Illustrator and collage artist Lola Dupre creates bold and beautiful work on a whole range of themes. Instead of opting for the time saving method of computerised collage, Lola has stuck to creating her work with traditional materials: paper, scissors and glue. This gives her work a tactility that could not be achieved in any other way, and the time, effort and precision that goes into each of her creations makes them truly unique.
Lola’s work includes warped politicians, wonky architecture, gangly giraffes and dogs on wheels. All of these are brilliantly captured in her intricate and distinctive style. This signature style has won her commissions from New York Magazine, Nike and The New Republic, as well as giving her the opportunity to work and exhibit all over the world.
I caught up with the master of collage to find out more about her work and career.
Hi Lola! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I spent most of my youth in Scotland, so this is where I would say I am from. I have very little education, I left school when I was young to hitch-hike around Europe. I like almost everything in measured moderation and almost nothing in excess.
What is a typical day like for you?
I rise early and work early. The rest of the day I hope has no pattern. I enjoy the experience of new surroundings, and I am fascinated by conversing with insects and discovering new fauna.
What is your studio like?
My studio changes frequently, for the last three years me any my partner have been travelling across Europe. My workspace is very minimal, I value good natural light more than anything else. And my essential tools fit easily into a cup.
What do you do when you are not creating?
Currently I gather fruits, mushrooms and nuts in the forest, swim where I can. And scavenge my surroundings for firewood.
What is your most valued possession?
I try not to amass possessions and I keep my belongings to a minimum. I suppose my most valued possession would be the suitcase that houses the art collection I have collected from friends over the years. That, and my external hard-drive.
Do you have a favourite piece of work from the last few years?
Not really, I tend to always prefer the last piece of work I made. Most recently I was very happy with a group of five nudes I made for a solo show at ESD Gallery in Sydney Australia, curated by the visual artist Gordon Carmichael.
Your process is so fascinating. How did you come up with it? Why do you prefer it to digital photo manipulation?
Years ago I worked alot with papier-mache, and I was always fascinated by the accidental collages that appeared on the surface of the 3D objects. Then one day in Switzerland, I picked up ten or so copies of a free magazine and mashed up the editorials inside into the kind of work I do today. I very much admire and am inspired by digital manipulation, but personally I prefer the tangible results of paper and scissors. I like the subtle shadows and highlights that you can see in a paper collage when viewing in person.
Who or what influences you creatively?
Everyone and everything. Most recently stumbling across an abandoned cottage, fully furnished and decorated with religious paraphernalia and assorted bizarre items. Perhaps the occupants emigrated to America full of hopes and dreams, taking just a few suitcases of their most valued items. A fascinating discovery deep in a forest, with the atmosphere of a museum, theatre and fairy tale.
Do you ever suffer from creative block? What is your cure?
Never. I am not always happy with my work, when I work I select an idea from a vast reservoir of ideas, few of which I have time to experiment with.
What is your dream brief or collaboration?
I find pleasure in all briefs and collaborations, and the unexpected directions they take. There are many projects I would like to work on, something with Grace Jones would be nice.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
No idea, I only think ahead a few months at the moment. Recently I have lived in Switzerland, Scotland, France, Portugal, Spain and now Ireland. I would like to travel more, and further afield. At the moment we travel light and on a budget, Europe is easier as no visas are needed and travelling is cheap. Everything we own fits in our Berlingo. In the future would love to spend time in Greece, Iceland, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Brazil, amongst many others, but who knows. Time passes like rain water in the street, it is hard to move against the determined movements and currents.
You can see more of Lola’s amazing work HERE.