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February 5, 2019

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Performing live... Lucy McLoughlin

Textile designer turned live artist Lucy talks with Lily Anna Rose about her unique keepsakes. Marking with a free and fluid style which captures the personality with spirit and an uncanny resemblance of her subject. Can you spot the famous couple?

There’s nothing quite being in the present than drawing live do you draw every day?
I draw a lot but surprisingly not every day. There is a lot involved in running your own business (and being a mum) so I spend time preparing mounts, responding to enquiries, meeting people and the million other tasks that are involved in being an artist. When I paint live I make up for it though and sometimes I will paint up to 6 hours, barely pausing for breaks!

Your illustrations look like fashion drawings – do you have a background in fashion or textiles?
I studied textile design in the Netherlands where I was born and then I moved to Winchester School of Art to undertake an MA in textile design. Furthermore, my mum was a dressmaker and tailor so yes my work is hugely influenced by textiles and fashion. It is literally in my blood and I love it.

Your illustrations are such a talking piece – it’s pretty desirable. Do couples need to book you well in advance?
To avoid disappointment yes. Some couples are super organised and they will book me two years in advance but I also get the odd last minute booking. However, during the height of the wedding season, it is pretty manic and I hate having to turn people away.

What’s the best bit about drawing live compared to say a drawing from an image? 
For me it is all about painting live. The atmosphere, the people and the music really help me to get into my flow. I love meeting people, observing their posture and outfits and then capturing special moments live. There is always such a happy, positive atmosphere and that is very infectious. Strangely enough I like painting under pressure and having a time restriction (everything is painted on the spot so I don't finish it in my studio) helps to create dramatic and fluid brush strokes, which is what gives the paintings their energy.

I understand Mica Paris is a fan. Have you always loved drawing people?
As a child, I really struggled to paint people. I was obsessed with a book called Faeries (by Brian Froud and Alan Lee) so I copied every troll and strange creature that was featured in this beautiful book. Later as an adult, I discovered portrait painting and initially, I thought I would make this my specialism. It wasn't until I took part in a fashion illustration course at Central Saint Martin that I finally found my calling 'people'.

They never stand still for long, how long does an image take to compose?
I can speed paint a person in 10 minutes but if I add more detail – which I do especially for weddings – it takes approximately 20 – 30 minutes to paint a person These days I take snapshots on my phone as a reference so people don't have to pose for me and they can carry on partying while I paint.

Do you have a wedding or special event? You can hire Lucy to capture that moment. 
See more of her work at liveeventartist.co.uk or email lucy@liveeventartist.co.uk or call 07815 746505

Pictured above Meghan and Harry, below Lucy at work.
Are you a local wedding supplier and have a story to share on Be Inspired please contact Lily Anna Rose.

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