Liane Plant is a London Based illustrator and graphic designer who is influenced by the strongly graphic images of early skateboard art, German expressionists, curiosities and comics. We took a moment with this talented little lady to talk to her about life, art, graduating and of course, her incredible piece for the Paradise series “Sweet Babylon”
Q: Hi Liane, how are you doing today?
A: pretty good thanks, having a bit of a mad one!
Q: Thank you for creating such an awesome piece for us, we’re really excited to have you as part of the S&H team!
A: pleasure, i’m pretty excited to be working with some of my favourite artists!
Q: You’re a recent Central St Martins graduate, (congratulations) – Can you tell us a bit about your experience of studying and how you found your style over the years?
A: Thanks, It’s a strange feeling not knowing what will come next, but i’m excited to be creating more of my own work. As a kid I used to raid my brother’s comic book collection, I learnt how to draw by copying my favourite pages, all the drawings sucked, but maybe that’s where my line work started. I was always drawing, after high school I went to a very loosely structured art college in Birmingham that was pretty run down and full of loonies but I loved it. For three years I spent most of my days reading comics, watching cartoons, seeing art and skateboarding. All of these aspects influenced my drawing to some degree. I used to love the work of Chris Weston and Gary Erskine during this time, I started to draw mainly black and white, & have been ever since. After college I moved down to London to study Graphic design at St Martins, where I learnt how to screen print, my lines got thicker and bolder and now I dabble in colour.
Q: You started your own company whilst still at university; Valkyrie Skates, which produces art, apparel and skateboards. How did that come about and do you think it changed your university experience at all?
A: Throughout my final year I was repeatedly told to stop drawing skulls – haha. Valkyrie started during an intense few months of very little sleep, juggling internships, uni and a pixelated copy of ‘the search for animal chin’. I also bought the disposable skateboard bible, which exposed me to the bold graphics and neon colour palettes of the 80s. I’d been doing a lot of printmaking both in uni and at my internship so I was initially blown away by the craft gone into each printed board. The starting point all drew from the idea of rejuvenation of old technique, rebirth and awakening from the dead. I was inspired to create a company that would revive the craft that had largely been overthrown by heat transfer prints. Being in University was a pretty big perk because there were wood workshops and print facilities so I had time to trial and error. For my final year I wanted to create something I enjoyed and was interested in even if it didn’t tick boxes on a grading sheet.
Q: Now you’ve graduated, what’s in store for Liane Plant?
A: Good question, i’ll leave this as an open answer because I have no idea what is in store. For now my days are spent interning, freelancing and working for Valkyrie. There are never enough hours in the day so my sleeping pattern is a wreck!
Q: Your pieces are incredibly detailed and you have a very distinct style, talk us though your process to creating a piece of work.
A: I have a little bit of an obsessiveness to my detail, once I start to work I will work draw for around ten hours at a time, listening to heavy music keeps up the pace. I sit around and look at books, take notes and make some mood boards, after looking at lots of cool stuff I dabble with layouts then start inking. very rarely sketch anything as I never stick to a plan. My drawing technique has been described as ‘the disease’, as it grows and spreads pretty fast!
Q: What or whom do you find are your creative influences?
A: sci-fi & horror movies, 80’s skateboard art, circus signage, curiosity’s, comics.
Q: Tell us about the piece you did for Skull & Heart.
A: I was really feeling the pressure after the release of Paul Jackson and David Bray’s crazy prints, I knew I would have to put in a fair few hours to create anything half as good! I had a few 48hour drawing days, which destroyed me, but I’m happy with the final print, you did a great job! My print Sweet Babylon represents power, cheekiness and also great downfall, and who doesn’t love six headed dragons.
Q: Can you tell us about any future projects in the works?
A: I’m just finishing up for New Rule Horror show, (a book and gallery show of B movie & slasher films, which is obviously an awesome theme, i’ve had a fun time working on this one.) The show will have some limited edition Valkyrie boards too. As well as taking part in shows, i’m currently collaborating and curating with Croz, so far we can hint at hand shaped boards and some pretty exciting artists so keep watch on that one.
Q: And of course, Skulls or Hearts?
A: skulls skulls skulls!
All available artwork from Liane Plant is available to purchase in our online store. Please click the images below to be directed to the item you are interested in.