Luke Pelletier, a recent L.A. transplant from Chicago, has been up to a lot of things apart from our recent collaboration. A solo show at New Image Art LA in August is taking up the majority of his time. He still keeps his other interests active, like pitching ideas for cartoons or practicing, preforming and recording music with a band. This work ethic surely helped get him through his early trouble with school. The down times between occasional expulsions had an on-the-job-training aspect. The time was filled with creating art for promotional fliers and performing music with a band. His encouraging parents, strong work ethic and an intrinsic creativity guided Luke into a career path that included going to SAIC and receiving an arts degree (BFA) in 2015.
Below is our interview with Luke Pelletier and some of his art on apparel produced by Altru Apparel,
A. So as a kid did you draw on your books and papers in school? If so, what kind of stuff?
L.P. I drew a lot, but it was all over the place. I’d copy cartoons. And skate graphics. I Really got into drawing when I started a band. I was doing all the flyer’s, shirts, and album covers.
A. Please describe how your interest in art and creativity was nourished or encouraged? Any group, friend, teacher or family?
L.P. I got in a lot of trouble as a kid. I was in and out of different schools pretty quickly. My parents always supported my art though. I think they always knew I wasn’t going to work a normal job. So even if I would get expelled from a school one week, they would let me practice and play shows with my band the next. They were very supportive.
A. It’s been about a year since you graduated from School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Besides the skills and knowledge you gained, what was the greatest influence from that cultural breeding ground?
L.P. It’s weird. That school was really hard on me. They’re a conceptual art school. Most of my art is based in aesthetics, but they pushed me to talk about my art the same way they did. So it definitely made me experiment more with how I make work. I’ve been really enjoying being out of school though. California has been amazing.
A. Is your work stream of conscience or ideas thought out and expressed?
L.P. Both for sure. I have to plan out a lot of the patterns and compositions because of the math, but I try to always leave room to try new things and goof around. My lyrics are mostly stream of conscience. And I write a lot of those on my paintings.
A. Do you know when a piece is finished or is it hard to stop working on it and adding touches?
L.P. I always know if it’s finished. I rarely ever touch a painting after I sign it.
A. Are you having fun? What are you doing for fun?
L.P. Yeah! I’ve been a little stressed lately. Mostly because my ambition and scale is getting bigger. And with that, so are my expenses, but I try not to worry to much about money. For fun, I paint, write, do band practice, play shows, record songs, go to the beach, watch TV, sketch, some old same old.
A. Are you a collector of anything?
L.P. A ton of stuff! But nothing specific. I collect art, shells, beach glass, dice, matchbooks, trinkets mostly. Just inspiration really!
A. Is there a project you would like to do but haven’t been able to yet?
L.P. Tons! But they’re all in the works! I’d love to open a bar, design a stage, do a cartoon, etc.
A. What project are you working on now?
L.P. Today, I’m working on a pitch for a cartoon I’ve been working on, but I’m mostly working on my solo show at New Image Art in LA. It’ll open in August!
A. Do you have any use for technology in your creative process?
L.P. I email and use Photoshop like everyday!
A. Are you a binge working artist with periods of down time, or do you have a strict work schedule?
L.P. I work everyday for the most part. I have to many things to do to have any downtime! haha I started taking Tuesdays off though!
See more at Luke’s Instagram
Altru teamed up with Impossible Project and photographers: Laura Austin, Pierre David, Mathieu Lebreton, Dirk Mia, and Steven Perilloux in order to support the fantastic charity, Inner-City Arts: Inner-City Arts’ mission is to use arts education to positively affect the lives of underserved youth, improving their chances to lead productive and fulfilling lives by developing creativity, expanding learning skills and building self-confidence. A portion of each garment sold will be donated to their outstanding program.
Laura Austin: "Arts District" www.instagram.com/laura_austin
Steven Perilloux: "Joshua Tree" www.stevenperilloux.com
Pierre David: "LA River" www.instagram.com/pierredavid
Dirk Mia Cat Gods: www.instagram.com/dirkmai
Mathieu Lebreton Watts Towers: www.instagram.com/daaamn
Style is more than simply what you like. Its tied to culture, space and time as well as personal preference and on some gut level, instinct. Someone recently caught our eye who fits the Altru style sensibility, the ridiculously funny, talented and prolific Illustrator Simon Spilsbury. His art style is very precise but also sometimes sketchy and it grabs you and shakes you about. It’s like a very talented juvenile delinquent made off with a very expensive fountain pen. He has the classic British touch - loose lines that don’t always connect, an airy light touch then slipping into a bold smear. True talent makes what is very difficult look easy, he’s got that in spades. The result is fun, cool and definitely someone we want to hang around with.
