Loro Verz is an artist from São Paulo, Brazil. During his time as a student at Blake, he developed an innovative and original approach to mixed media collage. His vibrant works have caught the attention of commercial clients that include Red Bull, Mini Cooper and Adidas. Loro was enthusiastic to inspire our students with his story and creative insights.
When were you a student at Blake?
I studied at Blake from 1998 to 1999.
How did you find the experience of studying with us?
Drawing has been my passion since an early age. My father was a painter and he has always encouraged me. It was a simple enough decision to study fine art. I was a Foundation Diploma student at Blake. The college was so cosy and friendly. The other students were mostly from overseas and it was an excellent opportunity for cultural exchange. Everyday I learned something new. It was an exciting time for me as an artist!
What was it like living in London?
I first came to London with the aim of studying English. I was meant to go back home after a few months but I fell in love with the city. Altogether, I ended up staying for eight years.
Which teachers influenced you the most?
In my mind, a good teacher should welcome discourse and experimentation. All my teachers were great but George Lavantis really stood out. His classes were fresh, vibrant and profoundly inspiring.
George taught me not only how to draw but most importantly how to observe the world around me. His instruction was the cornerstone of my creative practice. He is an outstanding artist in his own right and he understands the needs of a young and developing student. His classes were an opportune laboratory of creativity. They still have a deep impact on me up to this day. No kidding!
Which mediums interested you the most?
We had so many subject modules to choose from at Blake - digital imaging, photography, drawing and painting. They gave me a solid base to explore the arts at a deeper level. I am always eager in my approach and I cannot stay excited by one medium for very long.
Drawing with charcoal and painting were my main interest. In one drawing class, we were meant to be using charcoal but I did not have any on me. I stepped out a moment and I managed to find an alternative - a small tree branch that I had burnt with a lighter. George loved the idea!
Where did you study after Blake?
I applied for a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. I showed them the portfolio that I had prepared during my time at Blake and they offered me a place. I was so delighted!
Where does your inspiration as an artist come from?
My inspiration comes from lots of different sources. Comic books and great masters such as Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Hieronymus Bosch and Giotto influence me equally. I find observation of my surroundings to be most important too. We can all take the time to be more appreciative of any setting.
How did you find the transition from student to professional artist?
After my degree I went back home and I started teaching English to earn a living. My biggest dream was to pursue life as working artist. It took several years but I now have a studio that also functions as a gallery space. I sell my work for private commissions and develop campaigns for commercial clients. I also work as an illustrator for a major Brazilian newspaper and have made contributions to children books. To date, my pieces have appeared in New York, Vienna and Paris.
Who are your current clients?
I have created work for companies such as Visa, Red Bull, Puma, New Balance, Mini Cooper and many more. In 2012, Adidas invited me to customize the athletes’ shoes during the London Olympic Games. It was a great experience to return to London as a working artist. More recently, Samsung Brazil commissioned a piece for a new cell phone launch. After all these years I still regard my practice as an extension of George Levantis’ classes!
For more information about the courses we offer at Blake and Loro, please visit the links below.