COLOURFUL ILLUSTRATIONS: LU WEST
INTERVIEWED BY Michaela Stehr
We chat to South African-born, London-based artist Luzelle van der Westhuizen about what inspires Lu West, her successful collection of fine art prints.
How did you get into illustration?
I’ve always been an artist, but I think in the last year or so it’s just finally clicked for me: “I am an artist!” After completing a course in printmaking in London, I’ve found the medium that best expresses my simple, graphic and colourful work. I love interior design and when creating my fine art prints, I always think of how it can complete a space in a beautiful home.
What inspires your work?
Pop art, mid-century illustration and Scandinavian design inspire me. I spend a lot of time looking at beautiful interior blogs to see current trending colours and styles. Living in London, it is such a privilege to have access to the most amazing museums and art galleries in the world, such as the V&A and the Tate Modern. I definitely make use of both for inspiration!
How would you describe your style?
Most of my illustrated work features animals and nature in simple forms and patterns, and fruit and flowers inspired by pop art or nautical themes. I love using bold and bright colours to create whimsical illustrations to make you smile. For my latest print collection, I’m playing around with a lot of simple floral shapes from the sixties.
Who are some of your favourite illustrators?
I seem to gravitate toward the graphic illustrators of the past century. Charley Harper’s ability to capture the essence of animals and nature with just a few simplified graphic lines and shapes is such an inspiration. Alexander Girard’s visual symbols and patterns were extraordinary and his body of work is timeless. Contemporary illustrators that I admire are Lisa Congdon, Heather Moore from Skinny laMinx, Sanna Annukka and Garance Doré.
Do you have a favourite piece of your own?
My favourite piece is “Bigger Boat,” the very first print design that I created. It has been my bestselling design since I started creating prints. I think there is just something very simple and aesthetically pleasing about that little sailboat bobbing in a big blue ocean. That is my goal, to keep creating art with a strong emotional response.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future?
I’m getting involved in more freelance illustration projects, like an upcoming collaboration with a greeting card company in the UK. I love working on my blog, creating mood boards and trend collections. I’m always looking for more beautiful interior stores and galleries to stock my fine art prints, so if you’re interested, please get in touch!
Where can people get their hands on your work?
You can buy my limited edition fine art prints online at lu-west.com. Prints are shipped worldwide and framed options are available for UK delivery.
You can also view this interview at VISI Magazine's BLOG