As a way of introduction, here are some samples of his work printed on a fabric medium along with the short interview we did with Simon. CHEERS!
A. Who were the people who influenced you?
S.S. All the S’s - Steadman, Scarfe, Searle, Steinberg and a few others obviously like Bernie Fuchs, Seymour Chwast, Alan E Cober.
A. What was the first piece of art you remember seeing?
S.S. I was in my dad’s life room from the age of four, so all that I saw there really - old-lady impasto and a bit of hippy psychedelia. Not much in the way of big galleries until I was well into my teens but I remember the uber ones like The Mona Lisa, Guernica and Goya’s ‘El Tercero De Mayo'
A. Where do you go to for visual inspiration now?
S.S. I don’t have an inspiration routine but my best thinking’s done while walking and I walk a lot - I’m not a fan of being trapped in a vehicle or behind a desk - I don’t even like wearing a hat! Depends where the inspiration’s needed; people is easy, just sit outside a cafe in a city and watch how women hold their handbags and how men smoke - or the other way round preferably. If it’s inspiration for composition, I’ll look at contemporaries who are better designers than me - Noma Bar, Seymour Chwast. Or I’ll leaf through George Grosz and Saul Steinberg books.
A. If you could relocate your studio for a year, where would you go?
S.S. It would have to be somewhere in the States, not necessarily NYC, maybe Chicago, LA or somewhere hicky like Oklahoma - I’ve been to Oklahoma a couple of times and it’s got its fair share of weirdos to draw.
A. What is your most indispensable bit of kit?
S.S. My collection of Kaweko pens, they sound Japanese but come from Germany and are packaged in a great little tin.
A. If you hadn’t been an illustrator... ?
S.S. My mum once said “why don’t you get a job in the Post Office.” That’s when I packed my bags. If I wasn’t a busy illustrator I’d definitely write a bit more but in my dreams I’d be leading people through the jungles in Asia with my jungle mate - who incidentally can kill you with his eyeball.
A. What are you working on right now?
S.S. Various wall drawings, a personal project based around celebrity, boosting my retail archive and just about to start an animated TVC for a booze company [that’s all I’m allowed to say].
A. How do you unwind at the end of the day?
S.S. I don’t really…I annoy the crap out of myself by carrying my sketchbook everywhere and then getting anxious when I haven’t opened it. If I’m in the pub I treat it like a life room. If I’m at a dinner party I draw naked people for laughs.
A. Do you travel? Do you enjoy travel? When traveling how is your life & creative process effected?
S.S. I used to travel a lot as I spent 10 years travel writing for The Sunday Times but currently not travelling huge amounts because the kids have got to get through exams and university but it won’t be much longer. I have just got back from Northern Australia and a desert trek in The Sahara with all my explorer mates so don’t pity me too much.
A. Technology? To embrace, disregard or rebel against it?
S.S. Necessary evil. Computer Armageddon would suit me well.
A. What relationship do you have to clothing?
S.S. Chuck it on and peel it off. I am partial to T’s though.
Visit Simons's website to view more of his creations: www.studiospilsbury.com
Our Spring 1 "Little Tokyo" drop is now available online and through your favorite Altru retailers. The collection draws inspiration from the vibrant culture thriving within Downtown Los Angeles. Hues of indigo and navy are complimented by stark whites and rising sun reds. From hoodies to graphic tees to key cut and sew pieces, the first drop of our Spring Collection has you covered in this transitional season.
Last Friday's opening at Slow Culture was one for the books. From a roster of artists that could have filled an entire fair to the line around the block to get in to the rumored helicopter breakup (we'd love to know if this actually happened) it definitely lived up to its name. Check out our perspective of the show below and then head to gallery to form your own opinions before the end of the month.
There's nothing better than throwing on your favorite sweater to block the chill during the colder months and we have an extensive offering available no matter your personal taste. Browse the gallery here and find your new winter staple from your local Altru retailer and in our online store.
The sense of immediacy and nostalgic feeling of instant photography resonates deeply with us. In a time ruled by social media based imagery and seemingly endless options of filters we get excited to come across others who share our passion. Enter Steven Perilloux, a photographer whose work tells a story that makes us yearn for a future more similar to the past than the present. See more of his recent shots below and stay tuned for an upcoming project we have slated for the Spring.