Meet & Greet: Dane Laugesen
Dane Laugesen is a talented designer/illustrator and general cool guy combo from the Waikato region (yes, cool stuff comes outta little places too). He’s been busy creating his one of a kind, hand-painted constellation work for the last few months under his new label, With the Wolves and it looks freakin’ sweet. He was nice enough to sit down and answer a few of my burning questions…
Do you remember your first artistic experience?
There is one memory I can remember from a young age where I received a colouring book, but it was one of those ones that come with a paintbrush and you simple add water to the paper to create the colour. It seems a little but like cheating since the colours are already on the paper, but keeping the water colours within the lines is still a skill for a young one. Growing up I’ve always considered myself quite creative with cupboards and draws filled with pencils and felts, paints and papers and plenty of colouring books. Right up through secondary school I continued my interest in art by each year weaning out any subject that wasn’t art related. By my final year my subjects were graphic design, fine art, photography, classical studies and two study periods, how could that not have been an amazing year. This followed on into my tertiary studies when I spent the most of 4 years majoring in graphic design.
You’ve taken this label into quite a new direction from your previous work; can you describe what inspired you to create With the Wolves?
It was a natural move to steer away from my last body of work, which was with primarily handmade textiles. However the nature of producing prints as I also did with my last label has again come through with With the Wolves. I’d like to think that this time around it will be the primary focal point. While taking a break between projects I thought my older artwork seemed very computer and graphic based. I felt it was missing the organic fluidness of working with real painting mediums along with the charm of its unpredictability. This was how With the Wolves was born, another creative outlet that would allow me to develop further as a hands-on artist rather than sitting as a desk using a keyboard and mouse.
Can you describe the process for deciding on the shapes/silhouettes/colours for each piece? Are there ones that don’t make the cut into becoming a print?
For my new constellation series I knew I wanted to create a small series of six pieces. So drawing upon my interests surrounding the night sky and astronomy I rounded it down to selecting six strong constellations that would represent well on paper. Because I’m a huge fan on geometric shapes, lines and the contrasts between colours I came up with this concept you see now. I wanted to produce a strong silhouette shape filled with a delicate nebula pattern, which would then be overlayed with stars and of course the hand-drawn constellation. Because I’m graphic based I initially drew the silhouettes on the computer before tracing them onto paper to begin painting. Every artwork was included in the series, which can now be purchased via my shop. I am however planning on extending on this similar theme and playing around with some future works shortly.
Can you describe the space you work in and what you like about it?
I like a lot of natural lighting when I’m working, white spaces contrasted with dark woods and plenty of good music. Another necessity is to have plants growing everywhere, almost to the point where you actually feel as if you’re outside. I enjoy just staring at them, it’s very calming. It’s also strange that I need order when working, so I know where everything is even though my space is never tidy and nothing seems to make sense. I know where everything is and that’s all the matters really.
What are you favourite materials to work with?
I’m currently dabbling in watercolours and brushing up on my sketching and basic hand drawn work. It feels like so long ago that I traded in my pencil for a computer, so now I’m happily welcoming the pencil back. It’s taking a little bit of trial and error however, but we’ll get there.
Where do you hope to take the label?
As far as art goes I’d like to keep developing my skills and brand. Focusing small at the moment, but putting together dreams of where I see this going. I’d like to do plenty of collaborations with other labels and work on other creative projects. Everything helps to expand my knowledge and a diverse future portfolio. I’d particularly like to collaborate with a jeweller, to work on a range of ring or necklaces for example. Sounds like lots of fun.
Can you share some music that is currently inspiring you when you create?