Subsign: First, can you tell us a few things about yourself?
Lamissol: I’m Lamissol, a Bucharest-based illustrator. I have a background in film directing, so I enjoy watching movies a fair bit. If I’m not trying out new pizza places in the city, I love composing music and swing dancing.
Subsign: What was your childhood like? Do you think your experiences from childhood have influenced your present creative endeavors?
Lamissol: A quiet, normal childhood. No bad experiences that scarred me into adulthood. And that’s always a good thing. I didn’t have any particular artistic encounters that veered me into my present profession. But I’ve always had an artistic inclination and enjoyed drawing and playing the piano, so it’s not an unexpected life trajectory for me.
Subsign: What did you wanted to be as a grown up?
Lamissol: On the first day of school, we were asked to write an answer to this particular question on a piece of paper. Years later, at the end of the 4th grade, we were shown those papers and my answer, which for the life of me I couldn’t remember writing, was either astronaut or pilot. My memory fails me in this regard.
So, even at that stage of my childhood, that supposed dream was already past its due. As I grew older, I became fond of the idea of becoming a private investigator, no doubt strongly influenced by my love of Hercule Poirot novels, or an archaeologist, as a result of my passion for history. But, at that point in your life, your desires change, and I was no exception. In my early teens, I became enamoured with music and film, so my ideal career path became film directing, which it still is to this day, but economic constraints keep me from dedicating myself fully to that direction.
Subsign: How does your workstation look like?
Lamissol: A bit cluttered, actually, with a cat or two always either covering my monitor, sprawled over my keyboard, or in my lap, making work a bit harder than it has to be, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will leave it up to the imagination on how my desk actually looks like.
Subsign: Do you have a work style? How would you describe it?
Lamissol: I previously described my art style as cubism, cartoons, and abstract art with some confetti thrown in. An interesting fact, for me at least, is that my illustrations turned very colourful when I started doing digital art. When I was working in traditional mediums, like pastels or oil painting, my style was, bearing some similarities, much darker in tone, which is something I would like to revisit, but time is pretty short, and days seem to go by quicker and quicker.
Subsign: Can you share with us how your creative process works?
Lamissol: I usually start with a pencil sketch, then I vectorize it and add colour. I started doing digital art on a tablet, then I kind of drifted away from illustrations since it didn’t bring enough money, and I did graphic design for many years, where I used the mouse exclusively.
And I learned to do that quite proficiently. I’ve seen some very impressive illustrations done, for example, in Microsoft Paint with only a mouse. The old adage comes to mind: when there’s a will, there’s a way. When I came back into illustration work, I kept the same practice and mostly use a mouse to draw. I do sometimes use a tablet to create a piece from start to finish, but otherwise I resort to it only when I start the texturing process.
Subsign: What is your favorite work you have done so far?
Lamissol: “The Wine Tasters” always brings a smile to my face, and it’s hard not to pick it as a favourite.
Subsign: Who do you follow for inspiration?
Lamissol: I don’t have that much time to follow new artists, unfortunately. I do notice great illustrations and artists constantly, but I can’t say I pay attention to anyone in particular for inspiration. This is also somewhat of a conscious decision. If you do find an amazing artist, you might have the tendency to copy too much from them.
Subsign: What advice could you give to someone starting out in the creative field of work?
Lamissol: Like many other professions, being new to the creative world has its own ups and downs. You can have a great start by being born in the right place, or by meeting the right people at the right time, or you can struggle for many years to make yourself heard. There isn’t a magic formula for being successful in this field. Sometimes it’s about being consistent at it and never giving up. Sometimes it’s about luck.
My advice would be to get involved in as many projects as possible as early as possible. Start by growing your own network of people from whom you can learn, as well as your own community of followers. Expand your set of skills, and keep your eyes and ears open to feedback from your peers or (future) clients. On the more “economic” side of things, having a “9-to-5” job will support you until your illustrations make you financially independent, so try not to quit your day job. Yet!
Subsign: If you would a super power, what would it be?
Lamissol: Immortality, as long as I wouldn’t need to defend it with a sword, Higlander-style.
Subsign: Can you recommend for our readers a book, a song and a movie?
Lamissol: Tatsumi Yano – Spring Breeze, one of my favourite songs. It always feels like I am listening to it for the first time.
Hirokazu Koreeda’s debut and still the one that resonates with me the most, Maboroshi no Hikari.
Since my previous recommendations were also Japanese, I might as well complete the trio with another recommendation from there. Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro. Another novel of his, I Am a Cat, is wonderful too.
Subsign: If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
Lamissol: I’ve thrown a few dance parties in the past as I’ve been swing dancing for seven years now, so it’s the kind of party I enjoy. It would have to take place in a nice, big hall, with a jazz band on stage. People, dressed in more formal attire, are dancing all around, experiencing the music. If not, they could just be sitting at their tables, engaged in trivial or profound conversations, oblivious to the world.
Subsign: What famous people would you invite to the party and why
Lamissol: Orson Welles, Voltaire, Oscar Wilde. All very witty people who I would imagine could keep the conversation going all night and delight anyone lucky enough to be within ear range.
Thank you Lamissol for being a part of our Spotlight!
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