Being a mum to a teenager whose mood changes as frequently as I shop at Hobbycraft, and a baby son who uses my brushes to wreck the house, my art is a form of escapism. I'm a freelance illustrator and upcycler – or doodler and hoarder, as my mum might say. I'm not a big fan of Photoshop; I enjoy spontaneity and the imperfection of pen on paper or wood.
I mostly draw super-hot pinup girls with something a bit off-key about them – like having a unicorn’s head or being in a compromising position. I enjoy making images that bring cheer with their sheer cheekiness. My work celebrates the beauty of the female form. People have said it’s pornographic, but I say it’s showcasing females being fearless and comfortable in their sexuality in a time when we are taught to cover up.
Maybe I should work on my social narrative as I'm not one for deep and hidden meanings. Still, it makes me smile when somebody goes into full detail about how a piece of my work ‘moved’ them. The truth is, I probably just doodled it when the kids had gone to bed and I was enjoying a glass of pink plonk. It’s a nice feeling to know that a piece of my work can mean that much to people.
A few years ago, I did a pet portrait commission after someone saw my work at the Alley Cafe.
Through word of mouth, I got loads of work. People are so passionate about their pets and you end up with super random pieces based on the animal’s personality. Through these commissions I developed my signature style and began getting requests for portraits of people. My art was never really classed as controversial until this point.
I’ve been told I push the boundaries of what society classes as PC, but I find a strange enjoyment in stepping outside the comfort zone and challenging the public expectation of what ‘normal’ is. I have one particular image of Jesus Christ, engaging in what a woman at the Contemporary called an ‘unsavoury’ activity. In my mind, who’s to say what’s unsavoury? Each to their own. It was fun to make and has gathered a lot of attention. It’s definitely morally bankrupt.
The last piece in this album is called Wild Thing and it's from a collection of pin-up animals that I did for an exhibition at the Alley Cafe. It was also used as a t-shirt design for Bear King Apparel. It was drawn with fineliner pens, which I mostly work in as I enjoy the bright colours, and being a bit sketchy and impulsive with the quality of line. It's one of my favourite pieces: simple and a bit cheeky. How everything should be.
To commission a piece or get in touch with Laura about her work, drop her a message on Facebook.
Laura-jay Doohan on Facebook