Artist LOTTY Is Creating Empowered Characters With Epic Sneaker Game!
Paris-based illustrator LOTTY is bringing a fresh creative take on the streetwear and sneaker scene. Their aim is to create empowered, purposeful characters (with epic sneaker game!) within urban and contemporary universes. Upon perusing LOTTY’s portfolio, you’ll find she’s illustrated everything from the Nike Air Kukini to Salehe Bembury’s Crox Pollex Clog.
Drawing on a number of sources, LOTTY is inspired by gaming, manga and her love of toys. Not only does she interpret the world through her own eyes, but she’s also ensuring that inclusivity is represented in her artwork, saying, ‘there’s plenty of room for all of us to be represented.’ Get to know LOTTY below.
How did you get into illustrating?
I have always wanted to draw, so with a lot of work and the support of my husband, I started to work as a storyboarder. And at the same time, I’ve started illustrating book covers and various illustration projects.
How do you describe the aesthetic of your illustrations?
Detailed line art with a colourful palette, a pinch of freshness and cheerfulness to create strong, empowered, purposeful characters and urban and contemporary universes – where dreams, nostalgia and the future can meet and merge together.
Your take on illustrating streetwear and sneakers is so unique. Where do you get your inspiration?
Like many creatives, I take my inspiration from my own experience in my childhood. My toys – my Barbies, to be exact – were my first inspiration. And until this day, I love to discover new ones with my daughter! Second is Japan. I’ve discovered little by little Japan’s subculture with manga (and anime, but I prefer to read and enjoy the artworks of the mangakas) with their own streetstyle. I am also inspired by gaming. My first video game (FF7) had a huuuge impact on my vision of aesthetics, thanks to Tetsuya Nomura’s emblematic characters.
Lots of different character designers and games give me inspiration, and there are almost too many to count! Since I grew up in the 90s, you can’t deny the US influence in the comics, music, fashion, sports, lifestyle...
Is representing women and diversity important in your work?
Of course, since I am a woman. And a mother too. For me, it’s important to embrace femininity with a willingness to share and enjoy without judgement. As an illustrator, I like to create different combinations, and I think there’s plenty of room for all of us to be represented. I still have so many ideas, but I don’t have time enough to put everything on paper... there are so many things to explore!
How do you represent diversity in your art?
I try to draw everyday life that anyone can relate to. I like to represent physical diversity but also different cultures, different moods, tastes and lifestyles. This also appears in my fashion choices. I pay tribute to the designers, the artists I love, and their works. Representation comes in different ways – sometimes it’s more subtle than it appears at first.
What do you like about illustrating sneakers?
The freedom to adapt to any character, any style, and as I draw it, I kinda relate it to me. Drawing the kicks that are super innovative, with great shapes, colourways, or simply the ones I love but don’t/can’t own is a pleasure. I love to play with shapes and colours, so illustrating sneakers is always a great playground!
What’s your relationship with sneakers?
It’s a sweet feeling mixed with nostalgia. I think I associate it with memories and certain time periods now that I think about it. A lot of old sneakers are special to me because I grew up seeing them – but couldn’t have them.
Now, when I can, I like to take a specific pair and mark it with a fond memory (travel, a special event, mood). It also rhythms with the seasons and my mood. In spring/summer, I’m more inclined to wear colourful light sneakers, whereas, in autumn/winter, I love technical, comfy, practical sneakers.
In relation to the sneaker space, in the long run, what are you hoping to achieve with LOTTY Illustrations?
I wish to bond with other creatives and people to voice and represent different sides of females, and to a certain extent, people in general – different points of view, but always in a genuine and positive way. And if I can go further, having an opportunity to participate in a footwear project would be the pinnacle of success!