Lara Hodulick is an American born painter and creative living in Brooklyn, NY. She hand-paints textiles influenced by emotions, expressions, and modernism. We've been following Lara's beautiful work on Instagram for sometime and when designed our SS18 collection we couldn't collaborate with anyone else. She mainly works on vintage silk shirts.
How would you describe your work?
Ljuka is hand painted textiles based on emotion, expression and modernism. I hand paint on vintage silk clothing, as well as a small production of clothing made from deadstock recycled silk.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I pull inspiration from my daily life and travels. It could be a building or specific interior, or a flower or a horse in a meadow and from there I interpret what I see in abstract form.
How does living in New York influence your work?
I am so fortunate to live in the same city as the MET, the Guggenheim and so many other incredible museums and galleries. I often visit them which greatly influences what I paint. I have lived in New York my whole life, from upstate along the Hudson River and 12 years now in the city, so both the countryside outside of NYC and the city is highly influential in my work. I need both places and they ultimately ground me in their separate ways.
Talk us through your creative process
Music plays big part when I am painting, I have different playlists for different moods. Currently I am listening to a lot of Kate Bush, Sade and 80's ambient jazz. The creative process sort of starts with a simple idea where I sketch or paint in my sketchbook first. From there I use a wood board to separate the silk and literally go for it and paint on the silk by hand. It is always a bit nerve-wracking to mess up but the mistakes turn into part of the textile. If one area is darker than the other or a shape bleeds the paint I have learned to love the mistake, the mistakes become part of the piece.
Best advice for a young artist?
If you have an idea, don't be afraid to find a way to construct it. I came up with the idea for Ljuka on a road trip from Arizona to L.A. and the day I got back to NYC I did research on paint and fabrics and made it happen. There will be trial and error but if you want to make it happen you can. We are so fortunate today with the internet and technology, and especially social media. I have made so many great connection and opportunities using social media, it is important to utilize these outlets.
What is your favourite way to wear a shirt?
I love to wear my shirts slightly oversized, tucked in or tied-upfront with jeans and big earrings :)
How do you incorporate sustainability in to you daily routine?
I mostly shop vintage or second hand! Ebay is my best friend. I shop emerging and small designers as much as possible as well, it is important to purchase fabrics that are biodegradable such as natural fibers. When I make a purchase I seriously think of the longevity of the piece so I can wear it for years to come. Living in NYC I am also fortunate I can walk or bike to my job and my studio is at home so I am able to keep my carbon footprint low, it is the small steps we all can try to take that help make a difference.
What is your favourite piece of work by another artist and why?
I have a Lauren Luloff painting above my bed, it was a gift from an old friend. The canvas is stretched with different textiles and mixed media, if you look closely you can see strands of the artists hair or random objects like sewing string. I love the colors so much, the painting reminds me of myself, kind and warm.
Your top three NYC spots....
My local wine bar & backyard Spuyten Duyvil, The MET, Bemelmans bar at The Carlyle
Who inspires you?
I look to a lot of modern painters such as Picasso and Miro for inspiration, I am also very attracted to shapes and love the works by sculptors such Barbara Hepworth and Brancusi. I watch a lot of films as well and love to go to the movies often and look to the music and cinematography. My daily life and what I see inspires me the most!