Introducing Laura Wood, a colour-loving and globe-trotting illustrator
Illustrator Laura Wood is an Italian-born artist whose vibrant digital creations are bursting with joy and energy. Laura's love of exploration drives her illustrations, which are filled with textures, playful brushstrokes, and vibrant colours.
Why did you decide to take up illustration?
I was living in Melbourne, Australia at that time and wasn’t sure what to do with my life, career-wise. When I discovered illustration, I was hooked immediately; it was love at first sight! When I discovered that could potentially be a job, I was like, “I wanna do that.”
How do you get past creative blocks?
To be honest, I don’t have a solution for creative blocks. Usually, I step away from art and illustration when that happens and try to focus on other things, waiting for the “block wave” to pass through…
What is your creative process?
I like to sketch or write down ideas on a piece of paper. But, for some reason, I don’t consider myself able to deliver a piece of finished work on paper, but for the same reason, I can’t sketch and jot down ideas digitally. Go figure!
So I have a sketchbook where I put down the very basics of what I want to illustrate and where I feel truly free of making mistakes and going crazy. Usually, they’re all very ugly drawings, but they often already have the “essence” of what the final thing will be. Then I take a photo of it on my phone and use it as a reference for my digital drawing.
Also, another thing essential to my process is to let an illustration “sit” for a bit. This means going back to it after days or even weeks and being able to see, only after that sitting time, what it didn’t convince me at first, adjust it, and make it better. If I don’t have much time because the deadline is tight, I might go back to it the day after, but still, that helps me see things differently. I might notice straight away something is missing, or colour is not working, or proportions are not correct, and so on. I find the “sitting” time really essential.
Where do you look for inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is other people’s work. When I see someone else’s work that I like a lot, something inside of me starts moving, and I immediately think, “I wanna do that too!”
Obviously, I do not copy, but the challenge becomes to transform that idea or concept into something within my work and with my style, which always translates into something new and unexpected.
What are you reading or listening to right now?
In the last years, I’ve been having a hard time reading books, so I switched to audiobooks, and they are perfect for me! I can listen to them while I work, at least during those activities that don’t request my brain cells to work too hard.
How do you switch off?
During the week I find it hard to really switch off and I often work in the evening as well. However, during the weekend I manage to switch off completely by socialising with friends, going out, cleaning the house as well as going dancing lindy hop. Two precious days that always help me clear my mind and recharge.
A big thank you to Laura Wood for contributing to our series of creative conversations with industry experts.