An Interview with Laura George

Laura Berger (aka Laura George)

Are you professionally trained?  If so, were did you study?
I’m self-taught, mostly, although I did do some painting in college for my theatre degree — I used to paint costume design renderings, giant backdrops & set pieces and that sort of thing.

I love the humorous quality in your illustrations.  When/how did you develop your current style?  Or did you always work in this way?
Thank you!  :o)  I guess my current style has been developing ever since I was a little kid and doodling all along… but I really started working more on my own work, experimenting with mediums, and finding my voice over the past four years or so, I’d say. It’s always going to be a work in progress.  I think an artist’s style comes from all of the different influences that sort of seep into our subconscious minds from our environment, thoughts, and experiences, but also just from painting from a very honest place inside.

“Magic Flash” gouache on wood

Who are some artists that you admire?
So many.  Here are a few off the top of my head– Shinzi Katoh, Marc Boutevant, Nathaniel Russell, Mark Whalen, Jeremiah Ketner, Mark Rothko, Naoshi, Jay Howell, Helena Garcia, Mel Kadel, Souther Salazar, Lisa Kowalski…. I also really love looking at the work of letterpress artists and street artists… oh, there are so many talented people to admire, it’s seriously overwhelming, eh?

“Totem #3” digital print


How do you come up with your incredible imagery?  What inspires you?
You are nice.  My images usually just pop into my head as whole pictures that I see.  Then I quickly grab something and write them down so I don’t lose them.  I get a lot of ideas when I’m traveling, particularly driving long distances by myself, which I do quite a bit of the past few years.  I’m most inspired by traveling abroad or out in nature, as well as by Eastern philosophy.  I love mountains and oceans and street art and Japanese pop art and animals and watching people.

Is exhibiting/selling your paintings and line of cards/prints your full time gig?  Do you take on any freelance design/illustration work?
Yes, I’ve been fortunate enough to be doing this full time for the last 2 years now.  I do commissioned design or illustration work when time allows, and I would love to do more projects like that in the future.

Happy Home Notecard

What is a typical day like for you? Do you keep a regular studio practice?
I don’t know if I have a typical day… I should probably work on that!  I’m not super structured, and every day is marginally different, but I do work every single day, usually for many many hours…. most days include some combination of the following things::  coffee, computering, drawing or painting, typing invoices, packaging cards, visiting the Uptown post office, supply purchasing, hopefully having a little chat with someone out in the world, taking a walk or run, eating a nice dinner with my lovely fella, or seeing a friend, and maybe a glass of wine, trying to read a little.

“Lost A Slice” gouache on wood


What are you listening to / reading right now?
I like this album The Roots of Chicha that I just got, and the album Zammuto — they are in heavy play right now.  I always listen to a lot of Juana Molina, Gillian Welch, Bonnie Prince Billy, Bill Callahan, Breathe Owl Breathe and The Books.  I will stop there but there are so many…..

I am reading a book by Chogyam Trungpa called “Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior“.

Laura working on a mural


How long have you lived in Chicago?  What are your favorite places to visit there?
I’ve lived here for ten years now — it feels like home.  I spend as much time as possible at the lake, which I am lucky to have quite close to my apartment, so I can just trot over there.  There are great vintage shops in my neighborhood that I like to poke around in.  I also like visiting restaurants. Probably too many restaurants.  And the Hopleaf, which is a Belgian pub a few blocks away from home.

“Mixed Tape” digital print


What is you favorite summer beverage?
Alcoholic:: a glass of rose or a good IPA
Non-alcoholic::  iced americano

Where else do you show your work?  Any upcoming exhibitions or fun projects in the works?
I have shown my work in little independent shops and galleries in the US and abroad. Right now, I’m painting for a few exhibitions — first up is a two-person show with Sandra Fettingis at Groundswell Gallery in Denver that opens on August 12, The Enormous Tiny Art show at Nahcotta in New Hampshire opening Sept 7, then a charity group show benefiting children with cancer at Leanna Lin’s Wonderland in LA opening Sept 8.  Then I need to get going on designing my new holiday cards and 2013 calendars.

View our entire collection of work by Laura George Here
Also Find her here: her BlogEtsy  & Flickr 

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