Laura Loveday is an artist and illustrator from Cornwall, UK, who has freelanced for companies such as Nobu Hotel and Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, as well as taking private commissions.
Originally from the North West of England, Laura studied and gained a distinction at Falmouth College of Arts and remained in Cornwall, which had, by then, become a great inspiration for her work. Being immersed in unspoilt country every day spurred her to draw the nature she saw around her, though she rarely paints seascapes, because: “You don’t see foxes and owls in the Atlantic. There are plenty of artists painting the same view of St Michael’s Mount and they’d do it far better than I would. I’m a landlubber in an artistic sense.”
One theme running though Laura’s work is the sense of preciousness. As well as making pencil studies and jewel-like portrait miniatures of hares and crows in Elizabethan garb, Laura creates paintings on wood which often focuses on and emphasises the value and importance of nature. Taking inspiration from Japanese art from the 17th and 18th centuries, the meaning of Ma, and the Arts and Crafts movement, gold leaf surrounds portraits from nature as a halo-like, framing device for the highly-detailed studies of the natural world.
Not content to only work on 2D surfaces, Laura has also been known to paint furniture to create truly unique, one of a kind pieces. As these are very detailed and time consuming, her decorated furniture is usually limited to two or three items a year, or when time allows. As with the ethical sourcing of reclaimed wood to use as boards for her paintings, Laura seeks out vintage supplies of wood furniture to restore and paint.
Being mindful of nature and the world is at the forefront of Laura’s ethos in regards to her art and life. Her policy is quite strict and time-consuming at times, involving research, not just on materials, but of the companies behind them.
Upon asking Laura about what’s next for her, she said that she’d love to write and illustrate a book at some point, and to hold relaxed art classes with a goal to demystify drawing for others. She feels very strongly that more people should try art as a creative outlet and form of expression in a supportive environment. The first thing she hears from most people when discussing art is that they’d love to be able to draw but can’t. “Who says?” Laura asks. “Ultimately, I think one of the greatest gifts people can learn through art is to not to judge themselves so harshly. Art is such a personal thing, I don’t think anyone has a right to say when something’s good or bad, but all you need is one nasty art teacher laughing at a sketch you did when you were seven and it can put people off for life. It’s good art if it means something to you. It doesn’t have to mean something to everyone else. Just you. It’s selfish in that sense and there’s nothing wrong with that – there are so many benefits to just drawing. If you’re drawing a flower, say, you focus so much on that flower and trying to make your hands help you draw what you see or making whatever you’re feeling visible at a particular moment, it’s very cathartic. Art takes practice like everything in life, but it can be so much fun practicing and seeing yourself improve every day and just enjoying it.”