Artist Series With
Discovering, collecting and appreciating art is a winding journey of mastering who you are. Art is the manifestation of your free spirit and expression of your imagination. The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live, as Auguste Rodin once said. It’s why we’ve created the Lilly Wild Artist Series, to connect with you through the creation and sharing of art. We’ve partnered with some of our most loved adventure artists to share their stories and create unique, limited edition prints and tees.
We are super excited to launch the Lilly Wild Artist Series with our friend Anne-Laure Carruth, a Londoner and creative explorer, who inspired us a few years ago with her Shifting Sands Adventure. We recently had a chance to catch up in a grassy field and chat art, inspiration, hopes, ambitions and the outdoors. Anne-Laure has created a Christmas-special tee for us, which you can find below. Onward.
ANNE-LAURE CARRUTH X LILLY WILD
"Follow That Alive Feeling"
Hey Anne-Laure, why don’t you introduce yourself?
I'm a creative explorer now - its a deliberately loose term, so that whatever I do in the future, I can fall under that expression. I don't like being shoe horned into a box!
Can you tell us three of your favourite things?
You are currently barge hunting.. what would be your barge boat utopia?!
Haha! My ambition for the barge is to create a nurturing creative space, physically and metaphorically, in which people can explore and (re)discover their own creative self expression by taking part in workshops, events, talks, discussions and co-working days with like minded individuals. Being on the water invites people to literally step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary world of their full potential.
Creativity matters because…
to be creative is to be human. We are all creative, although sometimes society and education has been successful in making us believe that this is not the case. I think it is essential to all for good mental health.
Have you always known you’ve wanted to be an artist?
I've always known I wanted to draw, dream and make the world a better place. For a long time, I didn't think it was a possibility for me. "you'll always be a poor artist" "You'll never be good enough" "only the mega star artists make a living" etc... Were phrases I often heard, yet I always harboured that desire to create. Over time, that feeling has become more of a necessity. I need to produce work, paint, draw, express myself visually in order to be fully me.
Pick one of your favourite pieces and share the story behind it.
This is one of my happiest days - sitting in Dana Biosphere reserve in Jordan - the last of 10 days painting this magnificent valley.
Its late afternoon, the heat has gone out of the sun and a beautiful light is drenching the landscape. I've finally found a flow, and a peace with my painting - and then suddenly the tinkling of bells, and a herd of goats surround me - with some of the cheekiest ones trying to nibble my canvas!
I look around and there is a village shepherd sat on a rock with his son playing at his feet and just behind him a donkey grazing with a goat taking a drink from its udders. As I sat looking on, with this scene surrounding me remember feeling this immense sense of universal love, calm and content. That day was perfect and for that reason this is one of my favourite charcoal paintings.
Do you remember your first “outdoors” experience as a kid?
I used to always be outside as a kid - mostly found up in trees or clambering in places I shouldn't and I always had plasters all over my leg: a tomboy for sure. One of my favourite things was to collect bits of rubbish and scrap and make dens in the woods. Maybe thats why I became an architect!
How does nature and adventure flow into and influence your work?
Nature and adventure is at the core of everything I do. I need to be outside - to feel free - to explore, see new horizons - or rediscover existing ones. Nature is my inspiration and my muse. I will never be able to depict anything as beautiful as her - but I can keep trying to depict the emotional connection and gratitude I feel for her.
Who are some artists that inspire you?
Marianne North - artist, explorer, woman. Courage, Intrepid, probably a little bonkers
Describe your workspace — what do you keep around to stay productive and inspired?
At the moment I have turned my lounge into a studio - I need to see all my materials- or else I forget what I have and what potential mediums to use. I need bits and bobs to look at - I have lots of quotes and affirmations pinned around my home - as well as a growing jungle of plants!
How do you like to get loose and have fun?
Morning gloryville - I need to move my body - Dancing keeps me from just living in my head.
Project awesome - sport and social life
Swimming- the sensation of water on the skin - keeps me calm
Getting out of the city - I need to reenergise by seeing greenery.
I love a good party - a blow out is essential now and again!