This week our COTW is 26-year-old multifaceted artist Loki.
Based in Carlisle, Loki is an artist drawn to many different art forms such as illustration, painting and pencil drawing. Loki told us about what attracts them to these practices: “Pencil drawing is really accessible, all you need is pencils and paper and you can just make forms out of them”.
Painting on the other hand for Loki is something they enjoy but not having the instant gratification can be a bit tricky for them:
“It’s not immediate and you have to prepare for it. It’s just more appealing to pick up the pencil and pens and do something monochrome”.
Self described by Loki as ‘A portrait of the guy who always falls asleep
on the sesh as a young man.’ Photo credit: the_absurdatory
Illustration is something that has always appealed to Loki as an avid reader and they told us that when they were younger they would be consumed by the illustrations:
“I like imagining worlds and environments and environments and my illustrative stuff is bringing that to life."
Loki’s love of literature and the absurd also informs them of the kind of work they want to produce: “There's a book I read called miserable miracle and it’s about mescaline. The writer did some poetry but it’s all in French so I don’t really understand it but the poetry itself moves all across the page and I like the idea of doing weird stuff that I don’t even understand myself”.
For Loki their love of the surreal is something that helps inspire them as an artist:
“Ultimately nothing really makes sense if you think about it, which is what I’m trying to convey. I have a big old Dali poster on my wall which is obviously a big inspiration”.
Loki's inspirations stem even further than literature and the absurd. They also dabble in photography and their surroundings enlightens their artistry:
“The reason I like photography is because it’s one of the most life affirming art forms because you’re making what already exists into art”.
Adding: “It makes you more grounded in the world”.
A photograph taken by Loki whilst they were out for a walk in the countryside. Photo credit: the_absurdatory
When Loki isn’t out taking photographs and drawing away they spend some of their time making music, specifically techno and house:
“I like more breakbeat influenced stuff, I guess that’s kind of related to having a world in your head because the music doesn’t have lyrics and it just draws you in”.
Loki often listens to their tunes to aid creativity when making album/single covers: “Whatever comes out at the end of it is the artwork for it”.
Loki’s logo for their soundcloud page. Photo credit: the_absurdatory
One of Loki’s favourite subject matters you can find throughout their work is mushrooms which are a recurring theme throughout their portfolio and they explained to us why they so interesting to them: “The way some mushrooms form mycorrhizal relationships with trees and grass and connect other organisms together and the fact trees communicate through them with each other and distribute resources is really interesting and it makes you feel the mushrooms are some other consciousness”.
Beautiful foraged mushrooms that Loki took ‘field notes’ on. Photo credit: the_absurdatory
When Loki isn’t drawing mushrooms and worlds they’ve created, like many independent artists they work on commissions to help fund their career.
For them their favourite commissions are ones that are open so they can be free to be inspired by stuff that they are interested in:
“I’m currently working on a mural for my friends bedroom door so they have something to look at whilst tripping and I also enjoyed doing a plaque commission of a toad on top of a mushroom smoking a shisha pipe”.
The Toad in question sitting upon a mushroom smoking some shisha.
Photo credit: the_absurdatory
Loki’s main goal/dream is to work with small businesses on commissions and in the past they’ve been asked to do what they self described as a really cool commission for beer can designs.
Unfortunately it fell through as they couldn’t decide what they wanted: “It kind of fell through but that would’ve been awesome”.
When we asked Loki about what advice they’d give to young Cumbrian creatives starting out in their career as an artist, they first reflected on their own lived experience of how they fell into art:
“I came into art after doing something completely unrelated. My degree was in physics and I was always interested in art but I was distracted enough by drawing and writing and things during that degree that I thought maybe I actually like doing art more and decided to pursue that”.
Being a self employed artist for Loki is a ‘takes money to make money’ situation so their advice was this:
“Save up some money before getting into it and get a part time job so you can do your creative stuff alongside that because it’s pretty impossible to make a full living off it immediately”.
Loki’s logo design for their shop the absurdatory that was part of Carlisle queer markets.
Photo credit: the_absurdatory
Loki also identified that neurodivergence for some people can be a challenge when starting creative adventures:
“A lot of creative people have ADHD or something like that going on and it makes it harder to get motivated but it’s a lot easier to be motivated by stuff you actually enjoy rather than grinding a full time job that you might hate. You’ve got to find balance with both”.
Loki’s final piece of advice was this: “I would advise if someone wants to make a living from art and they haven’t gone to university yet I would say go and do an arts degree because you’ll make the contacts you need to really break into it”.
Some cute necklaces handmade by Loki on sale at Warwick Bazaar in Carlisle.
Photo credit: the_absurdatory
If you want to get creative, Loki mentioned to us that they will be volunteering at Tullie House’s annual garden party on the 19th of August.
It will be a celebration of the young creative community which has a whole host of activities such as live music, communal art projects and craft stalls - something Loki is dead excited about so don’t hesitate to go!