Introducing Laurie Avon
We are so happy to be welcoming Brighton based illustrator Laurie Avon to Brilliant Artists. His illustration is heavily influenced by his relief print practice, creating illustrations with a very human touch, crafted feel and a little bit of magic.
Get ready to fall in love with the linocut supremo and one of the most affable people you could hope to meet with our Q&A below.
1. Do you listen to music while you draw/paint/illustrate? And if so who or what gets the most plays in your studio?
Music plays a big part in my creative process; I often use it to connect with what I am illustrating. The albums that are on repeat this week include Promises by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra, Kôrôlén by Toumani Diabaté and the Big Ears compilations by (Brilliant Artist’s very own) Ryan Gillet & (my studio buddy) Ed Tuckwell. Historically speaking though, I am just another sad, soppy, sleepy Radiohead fan…
2. Which other illustrators or artists do you most admire and why?
At the moment I’m loving Javi Aznarez – for his charming and characterful depictions of people and scenes, Sergio Garcia Sanchez – for his ability to frame complex webs of narrative into single compositions, and the decorative ceramics of Makoto Kagoshima! That being said, I’m a deeply-secretive mega-nerd and LOVE lots of vintage sci-fi stuff. I am also inspired by old relief printing (in particular) the atmospheric Lord of the Rings prints by Eric Fraser.
3. What is the best thing about being an illustrator? And the worst?
I love the freedom illustration gives you to bend realities and explore/construct your own worlds. It makes it incredibly immersive and fulfilling, but the counterbalance to this is it can become pretty obsessive and hard to turn off from. Therefore, setting clear boundaries such as (for me) only working on illustrations in my studio, really helps me!
4. How do you overcome a creative block?
Whenever I get stuck, taking space away from an illustration is always crucial. Whether it’s a quick walk around the block, a cycle over my local South Downs, or even just a quick game of chase with one of the three resident studio dogs, nothing is better than fresh air, eyes, and thoughts.
5. What are your favourite films? Which one would you illustrate the poster for?
Impossible question, so there is a bit of recency bias here: Everything Everywhere All at Once (Just so moving & exhilarating), DUNE (Bloody loved it & the book), and STAR WARS (Not choosing between them- sorry). I’d love to make a mad multi-dimensional poster for Everything Everywhere All at Once… That would be cool!
6. If you could illustrate the book cover for one book which would it be?
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee! I read this last year and was swept away. It was such a moving portrait of family, love, and identity; following four generations of a Korean family across Korea & Japan.
Alternatively, (being true to myself) I’d illustrate the cover of My Life in Red and White by (my great lord and saviour) Arsène Wenger. It would be pure and oh-so-loving fan art at its cutest.
7. Dream studio location and set up?
I’d be sharing my dream studio with the same gang of lovely human & dog legends as I do now… but maybe with a few extra dogs… And perhaps a slightly better coffee machine… With an auto-filling fridge of free craft beer… And a resident Michelin star chef with a great smile – who can also fly… Actually… Also, the studio can fly… And so can we… And all dogs have wings… That’s just a rough estimate!
8. Best trip you have ever been on?
Probably one of the best trips I have been on was a surprise getaway to Paris with my partner Ellie. She tricked me all the way into St Pancras and the Eurostar boarding area before I realised we weren’t going to Wales to see her Grandparents… Iconic.
9. What do you have to have in place before you start work?
A perfectly-gorgeous wonderfully-lovely mug of the finest single-origin black coffee. Ideally, made by my handsome mate Luciano, at my fav local (the one and only) Bond St. Coffee, Brighton… oh yeah!
10. If you could have any artwork in your home what would it be?
Maybe, in keeping with my sci-fi roots, an original painting of a fantasy world by Roger Dean! Don’t mind too much which one, they are all pretty wicked!
Check out Laurie’s wonderful portfolio in full here.