With only twelve days to go until the release of 'Symbiotic' - our exclusive limited edition print by Louise McNaught - it's high time that we give you all a deeper insight into this fascinating artist! It's without saying that Louise's breath-taking creations features the Animal Kingdom in all it's glory, but what is it that makes her tick?! Let Mollie from the Eye Like team find out...
Your pieces are always incredibly detailed, do you work from photographs of animals?
I do take photographs myself of some of the animals I work on, and I do use reference photos a lot in my work as well as well as imagery of taxidermy specimens - especially for things like endangered species!
Talking of endangered species, many of your artworks highlight the plight of these threatened animals. Do you do a lot of research into the animal that you are painting?
It depends on the animal, i have had to do a lot of research lately for the animals I am painting for my book being released next year called 'Survival', with Templar Publishing. It will have 20 endangered animals in, and obviously all the information has to be spot on and so do the animals. I'm excited about it though, should be out July 2018 .
That's amazing, you're so talented! It's obvious that you're very passionate about all sorts of creatures and their welfare. Eye Like have been itching to know, though... If you could be any animal for a day, which would you be and why?
I would be something that flies but doesn't get preyed upon, like an Owl! I'd also have amazing night vision and get to see things I would normally never be able to see with my eyes.
Speaking of visions, where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
In 10 years time, well my daughter will be 13 then so I'm sure my life will be a mixture of creating more artwork and dealing with a teenager!
Multi-tasking at it's finest! It's clear that you're very adaptable and flexible as an artist, do you work on more than one canvas at a time?
Yes I work on about 4/5 at any one time, as I usually have several ideas and perhaps commissions on the go. Then when one is drying I can rotate round them.
That makes sense! But let's go back to the beginning of the process. You sit down with a blank canvas, and what do you pick up first?
I usually pick up my phone to put some music on to paint to.
Good music to paint to must definitely be an essential, especially when you've been an artist for a long time! I know that you completed your fine art degree in 2012, but did you create artworks featuring nature and animals previous to this?
I have always painted animals since I was very little, as my love for drawing and my love of nature was something that was there from the very start. I started my Degree painting trees, but I soon went back to animals!
Your passion is definitely evident from your artwork, so I'm not surprised that sticking to trees wasn't an option... But to be honest, I find it hard to believe that you love all animals! Are there any animals which actually scare you?
Weirdly enough whales scare me, they are just so huge and overwhelming. I find their sheer size hard to comprehend. Oh, and wasps....
That's so fascinating, especially as more than one of your prints features bees! Another creature that you seem to focus on though are butterflies. Do you have a preference between these and moths?!
Well there are some beautiful moths that look a lot like butterflies, and they fly in the day - like the Madagascan Sunset Moth. I think both can be stunning, but if I had to choose probably butterflies as some moths have very big hairy bodies that make me a bit squeamish!
I definitely agree with you on that one... Although if I let you into a secret, I'm slightly scared of butterflies too! And speaking of secrets, out of all of your originals, do you have a personal favourite? You can tell me!
At the moment my favourite is 'Before Religion', which is a very detailed painting of a rhino emerging out of the darkness, i'm really pleased with the effect I manage to get on its skin making it look like baked earth.
That truly sounds incredible. It must be hard to choose when there are so many for you to pick from! And excluding your arty animal family - as your canvases must feel like your babies! - do you have any pets at home?
Yes I have 3 cats, Peaches (5 years), Weeny (7 years) and Muse (17 years!)
Blimey, 17 years is one hell of a lifetime! And finally, I think we can all agree at Eye Like that we love how you're able to bring animals to life through your work. They're spellbinding! But if you had magical powers and you truly could bring back to life one extinct animal, what would you choose and why?
I'd bring the Dodo back to life as they look hilarious!
Eye Like Gallery.