Canadian artist Laura Gulshani is turning heads around the world with her fashionable fine art pieces and high-profile collaborations. We took five minutes with her to talk everything from what it’s like working with brands like Missoni and British Vogue to her dreams of massive murals covered in her signature style.
Hi Laura! Which came first: your love of fashion or fine art?
My love of fine art came first, I think. Although not very fine art-y, I was always drawing, painting and sculpting since I was very young, even scribbling on my parents’ walls. My first museum outing I can remember was when my mom took me to a Claude Monet exhibition when I was nine or ten, I think. I still have the book of Monet stickers I got at the gift shop. During middle school I really developed a love for clothes and the artistry behind them, and also discovered it as a means of self-expression.
What gets you motivated to create every day?
I think just the fact that I, or anyone, can turn a blank piece of paper into a piece of art makes me excited to keep experimenting and creating. I wake up in the mornings and I’m so excited to use my brushes and slather on thick strokes of paint.
You’ve worked with top fashion brands and publications including Missoni and British Vogue. Which project has been the most exciting to be a part of?
Every single project I’ve worked on has been really thrilling for me, I don’t have a favorite. Each one was special to me in its own way, and overall every time I receive work I am just so grateful to be given that opportunity.
You also specialize in live painting sessions for various events. What’s that experience like? Do you feel added pressure?
When I started doing live painting sessions, it would be quite nerve wracking to be watched by an audience, but it’s gotten a lot easier since I started three-ish years ago. I now get lost in the process and enjoy that moment so much, and forget that anyone else is around me. The only pressure I feel is to represent the person in front of me in my own way, but also in a way they will love, too.
Who are some of your favorite artists (and why)?
Pierre Boncompain, Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy and Pierre Bonnard are some of my favourite old-school artists. I love their use of color, loose brushwork and passionate way of representing everyday scenes.
How did you settle on your distinctive style?
I like to think I’m still determining my style; I like to keep trying new things. But overall, I lean more towards using bright colors, mixing close-up and background characters and emphasizing details thanks in part to my previous exposure to the work of Post-Impressionists and also through past and present photography. I hope this doesn’t sound creepy, but I am so interested in humans and why we do what we do, and the diversity of skin tones, face shapes, body shapes, etc. in the human race, and I really like to reflect that in the composition/colours of my work.
What’s your dream collaboration?
My current dream collaboration would be with a brand that would allow me to paint a very large wall mural about anything! I absolutely love painting large scale, and really would love the opportunity to go even bigger.
And what do you hope viewers take away from your work?
I never really considered what other people would feel when they look at my work….I just always wanted to accomplish something for myself and prove to myself that I could bring an idea in my mind to life. But it makes me so happy to hear when people appreciate the work I put into a painting, and if an image I create brings them some sort of happiness or peace, that is enough for me.
Thanks, Laura! Browse her artist page to acquire one of her popular pieces, and keep an eye out for her next project: paintings on pottery and other material goods!
And explore our curated fashion-inspired collection: ART + FASHION : A Lasting Love Affair