Interview with Artist, Lou Patrou

How did you get started doing what you do?
I have been drawing since junior high school and have always gotten great satisfaction from doing art.

How would you describe your creative style?
I have a couple styles: I like sharp-edged graphic style paintings and also smooth shaded pencil drawings. Some works are more pop or surrealistic and some things have a design quality, I like to mix things up and keep things fresh creatively. Lately I have been doing symmetrical composition like The Thinker and Big Bang, where the left side is exactly the same as the right side, equally framing a center point.

What’s your inspiration?
I can never put my finger on it, it has been a life long feeling that has always been there.

What is art to you?
An expression for display that presents a thoughtful or dazzling aesthetic.

Interview with Illustrator, Lou Patrou on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Lou Patrou on Jung Katz

What does your typical day look like?
Up at 7 am, feed the cat and start figuring out how to proceed with the day, either working on an idea or a marketing effort. I like to always have a piece of art in progress, right now I have two paintings in the works.

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
I am typically slow and methodical these days, speeding through a piece isn’t my motivation. After I have decided on an idea, I spend a long time working out the details and getting comfortable with a concept.

How do you keep motivated?
I try to put myself in a good place, a good frame of mind, and that usually involves listening to music.

How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
I have to be in a stress-free, creative space, I can’t work in a chaotic, depressing or uninspired space and I have to let the ideas work out. Influence happens all around us, it comes from the web, television and all visual media, whatever you happen to see, graphics on buses and billboards, color schemes in the city, design details of architecture or everyday things, I think it all drips through and influences.

Interview with Illustrator, Lou Patrou on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Lou Patrou on Jung Katz

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
To build an appreciative audience for my work and have hugely successful shows of course!

How have others reacted to your work?
My friends have liked my work all through the years. On strangers, a lot of people like it and some do not. I learned a long time ago that everybody has different tastes and do not all like the same things, and I am glad that they don’t.

What do you want others to take away from your work?
To get a feeling or enjoyment from a piece when viewed.

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
In the realm of art, start promoting yourself sooner.

Interview with Illustrator, Lou Patrou on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Lou Patrou on Jung Katz

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t stand too close to the train platforms

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Always go for the long game, always go for integrity and quality in your work and be original.

What are your thoughts on art school?
I wanted to go to art school when I was younger, but joined the Navy instead and studied photography and did my art along the way in those years. So, having never been in art school, I have no ideas or opinions of it. Could have been great or… ? I don’t know.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I have a few; designing architectural elements for public spaces, creating large installations and doing licensing programs of my work for cool products.

Interview with Illustrator, Lou Patrou on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Lou Patrou on Jung Katz

What’s your dream project?
Putting on a nice big solo show in a big gallery or institution along with a book or catalog.

What art supplies do you use?
Acrylic paints, pencils, brushes etc.

What’s your process like?
I start by sketching on paper until I find an idea that interests me, I explore the chosen idea and live with it for several days. I start to think about size and configuration and consider whether it has series or secondary design potential. I then begin to scale it up and compose it as a large working sketch. I work on further designs and begin to polish all the details and colors. After everything is mapped out I execute the final piece.

How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
They could promote talent and originality over shock and nonsense and they could stop celebrating, promoting and endorsing frauds and plagiarists.

Follow Lou Patrou on Facebook.


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