We bloody love Lois Orchard’s style of illustration, her use of a limited colour palette and punk vibes make her work bold and sexy. We love her fearless approach to her drawings, this girl is not afraid to draw a nipple or a dildo or two, and for this we applaud her! More of this please!
Hey Lois, tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get into illustration?
Mindnumbing jobs and crippling boredom. I was always into drawing and arty stuff as a kid and it was one of the only subjects I did well in at school. So then I went to college to do an Art and Design diploma and after that went to London Met University to study Fine Art, specialising in printmaking. Apart from my print tutors it was a load of bollocks, absolute soul destroying, creative suffocation. They didn’t give a shit about any of the work we were doing or helping us progress so I just gave up on it. I graduated then didn’t make any art for about 3 years. I started messing about with watercolours when I was off work with a broken arm from a roller disco injury and had nothing better to do – I dunno what happened but something sparked again and I just wanted to create stuff all the time, whether it be doodling or making clothes or writing.
Your work is awesome we love it, what inspires you?
Punx and filth. I always reference female sexuality, pop culture and erotica in my work but whatever I illustrate often starts off as a written note in my phone of some words that I have overheard or words that I think sound great together – a lot of it is wordplay and double meanings . Visually I’ve always been inspired by punk fanzines/flyers and anything DIY. I really like the process of doing everything by hand. For me I want to look at art and know that it was made with some sort of torturous passion behind it . I have a bit of an issue with digital work – I dunno whether it’s because I can’t do it well at all but it just seems a bit lifeless to me. In terms of artistic inspiration I love Raymond Pettibon, Basquiat, Tom of Finland, Barney Bubbles, Jeff Koons and the whole YBA movement.
Being an illustrator is tough, it looks like you’re always drawing and creating things, how important do you think it is to keep producing new work?
Producing new work is really important. Sometimes I have to really force myself to go home and draw and sometimes sitting down and just scribbling is a necessity. It’s a cathartic process for me really, it’s a good way for me to vent frustration. I have a never-ending list of shit I keep meaning to draw so if I’m having a bit of a block I can always go back to that. More often than not something will just come into my head at a very inappropriate time so I just have to run with it. I think its really important to switch up your practice as well, like I primarily work with ink and paper but every now and then I will paint – even though I detest painting and I suck at it, but pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is cool. Maybe one day I will even use a colour other than pink. Who knows.
We noticed you have recently done a shoot for the Ugly Girls Club, tells us a bit about that?
The Ugly Girls Club is a monthly underwear subscription club. You sign up and each month you receive an exclusive limited edition pair of knickers designed by a female Brighton artist. Hillary and Alice contacted me and as soon as I read the manifesto I was into it. The main aim is to celebrate the real contribution of women by detaching value from appearance – acknowledging and appreciating women for their ideas, actions, humour and intelligence before their appearance.
You have a very recognisable style, was this something you thought about and developed or did it just come naturally to you?
Well, I threw all my art supplies away in a ‘fuck you and good riddance’ kinda ritual after I graduated, so when I finally got back into illustrating I just had to use whatever resources I had available to me because I was piss poor. I raided the stationary cupboard at work and all they had was pink photocopying paper, fineliners and pink highlighters so I just worked with what I could get away with stealing, and these materials just became part of my aesthetic. I went through all my old stuff the other day and my style has definitely evolved for the better. I was just drawing Black Flag and Bad Brains rip offs all the time straight onto pink paper but I think I’ve honed it now and figured out different ways of using a very limited 3 way colour pallete.
Have you done any collaborations with other artists lately? Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with in the future?
Yeah me and my best art pal Tom Stroud are always collaborating on little projects. We recently did a zine together which was sick – we just got a bunch of our talented mates to contribute and we collaged and mashed everyone’s work together to create new hybrid pieces. There’s obviously the limited edition underwear collaboration with The Ugly Girls Club dropping at the end of October and I’m working on a few bits for a solo show and for the upcoming Shake magazine too (big up Shake Bristol by the way)
You had a solo show in NYC, how did that come about, was it a roaring success? Are you looking to put on any shows in Brighton?
Last year I designed a logo for international plus size model (and my best friend) Felicity Hayward for her #selflovebringsbeauty campaign. Depop approached her and asked if she wanted to do a Self Love Brings Beauty press event in association with them and then I was asked if I wanted to be involved and bring a solo show over to exhibit. It was one of the hottest NYC nights of the summer so it was very sweaty, very busy and maximum fun. I’ve got a mini exhibition coming up at the end of October in Brighton and another show in the pipeline which I’m planning at the moment.
Finally can we see your workspace?
Welcome to my office:
For more of Lois’s Illustration click the link below: