Frida Las Vegas is the name used by Aussie artist, Stavroula Adameitis. Creating unique and eye-catching pop art, Frida Las Vegas is well-versed in unique mediums like visual art, illustration, accessories, film and fashion. In each piece, she seeks to celebrate the inherent glamour and humour lurking deep within Australian suburbia.
We wanted to hear about the behind-the-scenes process which goes into such vibrant creations – whether that be bolts of inspiration or the must-have tools a professional needs to get the job done.
Tell us about what you do creatively and how a typical work day may unfold for you?
“I started making oversized statement perspex accessories in 2013 and shared my designs on Instagram – which, to my extreme surprise, immediately resonated with people and found an audience online.
As time went by, I felt it was more fun to create my own visual universe across mediums rather than tick the ‘jewellery designer’ box. So I started sharing my art online, which I’d previously kept private, and came out of the creative ‘closet’, so to speak!
“Throughout the day, I question myself a bazillion times, listen to podcasts like ‘You Must Remember This’ to feed my brain and keep in touch with other humans, because it can be kind of lonely working solo for a huge chunk of the time – you never know when inspiration can strike from a good conversation or text exchange with other people.”
Tell us about the importance of printing and copying in your day to day work
“I find that printing and/or copying drawings is a super easy way to experiment with the scale of an image. Drawing straight into Photoshop or Illustrator doesn’t give you an indication of scale whatsoever, so it’s fun to print an image and see how it looks at different size intervals.
“It’s also a better way to tech-check linework and colours in a much more cost-effective way than seeing your final prints come back from the printers looking less than perfect.”
What are some design principles that you adhere to and how do they influence your work across the variety of creative mediums you explore?
“I love working with a limited block colour palette, as this helps me reign-in ideas to create a more cohesive world. Colour-wise, I’m drawn to this particular recipe: flat RGB colour that wouldn’t feel out of place on Playschool plus ’80s pastel pink plus Hungry Jack’s yellow equals my happy place.
“When I’m over-complicating an image, I try to remind myself that ‘less is more’ and subtract, subtract, subtract any noise to create more negative space – which then gets immediately filled with colour. Black outlines tie everything together and create the ‘pop’ vibe I’ve been drawn towards ever since I lovingly gazed upon my Ken Done quilt cover and discovered books of Roy Lichtenstein’s work at the school library when I was a kid.”
Tell us about some of the indispensable tools you use to produce your work and any ‘secret’ tips for getting the most out of using them?
“I understand that many artists aren’t super keen on digital drawing, but I LOVE my Wacom and really enjoy the creative process involved when using it. It’s like the past, present and future histories of art come together in one amazeballs piece of hardware.
“Using a Wacom to draw straight into Adobe Illustrator means you can create a vector artwork and re-size it to make anything from earrings, t-shirts, giclee prints or whatever output feels ‘right’ for your current image or its potential usages in the future.”
Where are some of the unique places online and offline that you get your creative inspiration from?
“This might sound totally strange but I LOVE going to the supermarket and looking at food packaging in excruciating detail – Saxa table salt and ETA barbeque sauce are perennial inspirations. Nothing really beats the design of old vinyl record covers, especially from Australian new wave bands like Icehouse and Goanna. Generally, I’m inspired by visuals that are obviously frozen in a particular period of time, like the mosquito atop Richard Attenborough’s cane in Jurassic Park.”
What trends have you noticed in your creative mediums that particularly interest or excite you?
“I live and work in Sydney. It’s amazing to see so many physical gallery spaces – many of them on a smaller scale run by artists – pop up seemingly out of nowhere.
“Galleries are springing up in previously desolate areas, like Paramatta Road and bougie suburbs like Petersham and Darlinghurst. I hope the demand to consume art in IRL spaces is on the rise, which in turn could ease the pressure a lot of creatives feel nowadays to ‘grow their audiences online’.”
What advice would you pass on to aspiring creatives looking to break into your field?
“Find your own unique style. Don’t seek to emulate the work of one or two of your favourite artists. Instead, find inspiration from the random things that TRULY speak to you. Aim to ‘channel’ your influences rather than ‘copy’. Creating a style is all about how you mix up the mediums, styles, symbols and feelings of the things you love to create a product that is more cohesive than the sum of all its parts. Do this with your own personal flourishes.”