In the Studio with Laust Hoejgaard

In the studio with Laust Hoejgaard , a visual artist whose works are based around conflicted outsiders and other misfits who represents a surreal version of reality. We met with Laust to tell us more about what inspired them to first pursue their artistic journey and their greatest influences.

When did you first begin to see yourself as an artist?

It’s been a fading transition actually. I’ve been painting and drawing all my life and then I took a long break from it for several years and returned to it with a new perspective. When I finally found my signature style and found confidence in that I guess I felt like a “real” artist.

Paint us a picture of your artistic journey. What inspired you to first pursue, and then continue to practice artistic work? 

When I was a kid I wanted to make animated movies and computer games and that gave me a purpose to pursue. I really felt like I’ve worked it all out in my head. I had a very romantic and naive view on how it would be, but then one on a vacation to the states I remember we visited some Disney animation Studios and I think it was shot down because they moved production to a sweatshop or something and I remember feeling really depressed. It kind of broke the illusion. After that, I started working a lot with classical drawing, croquis etc. and went to The Drawing Academy and learnt a lot about anatomy and how to construct shapes and so on. That let me into the doing art and painting but at some point I felt like it didn’t have enough purpose and I couldn’t crack how to make it interesting because I felt limited in “just” doing a static visual on a canvas or piece of paper. Then I started working as a freelance illustrator on advertising agencies and suddenly I found myself in advertising. That let me into working at Vice Magazine as a creative and I did a lot of different work for brands etc. It was fun, but at the same time it felt so empty and in the end I was just working too much to sell some sort of product and that was just extremely depressing and it drained me totally in the end. And then I went back to painting, but this time it was not to do make it look like something particular, constructing it the right way or making it fit a concept with a purpose. Now I’m only working to make my work having an interesting expression instead. 

What’s the message of your work? Where do they come from? 

I like to think of it as there is not a certain message, but more an energy or a vibe. It’s based around these conflicted characters that are both a bit scary and humorous. They are a reflection of the real world in a quirky way. The personality and themes in my work also defines my working process and my choices of textures, strokes and so on. My style is a boiling pot of elements from my background working with animation, 3D modelling, classical drawing etc. 

Who & what are your greatest influences?  

I love Christian Rex van Minnen (@van_minnen) and it was love at first sight. I think he’s the best when it comes to combining expressions in so many ways. At the moment I’m also really drawn by the work of Bel Fullana (@belfullana). I love the energy in her work and how she borrowed elements from cartoons etc. Bijijoo (@Bijijoo) is also a great inspiration in many ways for me. I find his work really inspiring because he’s able to create such unique work in a way that’s hard to categorize for me (in a good way). And last, but not least there’s Michael Pitman (@emkidelpitt) who also has the craziest energy in his works and I just love the combination of style, characters and themes in his works.

An unexpected source of inspiration?

I’ve actually surprised how much music affects my work. It’s weird, because I used to play music and play in a band when I was younger, but then I didn’t really listen to music for 10 years, but when I started painting again it came back.

What do you want people to take from your work when they view it?

Hmm. I hope people just look at it as a visual, but experience the energy and the tension in the works I guess.

What are your ideal conditions or catalyst for creating a “good” piece of work?

I like working on multiple works at the same time, so when I have the space and time for that it’s good. I don’t have a lot of patience, so if I only work on one I sometimes ruin it, because the paint doesn’t get a chance to dry. 

Tell us the inspiration behind your works?

To take one example “Sad Boyz Luv Money” is inspired by a song by Amaarae called “Sad Girlz luv Money” for instance. Pretty random but I guess it’s a good example of how music sometimes inspires my work 1:1 sometimes.

Something in the future you hope to explore?

I would love to do some physical 3D modeled works in the near future .