"At the Edge"

Loulou Elliott

My illustrations often do not have literal or concrete meanings and ideas, rather I keep the meaning vague and leave the interpretation up to the viewer. I am inspired by my own and others emotions, as well as real-life experiences, the mundane events of the day to day life, and the shapes and colours in my environment. Often my ideas are triggered by things around me, and I find it greatly helpful to take photos of anything that catches my eye. You can record that fleeting idea, and even if you don’t develop it now it could inspire something in the future. Although some of my art is entirely fictional, much of it is based on real places or buildings, including parks, restaurants, streets, even my back garden. Even a certain colour that stands out or an interesting piece of architecture can be randomly inspiring.

With this painting, I was thinking about my time in Tokyo last year, inspired from our stay in a hotel and looking over the city – the idea of looking out of a high window down at the people and scenery below. I have always loved tall places and being up high because it puts our mundane worries and problems into perspective. I often unintentionally weave the philosophy of the Sublime into my work, which in aesthetics means a quality of greatness that surpasses our comprehension and inspires feelings of absolute awe. It comes through my art in the form of a person being small and insignificant in contrast to the space and surroundings, whether that be natural or architectural.

I mainly concentrated on coming up with the basic shapes in this illustration, working with my imagination and reference photos of buildings with large windows. One of the unusual things I personally do when I’m struggling to come up with visualisation is to close my eyes. The mind is free but reality has boundaries and I find that totally blank canvas with no distractions is helpful. That way you can also simplify shape and colour and avoid overcomplicating the image, which in my case matters as my work is very minimalistic. However, I still think references are important and usually are needed just to confirm perspective and inspire details that you possibly could not think of on your own.

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