Loren Fizer is an illustrator and all-around visual artist. From customer to ILE model to friend, we have known Loren for quite some time now. Since his stint in California, the artist has moved back home to Houston, Texas. An individual that we would confidently describe as multi-talented and multi-faceted, Loren presents a unique perspective. In this first iteration of ILE Talks, we plunge into Loren’s life and artistry.
Loren, how would you describe your relationship with creating by hand and creating digitally?
By hand it almost feels seamless. It’s where the base of every other skill comes from. Hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, how things are going to move. I’ve developed a relationship with my hands. When I use my hands, I know what’s going to come out.
What experiences are informing the kind of art you are making these days?
The work I have been doing has been more introspective. It’s almost like poetry. Whether it’s a grungy type of feel or a raw feel, I’m whispering but yelling at the same time.
What does art require?
A mix of bravery and insanity. I think about it a lot, “Oh I just draw pictures. Is this what I do? I just make pretty stuff?” I think about it harshly sometimes.
Art is very hard. It’s something that you can’t pretend to know how to do. There are different areas of art that require different kinds of skill. There are days that I feel like, “What am I doing?” Then there are days where I’m like, “This is so cool, I’m glad I’m doing this.” I need bravery to just put stuff out there. The insanity is the belief that I will progress at something that is very hard and believe that it will be useful.
What was the catalyst for you to begin illustrating?
As far as I can remember [illustrating] was always fun for me. I can create something out of nothing. Being tactile was very comforting. It didn’t feel powerful, it felt soothing. I wasn’t escaping anything, but I was aware of how leveled it made me feel at an early age.
Is there anything that you told yourself to keep pursuing this path?
If you are an artist, you are an entrepreneur and you are in charge of your destiny and your workflow. You must take yourself seriously enough to look like someone who is capable of handling larger responsibilities. And that’s what I figured out.
When I left school, I came back home, and I ran into a wall. I didn’t draw for seven months. I didn’t want to do anything at all. I didn’t think about [art]. It was an interesting time. I think I was just growing as a person and trying to figure out myself outside of the things I always did.
What helped you break through?
Eventually I started playing around with art again and I found the love for it. I had to find the love for it again. I wasn’t nurturing it enough. I don’t know the exact time, but I just made a decision to start again. I took everything I learned from school and started experimenting with animation and digital work. Then I was in a new territory and it created a new excitement. I began to wake up every morning and think, “What can I make today?”
How should someone approach art?
Find the middle--where you take it seriously and at the same time not take it seriously. “What is this supposed to be? Can you find something in it? What do you think they are trying to say?” Sometimes stuff is funny and weird and kooky. You have to look at art in a neutral space because sometimes we see something good that our biases won’t allow us to like. Go neutral and just leave it at that.
What impact do the tools have on creating?
We overestimate the importance of tools. I’ve always worked on subpar devices. I made the graphics for Cardi B and Offset’s visuals on a computer that was barely alive. The tools help, but don’t use that as an excuse. I didn’t have much, and I still did a lot. The tools don’t matter much, the practice matters more.
What made you gravitate towards ILE?
I was put on by my friend. He said that I would love the overall style. But what I most like about ILE is the attention to detail. I feel connected to it. Every time I walk in, I love how the place looks. The styles, textures, and materials. It’s a real and organic brand. It’s properly authentic. It’s a space of possibilities.
Any final words?
Don’t give up! If you feel like you lost it, it’s right around the corner.
For more on Loren's work, check out these links: