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Contemporary freelance artist Lucy Pass, founder of Little Lost Soul, talks painting, t – shirt printing and pipe dreams. You can see more of Lucy’s work at wwww.littlelostsoul.moonfruit.com, treat yourself to some of her handmade designs at www.etsy.com/shop/littlelostsoul and like her on www.facebook.com/littlelostsoul.uk.
What is your art background?
My high school encouraged creativity, some of my work was completely mad, I’ve no idea how I got away with it! The natural progression after A-level seemed to be higher education, but because I’d got so much experimentation out of my system, I already had a firm idea of where I wanted to take my art. After school I basically spent a year frustrated, so I decided I had to go it alone and work towards actually being an artist. I’m still learning all the time, but now I’m able to take my work in the direction that I choose to.
Has creating always been your calling or a more gradual process?
I don’t remember the first thing I ever drew (I’m sure my mum could dig out something embarrassing) and I don’t remember the moment I knew I wanted to be an artist, it’s just always been the obvious path for me – I try to remind myself how lucky I am when I’m tearing my hair out over a big deadline or a painting that won’t behave itself!
There are so many! I guess the established names would be Lucian Freud and Jenny Saville. If I can paint one portrait in my lifetime with that amount of honesty and rawness, I’ll die happy!
However, I look for ‘fresh’ talent all the time! My recent crushes are Jeremy Geddes, Marco Mazzoni and Andrew Salgado. Look them up if you aren’t familiar with their work – you won’t be disappointed. It’s good to find work that turns you a bit green – envy can be really great fuel for work!
As an artist myself I am used to the ignorant slanders that art is pointless – what would you say to such narrow minded views?
At a recent exhibition, I overheard two (rather drunk and very loud) men discussing my work with reference to how pointless and overpriced it was. I should have asked them to expand, tell me what they would have preferred to see and what the value of art was to them, but I’m afraid I was too busy being a pansy.
People are free to have whatever opinion they want about my art – it’s all down to personal taste, but the people who blanket all art as being worthless and futile are the people I want to knock a little sense in to! The truth is that art is absolutely everywhere in so many wonderfully varied forms and the world would be horribly dull without it! Sadly, I do think art has developed a bad name and is often seen as something that only elite circles can access, so it’s no wonder people feel alienated and make such sweeping statements!
How do you view Lancaster’s art scene?
There is so much talent in Lancaster, but sadly there hasn’t been an outlet for it because of all the recession doom and gloom. Most of the artists I know locally, I’d never have found without social networking – a small group of us have set up a collective called The Make District which is basically a way of supporting each other (and having a bit of a moan over a bottle of wine) but at the same time organising events and workshops which make art and design a little more accessible to the lovely folks of Lancaster!
Do you find you get more interest from your paintings or from your t – shirt designs?
I’d say it’s about 50/50, but I think the two go arm in arm. Art isn’t the easiest thing to sell at times! It’s a lovely thing to own an original painting, but it’s a pleasure that many can’t afford. Art should be for everyone, I decided to apply my work to varied platforms to suit all pockets! I’ve always had an interest in fashion and making my own clothes, so I decided to use my paintings as a starting point. The clothes and accessories are like a deconstruction of my art… that you can wear!
Any advice you would offer your younger self?
Just get on with it! Nobody else really knows what they’re doing either! And while you’re at it, stop underselling yourself! – That’s to my younger self, my present self, my future self and anyone else who needs to hear it!
Any big plans for the future?
Well I have a very romantic dream of living above my own gallery and having open studio days, exhibition launches with wine and workshops with cake! Sounds fun doesn’t it? I’d love a place to fill with art by amazing unsung artists as well as my own work. One day it’ll happen! Until then I shall continue my unhealthy obsession of pressing my nose up at the windows of empty shops and dreaming!