MUNTHE ART MONDAY: LAURA STÖCKL
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is Laura Stöckl, I’m an Artist and Fashion Designer. Besides that, I also model and create content on my Instagram account @Loewie8. I am half German, and half Luxembourgish. I grew up in a small town near Heidelberg. I’ve always loved art and to explore new cultures. When I was 16, I decided to go abroad for a high school exchange in Mexico. During that year, I was exposed to new art and a vibrant culture. I discovered more about myself, and it became clear to me that I really wanted to follow a creative path. After finishing high school, I went to study a Bachelor of Fashion Design in London. Afterwards, I did my master’s degree in Paris at the Institut Français de la Mode, specializing in Luxury Accessories. It was really intense but also an amazing opportunity as I got to collaborate directly with the design teams of luxury houses such as Dior, Chanel and Delvaux. I’ve always been painting on the side, and around 2014, I started to sell my work online via Saatchi Art Gallery. Interestingly, most of my clients are based in California.
After my master’s I started working in the Leather Goods Design department of Louis Vuitton. From there, I went to design at Liebeskind in Berlin and then at Karl Lagerfeld in Amsterdam. I am really excited about the fashion industry and about being able to bring valuable contributions. However, my passion for art is increasingly starting to be a bigger part of my life. It took me a long time to get over my insecurities and decide to put it more out there.
The last year, I’ve been working fully on my art, and I’m now preparing my solo exhibition in Amsterdam, which will happen next February. I’m very excited to see where the artistic journey will take me! I’m currently taking commissions and I’m selling a couple of pieces, more info upon request via my art Instagram account @Loewie_art or website www.laurastoeckl.com.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
Heather Day is a huge inspiration to me. What I love about her work are mostly the colors and the intuitive way she’s combining them, mixing techniques on a large scale. Her studio with high ceilings and tons of sunlight is the perfect space for creation. I dream about getting there one day, too. Working on large scale and having my own space for my art only. I am also hugely inspired by the work of Sonia Delauna, Hilma Af Klint and Phoebe Philo’s fashion designs.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
I think that it’s within our feminine nature to be creative and express sensitivity. So that is certainly a big inspiration in my work. Especially in the last 3 years, I’ve really started to embrace softness as a quality. It took me years to learn this - that being soft means being strong and that you don’t have to fight to succeed. Fashion is a tough career for women. If you look at the numbers, even though the industry consists of 90% women, the managing positions are still very often held by middle-aged white men. Coming from a cold and hyper competitive environment in fashion has driven me to express myself more truly in art. I’ve decided to go my own way and focus more on my art, and it is important to me to be my own boss. I still have an idea to eventually launch my own accessories line – let’s see. I am really happy to see so many talented female artists sharing their work. For example, MUNTHE Art Monday is such a great initiative. Women are a minority in the art scene, and sometimes it can be challenging to be taken seriously.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
Sometimes it’s challenging to be taken seriously on a professional level and to keep boundaries. I’ve experienced men approach me, supposedly interested in buying my art, just to realize all they wanted was my attention and a story to tell to meet up with me. Moving forward, I’ve decided to start working more with art managers and galleries and try to make space between myself and potential customers. It’s a learning curve.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
My art is a lot about energy and light. I have synesthesia which is one of my main inspirations. Synesthesia is developed during the first 2 years of life and has to do with brain-wiring. It occurs most often in left-handed people and creates connections within the right side of the brain (the more intuitive, creative side). There are many forms of synesthesia. In my case, when I hear music, I see colors. I particularly see the colors when I am playing piano or flute or when I go to a concert. I can sense a stream of bubbles in many different colors, floating in the room. Synesthesia helps me make more intuitive choices when I’m using colors in my work. I also associate colors to letters, words, numbers, and people in my life. Usually, people have a main color and then a small amount of complimentary colors, nobody is ever just one thing. I also try to express that in my work. Things are more complex than they seem. As you may have noticed, I have to ways of painting at the moment. I like to do large scale realistic female portrait paintings (some are self-portraits) in combination with newspaper collage. Those newspaper cutouts are mostly from fashion magazines and drawing a reference to my career as a designer, also to tell a deeper story. The paintings seem quite aesthetic from a far but when you come close, the newspaper articles are often referencing to what was going on in my life while creating them as well as topics such as women’s empowerment. Then, my other, more recent way of painting is mostly about expressing my synesthesia in a more intuitive way. I started working in this way during lockdown, because I wanted to channel light and warmth into a world of uncertainty. Now, I am currently finding ways to combine the two styles.