Lisa Baudry is an Auckland-based creative who, after many years as a successful graphic designer and design studio director, has rediscovered her love and talent for tactile creation. She now works out of her own amazing backyard studio cottage, exploring and developing her style through painting and stencilling, and turning her folk-style art into stylish art prints.
Can you tell us a little bit about your process – from concept to the finished print?
For most projects I’ll collect images to create a concept board. I am always pinning to Pinterest or saving on my computer so I have a big image bank of stuff I find inspiring in look and feel.
From there I may make a list of things I want to draw/paint. I have my laptop set up in front of me and usually get my reference straight from the internet using google images. I paint/draw everything as icons that can be scanned into the computer.
This is where my music comes in. It takes a while to get into flow when painting and I need to paint for quite a long time to get familiar with the subject matter. I have to get quite lost in it to paint well. Eventually I’ll have elements that I think I can use. I scan the stuff I like and then play around in Adobe Photoshop to compose an image, or trace/re-draw elements in Illustrator then adjust colours until I’m happy with it. The composing on the computer can take a long time for me!
I like the look of hand-painted work but the flexibility to edit on my mac.
Scenes from Lisa’s studio – creating painterly elements for a new artwork
What are you working on at the moment?
I took an online course last year to develop my artwork, there were ten assignments altogether which lasted a week each. I am part of an online group who are re-working their assignments at their own pace, with another year of growth we are seeing if we can improve our work. The one I’m re-doing at the moment is a cover illustration for the Aesop Fable, The Tortoise and the Hare.
What has been your most exciting/inspiring/rewarding creative project to date?
One of my projects this year was to paint directly onto a cross-section of wood. I had to design something that worked for a circular format. I looked at a lot of chinoiserie plates (willow pattern). I love the ultramarine blue, but I wanted to create something that had local imagery. I had been up at Bastion Point for Waitangi Day and out in the Waitemata Harbour that summer sailing so those experiences were woven into the design. What I painted for that assignment became the background for the Kaimoana art prints that I now have at Endemicworld.
Two of four from Lisa’s Kaimoana series of art prints
Beside art/illustration, what else do you love to do?
Sew. I love to make things with my hands, and sewing is something I learnt as a child that I always loved doing. When I had my daughter, five years ago I started sewing again. I use vintage patterns mostly but have just started learning pattern drafting which is really interesting for me.
Getting outside to explore and roam either at the coast or in the bush. Camping and cooking on fires outside in summer is a love. Probably my idea of fun is to light a fire, sit around, sing and tell stories. I think I belong to another time sometimes.
Two of Lisa’s sweet little sewn creations
What would be a dream collab/project you’d love to do?
I have lots! Wallpaper! Textiles! Ceramics! Collab with an established design houses. My own exhibition.
Food illustrations for a recipe book that celebrates home-cooking from scratch or outdoor cooking in the wild.
When are you at your most creative?
When I’m well rested.
I’m learning how valuable time away from the work is, probably equally as important as time working on it. I need fresh eyes and a fresh mind to see what I’m doing. It’s been a long journey to learn the importance of self-care as an artistic person. Getting enough sleep, getting outside, having a good routine and staying positive are some of the self-care stuff I have to keep coming back to.
Lisa is lucky enough to now have her own studio, recently built in her backyard. Inspired by NZ’s iconic back country camping huts, it features recycled windows and doors and has wooden floors and whitewash walls inside.
What’s one thing you couldn’t do without when you’re creating?
Creatives give the best recommendations: Tell us about a good movie to see, a book to read, a website to check out, somewhere we should visit…
It’s not a recent one, but the wonderful Bright Star by Jane Campion. Poetry, Love, Sewing. Unbelievably beautiful and moving story of John Keats and Fanny Brawn.
Last year I churned my way through so many books on food and diet. The ones that stood out were Michael Pollan’s. He’s a US food intellectual who speaks powerfully about eating what he calls ‘real food”, the stuff that you’ve cooked yourself from scratch, respecting food traditions and avoiding scientific reductionism in regards to what we eat. In Defence of Food and Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation are amazing reads.
This Ivy House is a beautifully curated site which the creator describes as: “A haven for faded beauty, artful neglect & stylish dilapidation.”
Somewhere to visit: The Antique Textile Fair. I go every year – it’s a buzz.
Lisa’s latest series of folk-style kitchen art prints are inspired by her love and respect for good wholesome food.
Both designs are available in two colourways (we love that!)
Photography by Vernon Rive and Lisa Baudry