Artist Spotlight: Eugenia Loli
By Anna Gragert
You’ve likely been impacted by Eugenia Loli’s work before, whether it be from a quick glance at a book cover, while sorting through album art, flipping through a magazine, or while scrolling through social media. This is a credit to Eugenia’s prolificacy, with her resume containing as much depth as it does length. Though Eugenia is a collage artist, an illustrator, and a filmmaker, it feels wrong to refer to her in such few words. These descriptors are indeed accurate, but you will quickly notice that they can’t quite capture the nature of Eugenia and, by extension, her work. They are something all their own.
The year 2011 represents the first notch in the timeline of Eugenia’s life as an artist. She’d just overcome lifelong health issues and explains that her “brain sort of re-wired” as a result. This led her to start creating surreal collages composed of 1950s imagery, which transport viewers to another dimension, one in which they are given permission to explore and create their own narratives. There is essentially something for everyone in Eugenia’s pieces, as there are so many paths to be explored. The artist herself puts it perfectly when she states, “I leave it to the viewer's imagination to fill-in the blanks of the story plot.”
Eugenia’s works of art certainly speak for themselves, but we wanted to delve deeper and get the artist’s personal take. While she is currently taking a break from art (more on that later), the creator kindly agreed to answer some of our most pressing questions
How would you describe the medium of collage to someone who’s never heard of it before?
It's basically vintage images, cut out to create something new. I personally use 1950s imagery.
Embarking on a new career is a frightening prospect for many, yet you’ve done it several times. How did you know when it was time for you to start something new?
I usually get burned out doing something for a long time. My rule of thumb is about 5 years. Then, I move on. Nothing to fear, just go for whatever pleases you.
This part of your artist’s statement stood out to me: “Eugenia Loli originated in the technology sector, but she left that impersonal world behind.” It made me want to know more about how specifically collage is personal for you?
Not collage specifically, but art in general. I also do filmmaking, and that is a great way to express oneself.
Do you recall the first collage you ever crafted? If so, can you tell us more about it?
It was this one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eugenia_loli/6971803168/in/dateposted/
I made it for my favorite musician and his fans. I thought, "Huh, it didn't turn out too bad, maybe I can continue doing this." So I did.
What do you want your work to say?
I recently published a book with 32 art prints and their explanation. Each one is really about different things that are on my mind, about how I find fashion ridiculous, to food, to politics. Not all of my artworks have deeper meanings, but a lot of them do. This is my most important work, and its explanation:
“This artwork, my deepest and most complex to date, is about the journey humanity must take towards ascending into a higher state of being.
The structure represents all that we can comprehend while in our human form. It's also what keeps us within boundaries, limiting our existence, experience and understanding.”
You mention in your bio that you’ve dealt with health issues in the past. Has art helped you heal in some shape or form?
It's the other way around. I was only able to do art after I found my health back. Art is what came to me after I put myself back together. My health is my primary mission in this lifetime, not art. This might sound like an anathema among artists, but I don't care.
Is anything that’s currently happening in the world inspiring your art?
I don't do much art anymore. I have taken a backseat to it in the last year. Politically and environmentally, there is nothing that inspires me to do art right now. I'm kind of in my own dark night of the soul period.
I love how you refer to artists “finding their style” as artistic death. What would you say to those who feel pressured to label themselves and their work?
Such pressures exist only by galleries or products that want to recreate a one-time wonder art success over and over. They push artists to redo the same kind of art, in the same style, in order to make money. That's artistic death, and I'm close to it myself. Which is why I have to move on to other things.
If you could give one piece of advice to all the women out there who want to become artists, what would it be?
Take marketing into your own hands. For some crazy reason, most artists are allergic to marketing. Without having complete control of daily posts, with the right tags and description and links on all major social media, you will never be found. That's one part of the business.
The second part is to create art that people want to see and buy. If you create art for yourself only (e.g. some uber-artsy stuff that most artists love), well, these are not always marketable. So you'll have to decide if you want to be a commercially successful artist, or an artist's artist. You can find some balance between the two, but it's a tightrope.
All images are courtesy of the artist. To learn more, you can follow Eugenia Loli on Instagram or visit her Tictail page.
Anna Gragert - When Anna Gragert isn't trying to create a groundbreaking bio for herself, she's working as an associate editor at HelloGiggles. She has also collaborated with creative outlets such as CheapPOP, My Modern Met, The Mary Sue, This. Magazine, and more. A color psychic once told her that her aura is indigo.