Fluid Shapes and Powerful Colours | Lois O’Hara

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After studying Illustration at university, Lois O’Hara got addicted to screen printing and loved playing around with neon inks, the different layering of colour and abstract patterns. Without knowing how to earn a living as a Mural – Public Artist, she went self-employed and has accomplished big projects which she is proud of.

When she was young, Lois loved surfing and the contact with the sea and waves is quite visible in her colourful projects. She also loves lava lamps and we can all agree that her works would look good in one of those!

The abstract, pop patterns bring light and happiness to otherwise grey, boring public spaces. This is, as she says, her “way of giving back to society”. The curved lines reflect her approach to both life and art, as “there are no straight lines and no easy way around things so I want my work to show the beauty in this and the lessons we learn through hardship”.

Colour in her work is the essence and a magical power that lifts spirits up and encourages social interaction, in person as well as on Instagram.

Colour is a language itself, not just a mix of pigments.

One of her favourite collaborations was with Habitat. She designed a large scale window display to celebrate Pride and parts of the design leaked onto the ground. Another project she loves is the recent outdoor basketball court transformation in Australia.

An important part of her collaborations is first of all the project itself, but having a good team to work with plays a great part. However, the challenge in her work goes with her artistic signature: the curves and lines still need to be precise; creating large scale projects, the proportions need to be accurate.

I really wanted the bright colours to surround me and I wanted to fill my room with colour to bring positivity to the space I was working, sleeping and eating in so I started to think practically.

In Lois’ opinion, art should be accessible to everyone, just as Banksy says. “’Suppose that every worthwhile book in the world cost £1 million – imagine what a catastrophic effect on culture that would have’, I love seeing people interact with my installations. It brings me joy.”

Her advice for young aspiring artists is that they shouldn’t try to develop their portfolio by following trends and being too inspired by other’s works. Young artists should create meaningful and genuine art that they really care about otherwise it will become boring and meaningless. And the public is a harsh critic when it comes to unauthentic art.

Her upcoming projects consist of her work being displayed at the NBA All Star Weekend, a car park and basement transformation for Sailmakers, creating a window display for a reusable water company called One Green Bottle and a leather fashion brand called LPOL. We would love to know more about the other big ones, but it’s a secret!

So the only thing left to say is that we hope to see some of her incredible, colourful works in real life and to continue to see her around the world.


Interview by Carmen Mc Intosh