A couple months ago we attended the awesome ROCOCO Collaborative Art Show in Costa Mesa where we met possibly the most passionate artist/painter/illustrator ever, Lori Gilbert. To say we were fascinated by her paintings would be quite the understatement. Her photorealistic paintings were so incredibly beautiful and lifelike that they had us second guessing if this was real life or not. Not only does this girl have undeniable talent, but she also busts out more paintings than the Met. Just kidding, but we don’t doubt that she probably would if it was physically possible, and we freakin’ love that.


TS: How did you get into painting? Has becoming an artist always been your main goal?


LG: I always have had an interest in art and anything creative….when I transfered from a school in new york for college to long beach, I was literally forced into an intro to painting class. I was a graphic design major so naturally i thought it was a waste of time…After taking the class I fell in love with acrylic paint and have painted over 250 works in 3 years…My only goal was to live my passion , inspire others and be happy and painting does just that in my life….



TS: You describe your work as “urban-contemporary”, what does that term mean to you?


LG: When im not working on commissions, I have a certain style I gravitate towards and I have deemed it “urban contemporary” for a few reasons. Banksy and other street artists have always inspired me. They have a very graphic element to their work which i am attracted to. I feel that my work has a strong street art feel to it because of the highly graphic elements …I still find a way to incorporate contemporary techniques such as drips and limited palettes to bring the work together. Its this direct merging of styles that defines my paintings and why i deemed it as this genre of art!



TS: Favorite place to paint?


LG: My studio with my music blasting feeling isolated.


TS: What are the top 5 songs you’re listening to at the moment?


LG: Phantogram- Mouthful of Diamonds, The xx- Angels, Sigur Ros- Njosnavelin, Massive Attack- Paradise Circus, Metric- Help I’m Alive



TS: Who/what do you find influences you the most?


LG: Im constantly seeking out other artists and getting inspired by photographers and modern painters. I think its a beautiful thing to see the world through others eyes. The best artists are ones that channel their emotions into you with their music and images…Sometimes even a random magazine ad can stir an idea…..Im influenced by the world and peoples beauty.


TS: What’s the most favorite painting you’ve ever done?


LG: I honestly cannot choose….I put my heart into everything I do and never settle for less than my best…If I had to choose one of my favorites it would be a painting I did of friends wave photography…Robbie Crawford! I think the sheer technical skill and detail I implemented was one of my best and I am very proud of this work!



TS: Do you ever find yourself having painter’s block? If so, what do you do to get yourself out of it?


LG: I do not, I have pages and pages full of ideas I have not been able to get to…I wish I had eight more sets of arms to paint in order to produce them all. The only time i ever feel like I cannot paint is if im so tired from working all day that my eyes will not stay open! Pure exhaustion is the only thing that can keep me away from my canvas.


TS: Is there a painting by someone else that you wished you’d done yourself?


LG: Audrey Kawasaki is my all time favorite artist…she did a painting called “allure” that was so truly captivating i have stared at it for hours…I wish I could call it my own and found it incredibly inspiring.



TS: Is there a style of painting that you enjoy doing more? Such as urban contemporary vs. photorealistic?


LG: Although I enjoy my commissions and am very thankful for any work I receive, I enjoy the urban contemporary ones more…They are my true identity as an artist and come “freely”. They flow naturally from my thoughts and dreams and they almost create themselves if that makes sense…Those paintings are truly my inner emotions being poured onto the canvas.



TS: What would you do if you couldn’t paint? If you didn’t have painting as an outlet?


LG: I could never go back to not living my passion…When I wasnt painting I felt dead to the world..It is why I was put here and I will never allow myself to not be successful. I guess if i was to chose another emotional outlet it would be running and fitness. I love being healthy and firmly believe in the healthy body =healthy mind balance.


TS: Craziest thing you’ve ever done. Go.


LG: …Without a dime saved up and a plan I quit my entire life to try to become a freelance painter!!! (everyone thought I was bat crazy!)


TS: Any upcoming projects?


LG: I always have at least four months of commissions lined up for people…One of the more exciting things I am doing is completing my first professional time lapse for a large 8ft painting! I also am going to be doing a large painting for pro surfer rob machado ! He had a photo of him licensed in surfer magazine that I am going to paint for him- wild.





Check out more of the talented Lori Gilbert:
Official Website



Introducing awesome people, one interview at a time,
Teresa and Melissa



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