Lalelilolu Studios was born in October 2010, after I had my first child.
The studio is in my house in Canada, and my two kids – Nicolas and Lily – are my main source of inspirations when I’m creating. I usually work amongst scattered toys, noise and restless little hands trying to steal my pencils to draw in my sketchbook. Although balancing work and motherhood can be quite overwhelming sometimes, I love having my life filled with children and art.
Childhood is fascinating! I love the spontaneity that children have to speak their minds, the ability to be amazed at the simplest of things and to imagine the unimaginable. But most of all, I love their innocence.
And that’s exactly what I try to capture in my illustrations: the innocence and whimsy of childhood. Where anything is possible and everything is so colourful and magical…
(photo in the middle by Belle Meinerz)
I hope my artwork inspires imagination, innocence and good feelings. That the children can smile, dream and see themselves in the illustrations (whether fantastic or not). I hope my art inspires simple, creative play, and encourages both children and grown ups to appreciate even more the simple things in life.
Hi there! I’m so glad to see you here!
My name is Luciana, I’m the illustrator behind Lalelilolu Studios, but you can just call me Lu, like everybody else (sounds like Lou).
I’m originally from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, but due to my previous job as a geologist, I have lived in several countries: including Venezuela and Australia. In 2010, I relocated to Squamish BC – Canada. I live with my husband Rafael, our two kids Nicolas and Lily, and our cat Zelda, surrounded by beautiful mountains, lakes and lots of wild life (including bears who love to visit my backyard from time to time!). Don’t worry, mom! I’m still alive!
(photo by Belle Meinerz)
My love story with art began in early childhood. I grew up in very modest little house and because my mom (who raised three kids by herself) couldn’t afford any toys, I had no other option than exercise my imagination every way possible. I’d make up my own stories, pretend to cook with mud, turn corn cobs into dolls (with beautiful natural hair!), play with cardboard boxes and create lots of drawings with chalk. I used to sketch so much in my notebooks at school, that usually there was no room left to take notes!
But I think the thing I was particularly good at was making up stories. The most famous one I created with my cousin, imagining that we were aliens from Planet Venus. I used to tell the other kids (and they’d all believe and be terrified of us) that back in Venus, my cousin and I were 200 year old tiny little kids, with super powers and unpronounceable names. One day, the spaceship we were playing with broke down and the two of us fell down straight to Earth, right inside the cup of coffee of our future mothers here (who were distractedly talking outside). So they drank us up without noticing and 9 months later we were born again, as Earthings!
Crazy. I know.
So, in order to channel all that creativity, I have always pictured myself becoming some kind of artist. Or children’s writer. Or maybe astronaut (well, it makes some sense, don’t you think?). I ended up going to Fine Arts college, but had to quit 6 months later to work and pay the bills. One year later I was eager to go back to school, but decided to choose a career that could give me a more stable job, opportunities to travel and maybe visit some caves (oh yeah, I love caves!). So I went to study geology!
How about that?
Five years later, I graduated as a geologist. I visited many places in Brazil I had never been before, made great friends in the field, married a geologist, worked for five years in the mining industry and went to travel the world… but the passion for drawing never left me. So, when we moved to Australia and had our first child, I felt that somehow, geology didn’t fit in my life anymore and all I wanted was to turn my hobby into a career that I could balance with motherhood. I just didn’t know how!
So, I ended up quitting my job as a geologist, and after adapting to the endless sleepless nights and getting used to taking care of a baby without extra help, I gradually began to draw again – and of course, using the new love of my life as my main inspiration. But it was only when I moved to Canada and got a commission for some illustrations to be used as prints in a children clothing collection, that things started to feel more real. That was the very first time I earned any money drawing and I couldn’t have been more excited!
At first I struggled to learn how to use software like Photoshop and Illustrator (since I had to color the illustrations digitally) and to start finding my own style (which is still a constant development), but I was happy with the way things were turning out for me and to have the support of my husband. After two months, I felt confident enough to offer my services online to everyone who would want an illustration created by me.
That was when Lalelilolu Studios was born.
PS: Unfortunately I haven’t been able to manage the high demand for custom illustrations, so I’m not offering this service anymore. Visit my shop to find some cute and sweet art prints to decorate nurseries and kid’s rooms. I still personalize hair colours and other small details when possible. Thank you!
Dreams are really amazing stuff. This one that I’m about to tell you, besides giving me much more confidence to follow my instincts and throw out five years of experience as a geologist to pursuit my dream of becoming an illustrator, also gave me the name for my illustration business! Read more »