Shoevenir is inspired by places, and what is the place you visit more often? Your mind.

When we thought about this “place”, we had one artist in mind: Lara Luís. As a result, the self-entitled full-time overthinker and part-time visual artist was challenged to create an illustration inspired by this “place”, to go hand in hand with our model Shoevenir Cloud, our white canvas sneakers, inspired by the places you can travel to, including your mind.

Lara Luís

Lara Luís is a full-time overthinker and visual artist in the spare time. She’s part of the group of young artists who have taken the world of illustration by storm as we know it today in Portugal. She seeks inspiration in her daily life and the characters are a reflection of her multiple personalities. Since 2010 she has participated in several collective and solo exhibitions in Portugal and abroad and her popularity has brought her partnerships with several renowned brands.



Head in the clouds or down-to-earth?

Always a cloudy mind!

How did you start in illustration? What's your first memory of it?

My relationship with art happened very early and naturally. My older brother was studying Art at the time, more specifically Graphic Design, so I had access to some materials at home, and I think I naturally started experimenting... I remember seeing him draw in his little world, and maybe those were my first memories about this universe that later also became mine. I don't have a memory of a specific drawing at the beginning, but I remember I was always drawing, always. I remember my brother threatening to not let me use his molim markers anymore, because I wasn't holding them correctly... Despite all the effort, I still hold them in a strange way today!

What inspires you to illustrate? 

As a child, everything was about great artists, great works... Fortunately, I had a family who was always very supportive of my interest in the world of Art and, on birthdays and Christmases, I always received Art books. A lot of inspiration started there, as with all artists. Later, I started using my own life as inspiration - which isn't very creative of me! But I was inspired by relationships, music, films, books and series, my humor and what I picked up here and there, my cat... All of this built my universe, where I came up with the ideas for my illustrations.

What was the inspiration behind this illustration?

This drawing has been in my head for a long time and I had even sketched the idea... Which initially had a more romantic tone. The head in the clouds illustrated the mood when we are in love. When Shoevenir invited me to do this collab and gave me some guidelines, I automatically thought of the idea that I had stored in my brain’s archives, and put it into practice. We associated that illustration with a more adventurous and travel-related approach - the brand's voice - and that’s how the design we have today was born.

Your illustrations are filled with characters, who is in this illustration?

My illustrations are autobiographical, since the themes I choose to approach are based on my life, but I obviously also use visual elements which characterize me, giving life to one of those characters, which ends up being me, and in this case, it’s Lara traveling with her head in the clouds!

What's the best compliment you've ever received about your artwork?

I think the best compliment is when people tell me that they see themselves in my drawings, that they laugh, and that they have seen themselves in a situation I described... Make any kind of impact... Especially if it's positive, if it's a smile, if it's a way for people to realize they're not alone... It's the best thing I can draw.

What’s your favorite Lara Luís creation so far?

I think that in terms of size, impact, novelty, courage and personal growth, it was the Mural on Sports in Guimarães... It's a type of work that wasn't in my comfort zone at all, which ended up going well and which I really enjoyed doing. It was 30x3 meters of adventure that felt very good to me. I would love to repeat it and do another work on this scale.

Shoevenir is inspired by places. What’s your favorite place?

My favorite place is silence.

Keith Haring is a reference for you, why? And what are others?

Keith Haring was the artist who had the greatest impact on me as a child, perhaps because he used very simple figurative language... I think that, at a time when I loved great masters of painting, all of them virtuosos, meeting Keith Haring was refreshing, it was love at first sight... He was proof that great artists can also make "simple" drawings and manage to be profound (when they choose to do so). His audacity, to start as an artist who made art illegally and to paint things that, as they say, even children could do and what he achieved with that, with his art and his influence, it’s fantastic. I couldn't see it at the time, but I think it was a huge inspiration for me to later embrace the profession of illustrator and know that it was possible to have a career in Art, while drawing cartoons.

Another influence, which came later and with whom I identify, is Frida Khalo. Life, self-portraits, themes... a whole connection.

Dead or alive, who would you have dinner with?

Uff... So many musicians just crossed my mind... Ahaha

But maybe go back to the late 70's, have dinner with Keith Haring (and the usual gang), then go to studio 54, scrabble something and make fun of Warhol's wig!

If there was a playlist which personified Lara Luís, which 5 songs will be on it?

I think this is the most difficult question... Besides the importance that music has in my life, I have the ability to think about any moment in my life and know the song that's attached to it.

But here are 5, by great Portuguese artists. And I'll just stick with Portuguese artists, not only because of their importance, but also because if I started adding foreign songs I wouldn't be able to put an end to this interview.

Antonio Variações - Estou Além

Manuel Cruz - Ainda não acabei

Orelha Negra - A sombra

Heróis do Mar - Alegria

Conan Osiris - Amalia