Lori D is an artist and animator living in Portland, Oregon. Her beautiful work is part of our “Good for Nothing” exhibit that is opening tonight. The party starts at 7 and we can’t wait for all of you to see it. Fellow artist, Dillon Froelich asked her a few questions:
Whether it’s painting, commercial illustrations, or animations, each piece you produce has such a visible sense of humor. Do you find creating work that makes people smile important when working on a new series?
A lot of the time when I’m working I’m just sort of playing and exploring ideas and letting the narratives unfold so I think maybe the humor comes from posing questions for myself in the image(s) when I’m working and then coming up with little visual punchlines for my own amusement. Hopefully the humor is legible by others too!
It is so exciting to see your world come to life through your animation projects. How do you like working on animation verses painting? Do you find zines being helpful in creating a storyboard for upcoming animations?
Thank you! Painting is so much more immediate so I enjoy it for that reason and also because I get to play with color a lot more. Animation takes a long time to bring to life usually so it is more of an ongoing commitment to an idea. But there’s nothing quite like seeing your drawings come to life when you line them all up in a row. I use zines more as a way to work with text or to share specific information, or a collection of ideas. I like that you can put a handmade thing like a zine into a lot of hands and over a long period of time for a very low expense. Zines are also interesting to work with because they too are time based in a way; in that it offers a little experience for the reader that isn’t over as fast as if they were just facing off with a painting. They can hold a zine in their hands and keep it until they are ready to put it into the hands of somebody else. That’s a special quality about zines. They can have a long life and reach a lot of people.
Along with designing multiple skateboard graphics, you also write a monthly column in The Skateboard Mag. Where do you think your style fits within the skateboarding world?
I haven’t been doing the column lately in The Skateboard Mag but I feel lucky to have been able to do that for SO LONG! Thanks so much to Kevin Wilkins at The Skateboard Mag for making that possible. I think my style fit(s) into the skateboarding world because I am and always will be a devotee of that community. Now that I skateboard less often than I’d like to, I feel like maybe I’m growing into an old lady a bit so now maybe it’s time for the new voices to dominate: like your brother’s and yours! The many hours and days and years I have spent rolling that little sled all over the earth will always define who I am. It gave me a different kind of awareness about people and landscapes. I hope to be healthy and able enough to keep skating for years to come.
There is always an overwhelming sense of culture, history and tradition in your paintings. Do you find yourself pulling inspiration from a specific nationality or is it mainly fictional?
I am very much inspired and informed by my own experience growing up in a rural town in California and the temporal cultural specificity woven into that experience. I often revisit archetypal characters of the places and times I have lived in. I am also in constant awe of folk art from around the world and the way people from a spectrum of cultures and climates represent their own regional characters, historical figures, and heroes.
Your use of patterns and outfits is very authentic. Is there a time period or fashion style you admire the most? Ever make your own textiles?
Hahaha! Wow, thank you! I have never been complimented on authenticity of the outfits I paint and animate before. I am kind of oblivious when it comes to fashion but I imagine somebody else could probably point out better than I could what time period or fashion style I am tending towards. I have become increasingly obsessed with cowboy boots and I also enjoy painting clothes with tassels and fringe. I grew up around a lot of farmers, cowboys and people with monster trucks, motorcycles and muscle cars so I imagine the kind of outfits those folks would strut around in make up a big section of my mental costume department. I the people in my work usually look very American and occasionally they are donning more Russian or Ukrainian styles. I have never made my own textiles per se… unless you count knitting? I am addicted to knitting. But I have never made any prints for fabrics or anything. I hope that one day I will get a chance to do that!