We’re so excited to introduce you to Toronto abstract artist Lorette C. Luzajic. Lorette’s artistic style is urban expressionism and her main goal with her art is to “show people the beauty in the everyday mess of life, even in the pain, the magic of it all”. We absolutely love that and hope you enjoy getting to know Toronto abstract artist Lorette C. Luzajic as much as we did.
Toronto Abstract Artist Lorette C. Luzajic
What’s the main inspiration for your art?
My most honest answer would be “everything.” I feel like an archeologist, of modern as well as ancient artifacts, digging, excavating, small shards and snippets. Each piece is a chaotic medley constructed from endless layers of eras, cultures, and from the past, present, and future.
What is the biggest goal you try to achieve with your art?
I want to show people the beauty in the everyday mess of life, even in the pain, the magic of it all.
What’s your favourite thing about being an abstract artist?
There is absolute freedom in creating and responding to abstract art. I am completely liberated.
Why abstract art and not other mediums? Have you always created abstract art or did you start out creating other styles?
Much of my work is semi abstract or partially abstract and not totally abstract. I also make a lot that is abstract only. I have always loved collage and started out making representational, surreal mixed media collage art and still do. I got really excited when I started to use collage elements for their texture, shape, colour, and juxtaposition properties, not just for their imagery or message. I began using asemic writing (decorative writing without “real” words), text with other language, and fonts or typography for their aesthetic properties. I love the abstract art I see everywhere- sidewalks, peeling billboards, fields of grass, even the light patterns when I close my eyes. I am totally free when I create abstract artworks. It is like a ritual, like participation in the great mystery, somehow even the detritus of life is exalted. I love being able to bring that beauty to light, into something concrete that others can see and enjoy.
If you could describe your art in three words, what would they be?
Archeology. Poetry. Mystery.
What’s one thing people might not know about you and/or your art journey so far?
I’m also a writer. Most of my writing is about art, including my poetry and short stories.
Did you always know you’d be an artist or how has your art journey progressed?
I called myself a writer from kindergarten forward, but thought about visual art in terms of being a hobby until after I graduated from journalism school. I was studying art history and reading about artists from childhood, as a passion, and made all kinds of stuff, beadwork, collages, illustrated poetry, for the joy of it. I took journalism in university with the intention of doing something practical with my gifts, but upon graduating realized I wasn’t capable of the stressful newsroom or being inundated with depressing stories. My life was in absolute chaos at that time and I was completely lost. I was making collage Tarot cards by chance as a project to learn about the archetypal imagery on the cards, and their symbolism, and got really hooked on collages through that. I started making more collages, adding paint and other media. I sold a couple pieces and foolishly thought, hey, how hard can this be? That was over twenty years ago.
In your opinion, what’s the most important personal characteristic needed to embark on a career as an artist?
You should be a good business person and an extrovert. I am neither, but I’m learning and learning!
What advice would you give up and coming abstract artists?
Look at as much art as you can. Take a survey course in art history. Learn about art from other cultures. Go to every show that comes to town, even artists you don’t care for. Experiment.
Do you have any favourite podcasts or books that you love and that have contributed to your journey as an artist?
My library of art books is my pride and joy and I learn and am inspired every day. The Taschen and Prestel books are great “dipping” books, and Sister Wendy books are all treasures. I love essays about paintings and artists, and especially treasure Michael Kimmelman, Camille Paglia, Octavio Paz, and Julian Barnes right now- and always, the crusty and astute Robert Hughes.
What’s your most fulfilling and enjoyable experience as an artist so far?
Travelling has been the most rewarding experience of my lifetime. And every trip I take is all about art. I love to experience a place fully, cuisine, landscape, music, people, all of it, but the most essential aspect is art. From arts markets to folk art to contemporary exhibitions to museum collections, art is everything. Even better, when I’m there to share and show my own work and work with other artists.
Where do you see yourself and your art in 5 years?
I feel like I’m just starting to scratch the surface of the deep dive in. I want to stretch the limits of collage, colour, and abstraction. I want to explore more work on paper. Abstract art is an amazing process to work in large format but there’s something so intimate about working small as well and it is hard to do small abstracts! I also want to simplify and streamline. My work can get very busy, and I want it to develop more space to breathe.