Strikingly minimalist and abstract compositions by Hola Lou

Inspired by nature and the landscape of Mexico, graphic designer Luisa Salas López (AKA Hola Lou) creates strikingly minimalist and abstract compositions with a bold an earthy palette.

Drawing and coloring has always been part of my life, and so I always knew that I’d end up being a designer. I studied graphic design at a local university in Torreón, and got out pretty fast. I then moved to Playa del Carmen, and spent much of my time watching a hours of tutorials, practicing like crazy and exploring tourism-related branding. Recently I’ve been focusing on a more experimental and artistic path, creating minimalist, abstract illustrations and paintings.

“Classic” (2017) (Acrylic on 300 GR. paper)

I currently live and work in downtown Playa del Carmen. It’s really inspiring! It’s funny how the perception I had about this city was completely different a few years ago. I now seem to have a deeper level of understanding about the complex relationship between Mexico’s prettiest landscapes and the presence of tourism. There are cool art clubs and design-related houses around the Yucatan Peninsula; though I wish the scene was bigger.

I’ve always had a thing for minimalism and simplicity, but then I guess my latin-american warm side always kicks in and adds a huge amount of colour…without even asking, haha! Over the last few years I’ve learnt a lot about my local culture and environment, and so have found myself increasingly influenced by it. Subsequently, incorporating natural shapes and forms have become second nature.

‘Back to Basics’ (2017) (Acrylic on Fabriano 50% cotton paper)

‘Back to Basics detail’ (2017) (Acrylic on Fabriano 50% cotton paper.)

When I’m not working I like the simple things. Although I love traveling, when you have a 3 year-old at home you learn to enjoy simple things like camping with family and friends, or simply taking a stroll with an ice cream.

Painting has definitely become my ultimate therapy. I always find myself hugely relaxed every time I get into it; it has an uncanny ability to make me think more positively.

Hola Lou

My dream commission would be to develop a big collection of design objects and homeware. I get really excited about the idea of experimenting with different surfaces; textile patterns & clothing are definitely something I would love to get involved in. I get enthusiastic about all types of things and industries though. There’s no single dream project for me… more like 10!

‘Domingo’ (2017) (Screenprint)

My office and home are pretty much surrounded by palm trees, and there’s lots of green everywhere. We’ve spotted families of spider monkeys, toucans and coatis from the office’s rooftop, so you can imagine the kind of tropical scenario I’m talking about. Plants keep collecting over everything, and posters too.

Which treasured books live on your bookshelf

  1. ‘The Four Agreements” is a book that my grandfather passionately recommended, so I had to buy it. The concepts are very basic, yet powerful, I recommend it wholeheartedly.
  2. “Presence” by Amy Cuddy. With a bright yellow cover it always makes me happy, just by taking a look at it.
  3. “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. There’s nothing better for me than fun facts, and his books are the greatest source of fun facts I know of.

My creative toolkit is pretty standard: my Macbook pro, wacom tablet, acrylic paints (only primary colors + black and white. I don’t buy pre-made colours!), flat brushes in literally every size, Molotow or Posca acrylic markers, 300 gr. grainy paper, canvas and Jumbo sized Crayola (which I find very fun to sketch with!)

‘Soliman Bay’ (2017) (Acrylic on 300 gr. paper)

Recently I’ve been focusing on painting and finishing a solid stock of artworks. I’m really happy with the results so far. I keep telling myself that I have to keep practicing every day. It’s been really fun photographing them and uploading them to my website. I also still have some graphic design, tourism-related work coming up, and have had several inquiries about potential collaborations for 2018. I’m eager to see what will materialise!

I felt a little jealous watching Camille Walala’s ‘Villa Walala’ (in a good way, of course!) It made me aware of just how much impact artistic interventions can have. I admire her art, but also identify with her story.

Hola Lou

‘Everything in Balance’ (2017) (Vector illustration)

‘Haze’ (2017) (Acrylic on Fabriano 50% cotton paper.)

For 2018 I plan to focus more intensively upon learning, absorbing all I can from the various illustration & arts scenes around the world. I’m not 100% sure of what will happen, but traveling, collaborating and connecting with new artists and communities is most definitely a huge goal.

Instagram: @holalou



Posted on Dec 10th, 17 by | Twitter: @lisahassell

Founder & director of Inkygoodness, Lisa is a published writer and arts journalist, focusing on creative business, graphic art and illustration and design education. Her words regularly appear in Computer Arts, Creative Bloq, Digital Arts and IdN.

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