For the first ever edition of Where it’s A.T.! I had the pleasure of interviewing a long time friend and phenomenal artist Doug Lawlor.
Doug Lawlor is an artist that is skilled in many different facets of art. From acrylic, to oil and pastel, to pen and ink, and even photography, and film. Doug is a seasoned artist that has a serious passion for what he does and knows it’s what drives him to the fantastic works he’s made.
I recently got in touch with Doug via Facebook to catch up and get his opinion on some things as well as pick his brain to see how he ticks. It’s always interesting to see where a person is coming from when they have made so much in the form of fantastic works.
AN2S: Where do you draw your inspiration as an artist, director, and photographer?
Doug: I personally get a great deal of inspiration from the music made for films. I like to allow myself the time to fade off into a meditation a lot with or without music so that I can actually hopefully start getting my mind in the right place quicker than if I just started attacking a painting. It takes hours to get to that right place but I think meditation helps with this.
Anyway back to the music. Clint Mansell, Alexandre Desplat , Morton Feldman, Hans Zimmer. You’ve gotta check out what these guys have created. And what Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (Nine Inch Nails) are doing for David Fincher. Its fucking nuts.
AN2S: What influences have affected your work? Life, other artists and film makers, music, and otherwise?
Doug: My work is influenced by whatever source I am most interested in at a time. Looking at the variety of my works bothers me. It’s too all over the place. I need to chill and work on something specific but you will notice a constant that there is always something uncomfortable or upset about it all. There are commonalities in all of my work that are linked by tone. A lot of it is aggressive in some way. It isn’t really meant for children.
Earlier it was Salvador Dali, and Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. As I get older its more like Fincher, Willem De Kooning, and Cormac McCarthy. Also, the more I learn the more I realize how relentless Picasso was. Such a great mind. Where the fuck would we be without that man?
AN2S: How did you get started in the fields of artistry you’re currently involved in? Which one was first and did that lead you into the others?
Doug: I have a grandfather who is a painter and so I was guided as a painter from a very young age. I painted with him and drew comic characters on my own. Unfortunately, I never was taught the fundamentals an academy would offer until high school and college. I still struggle with things.
When I was around 10 my grandfather bought my family a hand camcorder that used tapes and I would make videos with the neighborhood kids. We made a film about man eating Clown Gnomes, but the damn video wouldn’t allow anything to be edited on a computer so I had to do all the editing in camera shooting everything in order. I remember as a kid breaking down scenes. I would shout, “FREEZE” so that the kids in the frame would stand still so I could move to another angle and they wouldn’t break continuity. It was a mess.
Creating images that are dynamic is what I like to do so I will branch out and try whatever mediums I can to see how I like them, so even if I had not gotten that camcorder when I was younger I cant imagine I wouldn’t have at some point been interested in film production.
AN2S: When it comes to music you’re taught to practice practice practice. What are some of the habits you have to put your art forms into practice?
Doug: I jump mediums every so often but I always go back to the same few. Oils, Inks, and Digital Photography and Video. Each one I approach very differently than the others and each requires a certain amount of time for completion. These projects then overlap one another and so back-and-forth workflows develop. This is good because I tend to bore easily.
Really though, the same goes for each of these mediums as you said about music. The greatest painters and comic book artists, Film makers, Game designers, all of them stick to what they know and do not branch out too far because each medium is a discipline and requires immense attention to master. Even if you reach a place where you are comfortable with your style and you let go for a while you will still lose muscle memory as a painter or illustrator, a quickness of eye and steady handling of a camera. I can’t say that I follow that advice because I just can’t. I can lock myself away and do nothing but sketches and drawings for weeks but before too long I will start tricking myself into thinking I should be doing the other thing…and eventually I start doing it.
To be honest, a lot of my works, to me are experiments and trivial projects to better myself as an artist to reach an understanding where I will be able to start making REAL art, but that is a mindset and one that must die.
AN2S: What is the next big project for Doug Lawlor and when can we expect more works?
Doug: I have a lot of things I would like to do. I am talking with a writer who is interested in writing a story for a Graphic Novel for us to work on. I have a series of abstract paintings I am working on…and I have a short experimental horror film that is being scored at the moment. I am hoping to send that off to festivals by the beginning of 2016. We will see.
I’m looking forward to the next project Doug starts. Be sure to keep an eye out for what he has in store for 2016.