiration and where do you create your work?
I'm inspired by everything! Haha. But things I particularly love and am inspired by are : books with botanical illustrations, animal illustrations etc..especially old ones that are yellowed a bit, it adds a really nice touch I think. I just love animals and flowers so,so much, I always have and always will. Another thing I love deeply is colour, I couldn't live without it. They (colours) can add so much emotion to a piece of art, a room, an ensemble of clothes ..the list goes on. I don't really quite know how to explain it, but basically colour is very important to me. Maps! I love maps. And Space and Physics. I'm also inspired by films and old tv shows, particularly film noir, horrors, anything associated with mystery, thrillers, crime, etc, and i LOVE the twilight zone especially the early ones from the late 50's and 60's. And Twin Peaks ..just everything about it. Also obviously I'm inspired by other artists, old and more current. I couldn't say I associate or am inspired by just a few kinds because I'm not narrow minded, and I love to absorb as much creativity as I can.
As for where I create my work, mostly on my bed ..much to my boyfriends annoyance! I used to work on the floor before I moved here but my room isn't really big enough for that here, plus I have all sorts of collected stuff, piles of books and things on the floor so that takes up most of the room. I do have a desk but it's not very big and that too is mostly covered in books, supplies and trinkets. I like working on my bed mostly because it's comfy (who doesn't like comfy?) and I can spread out. The down-side to that is that sometimes I forget about my tiny embroidery scissors I use to cut with, when I'm tidying it up and wake up in the morning with them dangerously close to my some part of my body! I should be more careful about that.
Are there any artists who inspire you? Who are your favourite artists and photographers?
Of course! At the moment I'm being quite inspired by (in the terms of I want to make work as awesome as theirs!) the work of my fellow collage artists, such as Jesse Treece, Brandi Strickland, Nicolas Lockyer and Anthony Zinonos. Brian Wildsmith and Charley Harper will forever have part of my heart. Recently found an artist called Daria Hlazatova whose works are stunning! Really loving the Sally Mann book/documentary What Remains, and the photography of Lukasz Wierzbowski (neon tamborine). I could go on for ever and ever about artists and photographers I love, but that's what's on the top of my head. If anyone has any suggestions of artists or photographers I might like please let me know!
What is your favourite piece of art?
That is really, really hard to answer! I could never just have one favourite, or even a current favourite. But one artist who has had a real emotional and almost phyiscal effect on me (but only in seeing his pieces in real life for some reason) is Rothko. Whenever I go to a gallery and stand infront of one of his pieces I just feel overwhelmed. I don't know what it is I feel, or why, but I just do, and I like to leave it at that.
How do you create your artwork? What mediums do you use?
Collage-wise, I get out all my folders of cutouts, and keep reference books nearby, if I don't already have some sort of idea in my head, I flick through the images until I find something I like, whether it be a backround, or something I can use as a main focal point, and I tend to then work upon that, find images that would work well together in shape, colour and compostion. Then, if necessary I will cut up pieces to make them neater, or to cut a shape out of a texture. Then I either just piece them together in a way that naturally comes together, or work around with them until it feels right to me. Then glue together and scan. I really want to start going back to more of a mixed media style because it feels so much more versatile and like I can bring more creativity and my own originality to my pieces. I love screenprinting, freehand style or with stencils and that's definitely something I want to use more of in my work.
If I'm doing an illustration, I'll do a quick sketch, then another to neaten it up, then go over in pen or ink, whatever I want to use at the time. Most of the time I would use water resistant inks so I get to do all the defining lines before I paint over the top. I find acrylics and oils aren't really for me, so I stick with watercolour and gouache. I really need to draw and paint more because it's something that collage just can't provide! And I think it would help inform my collage process and ideas in some ways too.
What was your last dream about?
I can't remember exactly, but I was being hunted down by someone (which seems to be a running theme in my dreams, hiding from someone/thing or trying to get away from a person. I'm a bit of an escapist so I guess it carries on into my dreams. It seemed to be a bit inspired by Game of Thrones, but set in modern times.) ..also in it I was trying to make a cup of coffee, but the granules kept turning into cake crumbs!
What were you like as a little girl?
Quite similar to how I still am now! Quiet, reserved, but cheeky and full of questions and curiosity, with a huge imagination and a tendency to think on the weird, dark and pessimistic side of life ..but also quite the laugher.
What do you hope for?
More than anything, health and happiness. But one thing I would love to ..is achieve the right word? is to be in a book. Whether that be, a book of my own art, which I know is very unlikely unless I went about making it myself, but a girl can dream! But to be in a book with other artists would be absolutely amazing too, and also I would love the chance to design the cover of a book, or do the illustrations for one. Any of the above would be a dream come true!
Thank you so much Laura!
You can find Laura's artwork here.