MEET THE ARTIST: LARISSA LABAN
Let us introduce you to our new Oaf pal, Larissa Laban, a multifaceted artist that helped us bring Future Garden, our Autumn collection, to life. Her otherworldly work, created using traditional and digital mediums, features unexpected faces and two-headed animals which combined with bold colours and soft shading, leaves you feeling like you’ve fallen into a lucid dream. This effect spoke loud and clear to the vision we had for our Oaf garden of the future, which with our lack of greenthumb-ness, would be a bit f***ed up. Come with us to take a peek into her studio, along with asking her all about: how her style came to be, working on Future Garden and finding inspiration in plain sight.
Hey Larissa, thanks for having us in your studio! How are you doing?
Hi! Thanks for coming, I’m doing fine thank you!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m a 27-year-old Brazilian artist and designer from São Paulo, but I grew up in a small seaside town in Rio. I work as an art director in an advertising agency, and I am also a freelance designer and painter. I love cheese with guava paste and I have four cats.
It’s been so exciting working with you to create the prints for our Autumn collection, Future Garden. What did you think about the theme?
I loved the theme because I gravitate towards creating weird yet gentle and soft creatures in my designs. For me, Future Garden represents: genetic mutation, vibrant colours and creatures that you don’t understand at first sight. The aesthetic fits right in with my work as I tend to paint weird animals and objects with features like duplicate heads or human faces.
When briefed with the theme for this collection, how did you begin the creative process?
I looked at references of post-apocalyptic plants and animals, I then started off by creating abstract drawings, trying to find shapes that look like creatures. Once I find the right placement, I put a little face in it and go from there.
What’s your favourite piece from the Future Garden collection?
My favourite piece is probably the Garden Family Big Square T-Shirt, I love how all the characters combined create a nice group of friends hanging out in the garden.
The juxtaposition between your darker colour palettes and endearing characters makes your work so visually enticing. How did you develop your artistic style?
I’m not sure exactly how it came to be, but I was a goth as a teenager, so I was really into dark clothes and listening to post-punk and emo music. However, as I've gotten older, my interests have become shows like Big Blue House and Sesame Street or doing things like cooking pancakes with faces. In my art, I like trying to create a combination of these two parts of myself, my dark and soft side.
What led you into illustrating and how did you turn it into a career?
I always liked to draw but I never thought it could become my job. Then when I started working in advertising, I began to realise I could sell my illustrations to big clients! So I spent several years practising and improving my skills, which included a lot of researching references in order to develop my own style.
Tell us about your studio, what are your favourite parts about it?
I just moved into my new studio so at the moment it’s pretty empty, but I like putting up pieces of my art that didn’t quite work out. I find that seeing pieces from a new angle can lead to me using it for other artworks. For this reason, there’s a lot of them hung up in my studio.
Who or what influences do you look to for inspiration?
I love vintage objects, old ceramics, 60/70s furniture and food with faces along with concepts of the future of yesteryear. For painting in particular, I look to Emilio Vilalba’s work.
What places in Sao Paulo do you go to when you need inspiration?
Right now, I find myself in antique shops searching for different objects to use in my art. I also find inspiration just from walking around the centre of São Paulo, I love looking at old logos and characters. I’ve found some of the best places to look at are ice cream shops and mechanics.
What are your favourite things about Sao Paulo?
I love spending time in the park with my friend’s shih tzu. I like to regularly check out exhibitions around the city and whilst I’m there I can spend time with my friends!