Illustration with a street edge, Miss Led's art has moved to galleries, brands have taken note, the rise and rise of graf influenced art continues.
Miss Led is a UK based artist with a keen hand for detail and feminine eye for illustration that has reached large audiences and has commercial types clamouring for her work.
Being the only woman to have won the urban street art competition ‘Secret Wars’ more than a bit has been made about Miss Led bringing some sort of gender equality to the game. In person however there is more a ‘I do what I do and more than that whatever?’ attitude to Miss Led.
Through hard work and perseverance her work has graced the pages of a number of glossy fashion magazines, she completed site specific works for labels like Diesel, had work hang alongside artist Jamie Hewlett and Banksy, and painted a whole car as part of the art car exhibition.
Successful? I’d say. But what makes her work special? Miss Led’s references are generally familiar but hard to pinpoint. Trebuchet spoke to her to discuss how she keeps it fresh.
Trebuchet Magazine: Would say you have a retro style?
Miss Led: I guess so, I mean my work is very inspired by artists and movements gone by
Trebuchet Magazine: How do you see your work progressing?
Miss Led: I see my work moving into darker territories, it’s definitely less popsicle and in need of such attention. Moody and brooding perhaps.
Trebuchet Magazine: Do you make much of creating ‘feminine’ work?
Miss Led: I do have a drive towards creating and capturing feminine beauty, and the female form is pivotal to that.
Trebuchet Magazine: The roots of your work seem to reference parts of Vaughn Bode, do you think you fit into the genre of street art?
Miss Led: I don’t feel that my work does fit into the genre of street art or graffiti… Yes, inspired by, but I’ve not created work on the street and have very different practice to those that do fit that bill. I think graff and street artists must hate the connection made, as it’s all pretty mythical.
Competing in tournaments that fit into a neat label of street art invite many artists across disciplines. I’d say I’m an illustrator / painter with a variety of skills and styles.
Looking at Bode’s work, we definitely share in common inspirational roots – you can clearly see 60’s and 70’s psychedelic and fantasy art and art nouveau and the 50’s pin up in his work. Though I haven’t been exposed to his work
Trebuchet Magazine: In common with street art have you built up a set of symbols, motifs, or signature images that you work with?
Miss Led: For street art tournaments yes, but not anymore…
Trebuchet Magazine: You work in many different environments, stores, cars etc? Do you enjoy the challenge?
Miss Led: Yes, I really do. But it’s a need / hate thing. I’m not happy unless I feel I’m being tested. I can’t regurgitate the same thing again and again either. Different environments allow me the opportunity to test different styles and discover new skills. It’s a dangerous territory and sometimes a gamble. Trying something new doesn’t always work as well as a tried and tested project.
Trebuchet Magazine: You’ve mentioned working on multi angle surfaces like cars means you have to think about things differently?
Miss Led: Of course, angles, seams, ridges… You either decide to work with them or against them.
Trebuchet Magazine: How do you compose a piece to incorporate different angled surfaces?
Miss Led: Its planned as site specific. Using dips, grooves, different surfaces to dictate how the relationships in the imagery work together. Perhaps like a puzzle. From a sizable amount of prints of a scaled plan I’ll sketch various compositions within and around the surfaces.
Trebuchet Magazine: Has this influenced you work in other mediums?
Miss Led: Absolutely
Trebuchet Magazine: Many artists see a progression from where they were to where they’re going? Do you see a progression?
Miss Led: I do, I think my work is becoming more open to specific needs. I guess that means that I’m more confident in delivering with more diversity. My visual vocabulary has widened and with that my confidence. I mean, it’s still pretty early days with all things considered.
Trebuchet Magazine: Do you see what you’re doing as Art or commercial illustration? Or do you think that there isn’t a difference?
Miss Led: I’m not sure if theirs is as much of a different these days between the two, illustrators show and exhibit amongst and in the similar ways as more traditional artists, artists that focus on gallery work and exhibiting work alone. I see the work I create for myself as different to that produced for client commissioned projects. I enjoy having different stylistic approaches directed by a new brief. It’s when I start thinking about exhibiting as an, ‘artist’, I start having difficulties. But it’s all good.
Trebuchet Magazine: In past interviews you’ve spoken about not getting too personal in your work, something that you’ve said will change as you gain more confidence. Are there any indications on how you’d like to express yourself in your work?
Miss Led: I think even, as much as we may try not to bring ourselves into work, I think it’s near impossible to create without any connections to how we feel, think, and respond to the world. Art really is an extension of who we are.
Trebuchet Magazine: Many thanks.
Miss Led: Thank you.