Loretta Lizzio, visual artist

Dedicating your life to your craft is an important and worthwhile cause, but getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing life is also very important ...

Artist, photographer, illustrator and graphic designer are just a few of the strings in Loretta Lizzio’s bow. Her work, mysterious and feminine, adorns walls, frames and galleries around the coast and beyond as a testament to her unwavering talent. The Weekend Edition Gold Coast caught up for a virtual coffee with the raven-haired beauty to chat about challenges facing creative folks and cameras made from cereal boxes.

What do you miss most about living on the Gold Coast?
The beach and outdoors for sure! I also miss the relaxed vibe and the people. Nothing really beats Queensland, the Gold Coast especially.

We hear there is a homewares collaboration in the works with local crew Kira & Kira. Can you tell us a little about the collection?
Yes! I am very excited about this collaboration. Kira & Kira is owned and run by Grason and Simone Kira, two people I am hugely inspired by and have the utmost trust in when it comes to mixing my artwork with their interior design and furniture making expertise. There are still ideas in the works but the botanical-themed illustrations have been created with the intention of producing large framed prints, textiles, tables and the is even the possibility of wallpapers.

What’s the first piece of art you can remember making?
Probably a homemade camera from cereal boxes! I remember being extremely proud of it. In terms of illustrations, I drew a horse in grade three for my pen pal and the whole class was fussing about it and I recall feeling pretty darn happy with myself!

What’s your creative process like?
A mess! The only thing I actually plan, am organised for and take extra care with are commissions and design work. My personal work is always a fluke. Generally I just have a vague idea of where I would like it to go but most of the time I am winging it and generally end up spilling tea over the piece when it’s near done and have to start again.

Have you ever created a piece that you just couldn’t part with?
Definitely! Two pieces that were created about five years apart. No one else really seems to like them because they are quite simple and messy, but for some reason they mean so much to me. They both represent very different times in my life and were created so naturally and effortlessly. For me, they capture those thoughts and feelings you get that are indescribable.

How would you describe your style of art?
I’d say my style would be dream-like, whimsical, mysterious, a little dark and feminine.

What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced as a creative person pursuing art as a career path?
Probably trying to convince those closest to me that it is worthwhile. I used to cop so much grief with questions like when are you going to get a real job? Always feeling like I have to prove myself and comparing myself to others, something I think everyone does when it comes to their passion. Also, not feeling good enough or up to scratch and of course that constant mind battle between giving up and carrying on. Fortunately I love it so much that at the end of the day all of those thoughts fall by the wayside.

What influences and inspires your work?
Time with friends, new experiences, music, poetry, movies, lots of good food and a coffee or glass of wine!

Is there an artistic equivalent of writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Definitely! Life just gets difficult sometimes and everyone gets run down, which makes it very hard to be inspired and creative. I usually just try and ride it through, doing little things along the way to bring back that spark. I always make sure I draw every day, if only for a moment, create an adventure or find time for a book. It’s the small things that count.

Have you always been artistic?
Yes, for as long as I can remember I have been drawing and making things out of anything I can find. Mum and dad would put me to bed at night and I would sneak out to grab supplies and draw or build things all night! Mum also kept all my schoolbooks because every inch of them is covered with illustrations.

If you could see your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
At the moment I’d say Thinkspace Gallery in California. Their stable of artists is just phenomenal and the shows they curate are always top notch. To be included in anything they do would be a dream come true!

Any advice for aspiring artists?
Work hard, stay true to you, be patient, polite, courteous, kind, generous, positive, respectful, attentive and considerate – every act involving any of these qualities bodes well for your future.

What are you working on at the minute?
A few commission pieces and I am completing my range with Element Eden as well as a few little personal projects. I am hoping to have a show next year so I’m trying to get some plans and artwork happening for that.

What’s your idea of complete happiness?
Simple living surrounded by loved ones, close to the beach, outdoor adventures and lots of animals! Also great food, good coffee and good company.

What is the best advice you’ve received in your career or life?
In short, let go. So many people, like myself, put so much pressure on themselves to achieve the highest level of technical mastery within their craft. Sometimes chasing academic mastery can be counter-productive and self-destructive as it gets in the way of actually living. Dedicating your life to your craft is an important and worthwhile cause but getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing life is also very important. Don’t get stuck in the ‘skill trap’ and miss out on experiencing life!

What has been your greatest achievement?
Attempting techniques or grander plans/artworks than I am comfortable with and pulling them off is pretty great. Seeing improvements in my work. Little stories that are written about me in magazines or blogs that I have always looked to for inspiration is a massive compliment. Just a whole bunch of little things really but being recognised in any small way for doing something I love so much is achievement enough for me!

Is there anything exciting in the pipeline? 
I am very nervous for the release of my very own clothing line with Element Eden to be released throughout Europe, the States and Australia mid 2016. I will be travelling to Italy for the launch before proceeding on a little tour. I am beyond excited! The range consists of 11 items reflecting my personal spring essential favourites. Comfortable free-spirited style clothing full of energy and love.

FAVOURITE WEEKEND SPOT TO: 
Perk up … Feather and Docks.
Relax … Sunrise or sunset on Burleigh hill.
Dine … So hard as there are so many great places! I’d have to say Espana is one of my favourites through.
Be inspired … The ocean.

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