Loveis Wise is a freelance illustrator currently based in Philadelphia. She is a master of creating colorful, inclusive worlds through her art that challenge the status quo and radiate with an undeniable positivity. She has worked with a ton of amazing clients including Wieden+Kennedy, Buzzfeed News, Cartoon Network and so many more - not to mention making history as the second ever African American woman to illustrate a New Yorker cover. WeMake is so excited for her speak at Disrupt, and had the chance to ask her a few questions beforehand. Check it out.
MB: Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic journey up to this point?
LW: I started freelancing as a junior in undergrad at The University of the Arts and worked with some amazing clients like The New Yorker, The New York Times, Cartoon Network, and L'Oreal to name a few. My artistic journey as an Illustrator taught me to release self-doubt, practice self-care, and be prepared to tackle anything at any moment.
MB: What are some of the themes you find yourself drawn to?
LW: Femme-energy, inclusivity, body-positivity and I'm always attracted to symbology so themes like spirituality and dreams always find their way into my work as well.
MB: How does advocacy play a role in your work and in your day-to-day life?
LW: I found my place in Illustration by creating images that I didn't see much of as a kid who was really into art, so it became important for me to talk about subjects in black culture, my struggles as a femme-identifying person, and also to make work that people could see themselves in.
MB: The colors in your pieces are so strong - what inspires them?
LW: I love pulling reference from film, different palettes I love together, or even art that has shaped me as an artist.
MB: Is there a type of project you would like to do more of? If so, what kind and why?
LW: I'd love to do more mural pieces or packaging design because I love seeing things I make function in the world.
MB: Do you have any tips for artists trying to find their creative voice?
LW: When making art, use the things that you love to create to help you find your voice. Your power is there, you just have to use it!
MB: What is your creative process like, and how has it changed over the years?
LW: My process involves sketching until I find the right idea and digitally painting over that sketch in Photoshop. It has changed a lot over because it used to be much more complicated. I was once a traditional painter using oils and gouache but working digitally saves me a lot of mess and time.
MB: What is a project you have worked on that you found particularly memorable?
LW: I would say the most recent would be working with L'Oreal for the NYC Pride March and creating a poster for the event and marching in it. It was amazing because as a black and queer person, I have memories of attending Pride in my hometown, Washington,DC, with friends who weren't accepted by their families or peers and all we had was Pride to feel joy in ourselves. So to be able to participate and create a piece that speaks to that memory felt like a full circle moment for me.
MB: What or who do you find yourself inspired by lately?
LW: Lately I've been thinking a lot about my roots and drawing inspiration from nostalgia. I've also really been inspired by artists like Toyin Ojih Odutola, Elizabeth Catlett, and Chris Ofili to name a few.
MB: Why do you make?
LW: Because it's all that feels right.