Spotlight: Lola Blackheart
— 8 May 2018 by Lauren Furey
This month, Boxpark Croydon is brought to life by the seductive stylings of Ms Lola Blackheart. To find out more about her artistic influences and extracurricular activities, we sat Lola down for a quick chat.
Tell us who you are and what you do.
I’m an illustrator and artist working from my flat in Clapton. I can also regularly be found at the Acrylicize creative studios in Shoreditch, working with a team of awesome designers and creatives who conceptualise and create amazing permanent art installations for buildings and spaces all over the world.
What can visitors expect from your exhibition at Boxpark Croydon?
Tattooed women surrounded by motifs of leafy vines and florals situated against bold, bright pastel backgrounds that echo the Japanese ‘kawaii’ aesthetic.
Your work has the distinctive Mexican Day of the Dead look to it, where else do your draw your inspiration from?
I ride a motorcycle and I’m quite rooted in the East London bike scene. It’s a big part of my world and I try to bring it into my work where I can - it’s a very inclusive and inspiring culture, with a lot of badass women doing their thing. My female characters often appear in various states of undress, proudly holding bike helmets under their arms.
Who were your biggest influences when you were starting out?
I’ve always taken inspiration from traditional and neo-traditional tattoo art; old school Sailor Jerry imagery has influenced a lot of my own tattoos and has undeniably impacted a lot of artists, particularly in the tattoo world. Angelique Houtkamp’s work made a big impression on me when I was a teenager studying art at school, and I still adore her print work.
You're not just an artist; can you tell us more about your events work, too?
I run Studio 7, an arts and events space and consultancy as part of Acrylicize. In 2016 we took over an unused space in our building behind Redchurch Street with no real intention for it other than as a space to store our weird and wonderful samples and materials. I started bringing in creatives who were doing exciting things in the creative world as a source of inspiration for our design team, to give short talks about their practise. We soon realised that we should be sharing this with a wider audience and I’ve since hosted a regular series of exhibition openings and creative events, as well as kick starting our art consultancy platform that allows us to share the incredible opportunities we get via Acrylicize with emerging independent artists.
I also co run and host @theswipehype and @fuelledmotofilmfest
What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you?
Right now, I'm working on a collaboration with Clique Customs, a motorcycle and apparel store who have just re-launched their website and are based in Cornwall, to create a limited edition run of t-shirts as part of their ‘Rough Edge Collective’ line.
I’ll also be working on a live art piece at Bike Shed’s ‘Summer Smoke Out’ event on 23 June, as well as selling limited edition prints and pins. My online shop is being built at the moment and will be up and running next month.
I also have plans for some larger scale street art pieces for various spaces in East London, so keep and eye out!
What was the last song you listened to?
I’m currently sitting on a balcony in Bushwick, New York, and I’m listening to ‘How Did We Get So Dark’ by Royal Blood. I’m out here to host my first US event and panel talk, working with a really cool gallery & studios space, Con Artist Collective.
Lola Blackheart's exhibition is available to view throughout May at Boxpark Croydon - you can follow her online on Instagram.