Fashion illustrator/artist Lisa Grue is here today for a little chat. Known for her signature mix of art and design, she was recently honored as one of the new design talents of Denmark and won a grant from the National Art Foundation of Denmark. Special thanks to CWC-i for this interview.
Lisa started the creative platform Underwerket back in 2002 and has created a name for herself and Underwerket for her illustration and graphic design work for books, magazines, and fashion. Her clients include Coca Cola, Nylon Magazine, and Fritz Hansen.
mj: When I scroll through your portfolio, I love each image better than the next. Do you have a favorite piece? If so, why?
lisa: I normally don't have any favorite piece in particular. I mostly like the illustrations I am working on at the moment. But if I have to mention a illustration, then one of my favorite is image no. 11, in the category Crayon. I like this illustration style very much, and I think the girl is very cool and mysterious, she kind of hides something. That I like.
mj: I also noticed that you work in crayon as well as pencil/pen. Can you talk a little about your techniques. Do you prefer one over the other?
lisa: I like to work in many styles, it kind of inspires me. If I should stay in the same style my whole life, then I would get bored. I need to test myself in other techniques. It develops me, if you can say so. But as I said, I like pencil/pen style very much. It has a lot of personality.
mj: How would you describe your own style?
lisa: I have difficulty in describing what my style is like. This I will leave for others to do.
mj: Does fashion inspire or influence your work?
lisa: Fashion inspires me a lot. I am addicted to fashion magazines. Every month I buy fashion magazine from both Europe and USA. Some of my favorites are Nylon Magazine, French Vogue, Jalouse, Another Magazine, Self Service and Black Book. But I have a very ambivalent relationship with fashion. I both love and hate it. This Fall I am doing a show/exhibition in Copenhagen, during the Fashion Week, about fashion. It is about the many fazes of fashion, both the good side and a the ugly side. The show/exhibition is called, THE FITTING ROOM.
mj: Can you talk about the work that you do other than illustration?
lisa: Yes, I like to work in the cross over between art and design. I paint every week and I love the Contemporary art scene. Art is a big part of my life. This week I have, besides illustrations for Nylon Magazine, been working on some paintings for a selected group exhibition in Copenhagen.
mj: What is your favorite project/client that you've designed for so far and why?
lisa: My favorite projects are the ones that I am working on at the moment. So that will be illustrations for Nylon Magazines, CosmoGirl and Glamour. And my own T-shirt Line, and my recent paintings.
mj: in terms of your drawing style, who are your influences and how did you develop your style?
lisa: I am very influenced by the Contemporary art scene, Fashion and Urban life.
But I am also very humble to the the great artists such as Picasso, Aubrey Beardsley, Egon Schiele and Edward Munch.
mj: What would your ideal project be?
lisa: I don't have an ideal project. I like to work in many directions. I like commercial projects, underground projects, cosmetic packaging, fashion illustration and I like to do very provocative art pieces. I am a very mixed person, and like to test my self in many directions. But art has a big place in my heart.
I was educated at the Danish Design School. It is a very creative school and we learned to be very independent and to work in many fields of Design.
Here are A FEW THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT LISA GRUE:
A) THE FOUR MOST STYLISH PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCED ME:
1 Yoko Ono, she is cool in her own way.
2 Jane Birkin, she has a great style, she is beautiful and is still going strong.
3 David Bowie, he has all ways been stylish, even he has experimenting with many styles.
4 Jenny Wilson, She does very stylish music. Music inspires me very much.
B) FOUR WAYS THAT STYLE MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
1 Style makes people interesting to look at.
2 Style makes the world more beautiful.
3 Good food style makes food taste better.
4 Different styles makes the world more colorful.
C) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE DESIGNERS
1 Henrik Vipskov
2 Marc Jacobs
3 Anna Sui
4 Nikoline Liv Andersen (upcoming Danish Designer)
D) FOUR JOBS I HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE:
1 Fashion illustrator
2 Art Director (Fashion magazine in Denmark)
E) FOUR MOVIES I WOULD WATCH OVER AND OVER (AND DO):
1 Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman)
2 Virgin Suicides (Sophia Coppola)
3 Room with a view
4 Das Leben der Anderen (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)
F) FOUR PLACES WHERE I HAVE LIVED:
1 Copenhagen (where I live now)
2 New York (3 month 2005)
3 Alsgarde (north coast in Denmark, where I grew up)
G) FOUR TV SHOWS I LOVE TO WATCH:
1 Clown. (Danish sitcom)
2 Sex and the city.
4 Desperate Housewives.
H) FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN ON VACATION IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS:
2 Rio de Janeiro
I) FOUR WEBSITES I VISIT DAILY (Or at least Weekly):
1 My space
J) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:
2 Thai Food
3 Fusion food
4 French Kitchen
K) FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:
1 Rio de Janeiro
3 New York