Artists Serving Artists  – Lila Ash – Canson Paper

Artists Serving Artists – Lila Ash – Canson Paper

Everything I do is pretty much like telling
a story in a lot of ways, it’s not really just art for art’s sake anymore. When I first started making more narrative
art, I was very self-centered. Something will happen in my life, I’ll be
like oh that’s a comic. Like my dad says that all the time: “that’s
a comic!” So whenever something funny, or weird, or
poignant or interesting happens, I’m always thinking, ya know oh how can I like draw this. These days I try to tell other people’s
stories more. I did a big series recently of people’s
#metoo stories that people submitted to me, and I was drawing them based on their words. Using other people words is something I really
like doing. I can kind-of envision what happened to these
people using their own words. I can’t believe that stuff happened, and
it totally is like horrifying and really sad, and I felt like people were kind of being
de-sensitized because there were so many stories that were coming up. So I thought that taking stories and illustrating
them would make people look at them and be like “Oh ok.” It was just a way to kind of like grab people’s
attention and make something more visceral than just reading a Facebook post, or reading
an Instagram post. I’m from New York and LA, and that’s like
a big part of who I am, so a lot of that comes through my art. The boardwalk, at least since I’ve known
it, it’s kind of got its own vibe, it’s very true to its roots. There’s a lot of weirdo people, homeless
people, skaters, tourists, artists, muscly guys, it’s really iconic. So I wanted to kind of make a book that can
celebrate that part of LA. It’s colorful, it’s fun, and I think that
kids that aren’t from Venice or who have never been to Venice who like live in the
middle of the country, like they probably would really like to go to a place like that. I do a lot of pen drawings, I like crayons,
I like gouache. Any kind of drawing medium, I love drawing. Drawing is my first love and think it’s
my like, it’s my main thing. I love trying different papers and stuff,
it depends on what I’m using it for. When I paint with gouache, I like it to be
super flat and like very, you can’t see any brushstrokes. I like when the papers absorbent, but not
too absorbent and I like when it’s thick enough so that it doesn’t ripple or get
any air bubbles under it cause I have it flat against a board, like it needs to stay flat. And then like with sketchbooks too, I like
to have a variety of medium in my sketchbooks and I don’t mind if things get too wrinkly,
I kind of like when that happens. So like even if the paper isn’t made for
mixed media, I still paint whatever, draw whatever on a standard spiral bound sketchbook. And I like the way that if feels and the way
that it handles. The biggest thing that makes me who I am is
my art. And I think that when you’re a little kid
and you have that sense of connection, and you have that sense of identity that comes
from what you’re making. You can’t ignore that and you can’t try
to squash it, you have to just keep fostering it. And I think it’s really important for kids
to have mentors, to have teachers, to have like resources in public schools that allow
them to make art, look at art. It gives kids an outlet, it gives kids a sense
of confidence. The fact that I had a family, and friends,
and a mentor who always fostered that creativity in me. I never ever doubted myself, it’s just now
starting to happen for me and I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen in
the future. I don’t think I would be like the artist
that I am without that.


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