Loryn Engelsman’s bright and fun illustrations caught my eye on Instagram – we love her straight forward, somewhat cheeky messages like “do your work, don’t be stupid” or “work hard, be nice”. Sometimes you just need a reminder to get on with the job and the simple yet fun approach resonates with us. Loryn has carved a path working as a freelance illustrator and her hard work has enabled her to build a portfolio she’s proud of.
Could you tell us a bit about your background and the path that led to your current artistic endeavours?
Picture making runs in my family; my grandparents on both sides were all painters, so I grew up surrounded by picture makers and drawers full of art supplies.
In school, art was the one subject I was really excited about and actually kind of good at, so very naturally when I graduated from high school I went on to art school. I spend most of the next 3 years producing a lot of experimental work, a lot of good work, and a lot of bad work!
At art school, I was constantly reading online interviews and stories of my favourite illustrators and designers and figured out they were all freelancers. So, while I was studying I began working towards crafting a portfolio that would (hopefully) land me some freelance illustration jobs. After I graduated I got a part time job and received a few small design and illustration jobs on the side that got me started in the freelancing game. After some time these commissions became more regular and the dream of becoming a full-time freelancer started becoming more of a reality! I could say “the rest was history” but over the years, it has been a lot of hard work and brilliant advice from peers and mentors that has somehow enabled me to wrangle a full-time job as an illustrator!
What inspires you to create your art?
I really enjoy setting aside time in the working week to experiment with new tools, mediums and ideas. Setting aside this pressure-free non-commercial-work time keeps me inspired and refreshed and in turn inspires my client work and keeps me energised to make more and more stuff!
Where would we be likely to see your artwork?
Instagram is my social media platform of choice. I try to keep it super up-to-date with current projects, experiments, sketchbook peeks and news.
Can you tell us one of your favourite artists?
There are so many to pick from but I would have to say my all time fave would be American illustrator Andy Rementer. His bold and funny illustrations translate so well into so many different areas such as fine art, graphic design and product design – I am always in awe of what he comes up with.
Describe your dream home and location.
I am currently dreaming of living in a narrow little apartment in the middle of Amsterdam. A city full of culture, energy, surprise and the most amazing architecture!
Do you have artwork displayed in your home? What kind?
A lot of the paintings I have acquired over the years are from friends that I have studied or worked with. When I was starting out I didn’t have a lot of money to buy art so the next best thing was to do art swaps with fellow art making friends! Other than that I have a mixture of silk-screen Riso Prints that I have purchased online from illustrators and designers over the years.
Name one item in your home that you could not do without.
I recently inherited a beautiful autumn coloured abstract landscape painting that my grandfather made when he was at art school. I love it because it marks the beginning of his career as a painter and reminds me of all his art that I grew up surrounded by.
When you’re not creating masterpieces, where would we find you?
Out finding the best dumpling restaurant in town!