Lara Latosa is a freelance abstractionist from San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines. She uses art as a platform to promote the protection and preservation of the environment, and to raise awareness on issues like climate change. Her love of the ocean and traveling takes center stage in her artwork through the figurative abstraction of waves or bodies of water. One of the signature styles in Latosa’s work is her use of gesso, a white paint primer that stiffens canvas surfaces, allowing her acrylic pigments to keep its texture. Through this technique, Latosa’s waves give off a constant sense of movement and embodies different moods – from calm to chaotic forms of waves and splashes.
Lara is also into live art performance. She was about to perform for Gabay Guro Foundation , Ben& Ben album launch and at Session Bar. She joined group shows from R Gallery, Vetro Gallery , Galerie Robert and Sigwada Gallery.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I actually never thought I’d become one. As a kid, I only aspired to be as good as my father in drawing. Drawing has been my outlet ever since I was young. It’s how I best express my emotions in ways I cannot with words. Even becoming formally an artist, it was born out of my depression. I made a random sketch which an avid collector saw and advised me to pursue it. I was shy and doubtful people would buy my work but his words made an impact in my mind which is why I promised myself to do art whether or not I’m known for it. Luckily, I think I’m on the right path. I’m very grateful.
What was your first exhibit like?
The first exhibit was a two-man show with a friend in Baguio back in 2018. It was really charming, just posting our works in a friend’s home studio. We rented a van to bring everything there and we just did a day tour – Laguna to Baguio to Laguna in one day. We did our own teaser and an on the spot collaboration. It felt exhausting, but the friendly folks in Baguio and the jamming we had made everything memorable. It’s in those moments that even if it’s not as fancy as some would want, the laughter, dancing, and all the smiles made it much better than expected. I enjoyed it a lot.
What are you currently working on?
For 2021, I want to further evolve my work in water. I’ve done colorful works in 2020 so I want to focus on creating water and wave-like designs this time.
What is your process like?
Nothing special with my process. I usually think of a new design which I would sketch on paper. I imagine the colors and movement in my head but most of the time, I have no idea what the final look would be. It’s different because I constantly adjust my painting based on the texture I created. I try to mix my own colors just to learn more. I guess it’s just point and color using the brush. But if I were to share something personal about my process, it’s that I always have a music to set my mood. Different mood leads to different colors and movements and expression. I think there’s fun in that part and it always surprises me to see the final piece.
What was the most valuable thing you learned doing your art?
It’s about staying true to my style. Waves are significant to me: 1.) As a form of activity/interests in water sports like freediving, surfing, or plain playing in the ocean. 2) As a symbol for my mental health having cycles of ups and downs. And 3) my motto in life: waves come and go. We learn to take life as is, go with the current and then in the end, when we’re gone and no longer waves, we go back to the ocean. Long story short, waves is the best representation of who I am as a person. And I never want to forget that.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created?
I have a lot, but first thing that comes to mind is my first colorful wave which I placed in our Conrad exhibit. I named it after my favorite line by Friedrich Nietzsche – Amor Fati meaning love of one’s fate. Enjoy life as it is, all its ups and downs. This is where I found my real identity and where my succeeding forms originated.
What is your favorite piece by another artist?
I absolutely love works of Claude Monet the water lilies. I like how big it is that if you focus on one part, it may not make sense. Only when you step back, would you see that the image reveals itself.
Why do you work in the medium that you do?
I do acrylic on canvas with some texture. I have no patience so I work quickly hehe. I like to apply different colors so acrylic would be the best choice. As for the texture, I want it to make it feel alive somehow. I think it adds depth to the playful movements of my work.
What is your favorite place to create in? Anywhere I guess. For now my room. It’s my sanctuary so I know I’d have all the time and space I need to focus on painting. A plein air by the beach would be nice but I probably won’t work haha!