Art

LAEM Sessions: Alex Lehours talks about the things that inspire him to make great art

Alex Lehours is a highly sought-after illustrator, designer, and muralist. He’s one of Sydney’s busiest artists, and the proof can be seen in different works all over the city.

The 31-year-old’s art style, which is largely inspired by vintage comic book aesthetics, has been described as “an eccentric explosion of chaos, humour, colour, and absolute randomness.”

This ‘random’ imagery Lehours creates stems from his ability to use any medium he likes, from ink to paint to watercolours to aerosol. As a result, his flexibility has scored him clients such as Facebook, Stolichnaya Vodka, Mad Mex, and Westfield Shopping Complex.

Alex Lehours

One of his most noteworthy client work is that of a 105 metre mural in Liverpool. Working solo, Lehours only had six weeks to complete the project. So in order to make the deadline, he did 12-hour shifts for much of duration.

>>Also watch: the full interview and live art session with Alex Lehours

“People have been telling me all day, ‘go home, it’s too hot to work, think about your health’,” he said.

“When it is a blank wall it is daunting. You stare at it and think, ‘this is huge.’ Once the lines come on and it’s broken up, it becomes more manageable. It’s almost like colouring in.”

The hard work eventually paid off. The result of perseverance was a massive mural celebrating Liverpool’s history.

And… All finished at The Paper Mill! 105m 30 days A few brushes, 20 litres of house paint, a tonne of spray paint and I'm spent! Big thanks to @coronationproperty and @authoritycreative for the opportunity. This was a mammoth but fun project to be a part of. Final photos and video coming soon courtesy of @billyzammit #thepapermill #coronationproperty #liverpool #authoritycreative #art #mural #painting #paint #acrylic #spraypaint #mtnaustralia #mtn #dulux #sydney #alexlehours

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We spoke with Lehours recently to know more about him and his work.

How do you approach a completely blank piece of paper or wall space? What’s the creative process behind turning that whiteness into a work of art?

“Whether it’s a piece of paper or a wall, I usually have the same process. I start by brainstorming ideas, words, phrases, anything really that I think may suit the project. From there, I start drawing up individual elements and ideas. I then scan everything into the computer and put together my compositions from there. That way, I am able to tweak the imagery and get it just right for what I need.”

Alex Lehours

What music do you listen to when you’re creating?

“I have a wide range of music, so usually depends on what mood I am in. I listen to anything from Kendrick Lamar to Neil Diamond, The Eagles, The Weeknd, and I even think there are a few embarrassing Backstreet boys jams on my playlist as well.”

Alex Lehours

How much do you consider yourself to be a perfectionist with your work?

“Very much a perfectionist when I work on a new piece. I want the artwork to look exactly like what I had planned. Most of the time, I will pick at the smallest details which no one else will ever notice, but if I am not happy with it, then, what is the point of doing it?

“I think if you don’t try to perfect what you do and strive to get better then you will never develop as an artist. It goes back to that old saying ‘we are all our own worst critics’.”

>>Also watch: Alex Lehours’ gives advice every aspiring artist needs to hear

You drew a skull for your LAEM Session. Why skulls? Seems to be a recurring theme/interest for many artists.

“I just love painting skulls. I like to include a lot of bold, chaotic imagery in my works and skulls suit that perfectly. I find them really enjoying to paint as well.”

Alex Lehours

Alex Lehours

You can find out more about Alex Lehours and his work here.

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