Stephanie Law, an artist from Oakland, CA finds magic in the mundane. Using mythological and fairytale elements, she bridges botanical and fantastical in her watercolor paintings. Law doodled as a child and briefly studied the Chinese ink drawing technique before settling on watercolor in 1999. In 2011 she decided to paint full time, and her clients have included Wizards of the Coast, HarperCollins, LUNA Books, Tachyon Books, Alderac Entertainment, and Green Ronin.
“Mythology and mythical animals have always drawn me in,” says Law, and “the oral traditions of myth had perpetuated through the ages because at the core of these stories are vital bits of humanity.” Those artistic moments when “the minutia of existence is transformed from drabness by its potential to be magical” are what motivates her most in her unique artworks.
“Mythology has always drawn me in. And I’m not alone in that,” Law told Bored Panda.
“The oral traditions of myth had perpetuated through the ages because at the core of these stories are vital bits of humanity.”
“They are pieces that resonate with me, and they inspire me to try to create visual reflections that I can hopefully share and create resonance with my viewers.”
“I think the parts of mythology that really capture me are not so much the overt magical elements, but the more subtle aspects — how everything and every element of life become suffused with divinity.”
“The minutia of existence is transformed from drabness by its potential to be magical.”
“It’s how I try to see the world around me, as a place filled with the potential for what it could be, and to find the unappreciated and sometimes hidden beauty.”
“I’ve been drawing and painting all of my life. I remember that whenever I felt bored, I would pull out a pencil or pen to start doodling my drawing ideas.”
“Some of the first more disciplined paintings I did when I was fairly young with a teacher who started showing me some of the very basic techniques of Chinese ink painting. I still think of those deceptively simple brushstrokes as some of the hardest things to master.”
A Very Difficult Game Indeed
“With my current drawing techniques and medium of watercolors, I’ve been at it since about 1999, but it’s always changing and evolving as I experiment.”
“I came to a decision around 2001 that I couldn’t really conceive of my life without art as the central focus, and so I left the software in San Francisco to really dive headfirst into my creative passions.”
“Just as my painting techniques are always changing, so is my favorite piece. I like to think that if my favorite is older than two years, I’m doing something wrong because I want to be constantly getting better.”
“I guess the exception to that is when I’ve drastically changed my style, and I like some older piece for what it was at that time in my life. Currently, my favorite is “Daphnis” from my triptych of honeybee naiads. (The Thriae Thraie of ancient Greek mythology were said to have given Apollo the gift of prophecy). It’s my current favorite because it embodies two realms I’ve been trying to bridge in my art lately, my love of the fine detail of botanical artwork, and the fantastical.”
“On average, it takes about a week from initial brainstorming to the completion of a watercolor drawing.”
“My largest pieces take about 80 hours of painting time.”
“When I’m not working on art, I’m exploring the world anew with my five-year-old daughter. I also love to dance. I’ve danced Flamenco for almost two decades now, as well as more recently tribal fusion belly dance, and ecstatic dance.”
“Movement is important to me, both physically and in translation to the compositional flow of my paintings. And music — I’ve played piano most of my life, and lately have acquired and fallen in love with a hand pan.”
Bored Panda would like to thank Stephanie Law for this interview.
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