I’ve had the great pleasure of watching LA based artist Nan Lawson’s artwork grow from shy water-color illustrations to beautiful pen and ink drawings, color prints, and photography over the course of the year. With her Etsy store selling more of her work than ever, you should give it a browse and snatch up as much of her art as you can! I’ve seen white elephant gift exchanges get very ugly as participants clamor for her pretty prints…
CF: Where (if at all) did you study art/design?
Nan Lawson: I took a figure drawing class when I was in college, does that count? I have a degree in film from Syracuse University, so I was never formally trained as an illustrator. I’ve been drawing my entire life, I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t have some kind of sketchbook lying around.
CF: What or who influences your style the most?
NL: I find I am influenced by things that surround me in my daily life. My typewriter, my camera, my shoes. My characters are often based on the people I see walking the streets of my neighborhood. I only just recently cemented my style with ink drawings and simple line work which came from my desire to create something simple that still had an emotional impact.
CF: What is your favorite piece and why?
NL: I think my “Autumn Boy” illustration is one of my favorites. When I finished that piece I knew that was how I wanted my characters to look from that point on. My “Royal Typewriter” piece was my first ink drawing so it holds a special place in my heart as well.
CF: “Vintage” has become a rather broad term - is there a particular era/age that moves you?
NL: You see hints of this in my work, especially any of my chair paintings, but I am obsessed with mid-century modern design. I think anything Ray and Charles Eames designed was brilliant. I’m also a furniture and interior design nerd, so don’t even get me started…
CF: Best way to keep warm in winter?
NL: Snuggie? Live in Los Angeles? Honestly, a hot cup of coffee does the trick for me!
CF: You sell your illustrations through Etsy - Give me 5 reasons why handmade gifts are the best! Go!
1. You know someone put a lot of heart and effort into it instead of a machine or assembly line.
2. You are often getting something that is one of a kind.
3. You get a more personal experience since you are usually in direct contact with the creator.
4. You can often get something created to your personal wants/needs/aesthetic.
5. You are helping a poor artist pay rent or buy food!
CF: As an artist and vendor, what are your plans for 2010?
NL: Right now I am saving up in the hopes that I will eventually be able to support myself completely through my artwork, so I hope business continues to grow. I also plan to create more original works on a larger scale so that I may participate in a gallery show of some kind.
CF: As a human and earthling, what are your plans for 2010?
NL: Spend more time with friends, go for more walks, take more photos, and see the ocean as much as I possibly can.