A selfie pic of Lapinus on the cover of The Selfied magazine

Lapinus, An Artist from London, U.K

What was the situation in which this photo was taken?

I took this selfie one morning, whilst I was getting ready for my forest photoshoot. I thought I should take some pictures doing my everyday activities. People tend to post selfies that are the most flattering, the ones we look perfect in, the ones in which our lives look better. I wanted to take a boring thing like brushing my teeth and make it dark. It was the first try and it worked.

Could you tell us something about what you do?

I create a surreal environment to compliment my art and my lifestyle choice. My life is the background to the work I do. The juxtaposition of my colourful art and my black and white lifestyle creates a safe space for me and people like me, who want to stand out, or need inspiration (or support) while struggling with finding themselves.

How did you first become interested in art?

I’ve been playing with crayons ever since I was a little boy. Always drawing, painting, sculpting…it’s been my passion, that unfortunately was put on hold when I came out and was forced to leave my home country. I had to start my life all over again, and after some years of establishing my life in London, I got back to what was truly mine. And suddenly I realised how much I missed it.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love looking at my finished project, thinking – damn, I made that! There’s always a moment of self doubt in every creative process when things can get a bit tricky. But that feeling of accomplishment is something that cannot be replaced by anything. And then there’s the feeling when your big project starts to come together, and you realise how much work you have done, and your self esteem gets an incredible boost. Suddenly you realise that all those month and months spent in front of the easel were the best thing you could have ever done.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a piece that tackles homophobia and the derogatory use of the word “gay”. It’s called “I’m sick of this Gay Talk” and it’s my way of supporting the LGBTQ community all over the world. There are places where you risk imprisonment for merely waving a rainbow flag at a concert. There are places where you can get killed simply because you choose to love someone. Even in places like London, many people are scared of walking down the street holding hands. That’s not right. I felt like I had to make my point.

What are the challenges in what you do, and how do you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I have is time optimisation. Apart from art, I work in fashion management, which takes up a lot of my time, therefore I need to plan my minutes accordingly to make sure I spend some time doing something just for me. Otherwise my passion gets put on hold, and that’s not right. Very often I sacrifice going out with my friends, holidays or even precious hours of sleep in order to do something creative. But in the long run I know it’s worth it. I’ve had regrets after a night out, but never after creating a piece of art.

Could you describe your personal style?

Black. It’s such a happy colour lol. I love monochrome and smart clothes with a twist. mix and match of formalwear and fetishwear. Suits with leather harnesses, kilts, leather corsets with shirts and knee-high boots… and sparkles. I love a good sparkle details. Think Madonna performing Vogue at MDNA tour. Gaultier is a genius and is a huge inspiration for my personal style.

What is your present state of mind?

Don’t let small failures stand in a way of your big accomplishments.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I just discovered this incredible Welsh artist Betsy. It’s like Florence and The Machine meets Cher. Her music is haunting and I’ve been obsessed with her for a couple of weeks now.

Which artists or designers inspire you?

Many of my pieces were inspired by fashion, especially Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Sometimes I see a dress and suddenly an idea lights up in my head, and very often the final result looks nothing like the inspiration. Sometimes it’s music – my first big sale piece was inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – Storm. And sometimes it’s childhood memories of certain buildings. But I have to admit that Patrick Hughes had a huge influence on my art. He was the first well established artist who saw my art (when I still treated it as a hobby hidden from the outside world) and told me to go big. He believed in my talent and that really helped me become the artist I am today.

What is the purpose of art, in your view?

Art should make you feel something, make you think about something It’s not only about making things pretty, but to get people’s souls engaged. Art should be able to take you to a place where your mind discovers new parts of you, inspire you to do things, stand up for your beliefs. There are plenty of artists who are making atrocious pieces, only for the shock factor. Vulgarity should never substitute wit, but it’s the easiest way of getting noticed. That’s not art, that’s attention whoring.

How do you spend your free time?

Gallery hopping. I believe it’s very important to support your fellow artists. Discovering new places to eat. But to be completely honest, on occasion I stay in bed watching TV series until Netflix asks me if I’m still watching… yet again lol. But even then I’m either sketching something, sorting my jewellery box or just flick through my social media and catch up with my friends’ shenanigans.

A high contrast black and white picture of sky and clouds
A black and white pic of Lapinus wearing bunny ears
Artwork by Lapinus