London-based artist Léa Dalissier works primarily in drawing and printmaking, creating multi-layered images that explore technology, ecology and activism. Through her work, she hopes to allow for contemplation and a chance to slow down in an anxious and fast-paced world.
Léa, who has a BA (Hons) Illustration degree and a Master’s Degree in Print, has exhibited in a number of galleries and venues in London and Paris. In addition, her work is held in collections at the V&A, Royal College of Art and the National Archive collection.
What was your first proper job and what path have you taken since?
I started early! I didn’t get pocket money when I was a teen so I did a lot of babysitting so that I could buy books and art materials. My first proper job? I was 15 and I got a job as a gift wrapper in a wine shop for the Christmas period. And I have had so many different jobs since then. Currently I am working as a Printmaking Technician in an Art university.
What inspired you to be an artist?
Drawing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It was the bond between my father and I when I was a kid — he used to be an animator, illustrator and graphic designer and taught me everything I know about art and music. The other big inspiration in my life came from comics and anime — my brother and I shared a manga collection of about 1000 volumes when we lived at home back in France.
Do you have a daily ritual?
I have 3. Coffee, a list, and watching the sunset from my balcony.
Do you have a top tip or tool that helps you with productivity?
Plan things out.
What is the best lesson you have learnt?
It’s really ok to get it wrong or not know where something is going – some of my best creative moments have struck when I’ve pushed myself into a place of unknown territory.
Who inspires you?
Moebius, Sophy Hollington & Haruki Murakami.
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
At some point in my life I would really love to move to Japan and do an artist residency or work from there for a couple of years.
What other artwork projects have you recently been working on?
I have got a few things planned for 2021 – I am working on an exciting collaboration with a couple of friends, I am determined to start my own business and I am making a series of printmaking videos to teach my students how to create from home in these trying times.
What are your preferred mediums to work with and do you have any tools / equipment that you just can't live without?
If I had to strip it back, I couldn’t go without a pencil and some paper.
How do you overcome creative lulls?
Do something else! Going for a walk to clear my head helps a lot. For me it’s about doing something completely different and forgetting about it for a while.
What has it been like collaborating with Jorelle?
Really fun. It’s been so nice to be able to make and create with purpose, especially during the pandemic. I have been meaning to expand into painting and designing for homewares for a long time, so this collaboration has been a fabulous opportunity.
How have you found working with a different medium?
I have thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a meditative, almost ritualistic quality in painting on objects and sculptural surfaces, and gestures become a kind of cathartic mantra. It’s very different to working on paper – you have to think about the movement of the design going with the flow of the curves and the shapes that you’re decorating.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
I don’t think a piece ever is but at some point, you just make the conscious decision to stop. There are very rare occasions when it’s obvious that I should put the pen down – those joyful moments are small miracles, so I make sure to cherish them.