In today’s Partner Spotlight, we talked with London-based abstract artist Luana Asiata about her artistic process and influences. Her abstract works evoke memories of the past and have a sensual connection with nature. She reduces the visible world into bold shapes, colors, and patterns – transforming places, people, and energy through gestural strokes and intuitive mark-making. She showcases her paintings in art fairs and exhibits, even bagging an award in the “Spotted” Awards for new up-and-coming designers to watch. She works with Lumaprints by making her art available for sale.
- What media do you use for your art style? Is there a specific reason why you chose this media?
I studied oil painting at Art School so it’s my first love, mainly for its buttery texture and richer, denser colour. I like to explore ideas quickly and intuitively, so I’ll create bold colourful abstract sketches in my journal or on paper using acrylics, watercolour, oil pastel and felt pens. Recently I’ve delved into the world of digital painting on my iPad which has transformed my art practice by enabling me to work quicker and explore ideas easily before I commit to canvas.
- Can you describe your art and your art style?
My art is of an abstract expressionist style, made up of colourful designs inspired by my love of reductive abstract shapes, colour and pattern. I produce original paintings and archival fine art prints that tell a story of a place, its people and energy through gestural strokes and intuitive mark-making.
- Who or what is your inspiration in doing your art?
I find inspiration in everything, the places, and people I meet, smells and colours of the natural world. I might see a colour of an object or the texture of a wall, or the tales of someone’s excursion, I like to capture these little moments in my work as a way of celebrating its existence and to treasure daily.
- What drives you to create your art and share it to the world?
I’m drawn to the abstract and see the world in shapes, colour, and form. Music plays a big part and can influence the way I paint or draw, rhythmically it sets a pace and I visualise colour vibrations. Abstract art creates an inner world, you never really know where it will take you or what the end result will be – I guess that’s part of the fun, everyone has their own interpretation.
- Can you share a favorite quote or saying that you live by?
I’m a big fan of Kandinskys work and love his quote ‘musical notes and chords that visually “sing” together’. I listen to music while I paint and it can influence the way I move around the canvas and the gestural marks I make, colour and shapes collide with each other creating a harmonious composition that sings.
- Can you discuss a specific piece of art that you are particularly proud of and why?
I created an oil and acrylic painting called ‘Revival’ it was inspired by the desire to reconnect with people and to get out and experience life again. It was created at a time when we were reluctant to travel or socialise, so this piece felt like a slow emergence into a new positive beginning – full of colour, light and energy. It felt like a turning point in my painting style where I felt confident in the way I applied the paint, the luminous colour combinations, and balanced composition. I sold it to a gorgeous couple; it was a wedding gift from their family, so it was extra special.
- Can you walk us through your creative process from start to finish?
I keep a journal as a way of documenting my journey as an artist, it was one of the many things I was encouraged to do at Art School and still do to this day – I’m still using that process of collating, writing down my thoughts, doodling and keeping bits and pieces from my travels, old train tickets, pressed flowers, postcards, foreign bank notes – a crazy mix of things.
Nearly all my work starts off as a sketch, I’ll look through my journal, catalogue of photos that I’ve taken, see a word I’ve scribbled down on a page, colour combinations I like, a line my kids have drawn, and that might spark an idea for the beginnings of a piece. Most of my drawings are in preparation for a painting either in oils or acrylics. I experiment using different mediums, watercolours, oil pastels, the kids crayon, collage, inks – it’s a great way to explore an idea. Different objects, photos and words trigger a memory, or a feeling and I try to interpret that in my work so that when I stand in front of the finished painting or drawing it takes me back to that memory.
- How do you handle creative blocks or challenges in your work?
I see creative blocks as opportunities to push myself to try new things. Its ok to give up on a painting that just isn’t working and start something new and not to be too precious about my work. I find a change of scenery helps as well so sometimes I’ll go for a walk or a run just to clear my head and that usually does the trick.
- What is your advice to aspiring artists?
Have confidence in yourself and believe in your own worth as an artist. Create work that you love and don’t be afraid to share it. Artists often spend long periods of time on their own creating, so it’s important to remember to network and connect with other like-minded people, this can lead to interesting collaborations, group shows and opportunities. Be proactive, approach retailers, apply to open calls, organise your own exhibition virtual or in your home or studio. A great way to test the market and engage with the public is to exhibit at fairs or organise your own pop-up event with some friends. Try different approaches, be kind and remember to smile.