Q+A with Lola, the 9 year old graffiti artist
Ugh. Kids are the best. Especially spunky 9 year old girls who like doing graffiti and riding skateboards… Yup, Lola Glass is cooler than many of us will ever be. Having completed 5 public street-art works since age 6, this third grader’s CLEARLY got some serious artistic talent. However, after meeting with the polite, interesting and talkative Lola, the biggest take-away wasn’t her art. It was the refreshing reminder of childhood innocence and selfish bliss- when you are too young, curious and inspired to think about anyone else’s opinion, or to dwell on what you THINK you should be doing. The result? Lola’s work is authentic, pure and comes from her heart. Her art is an un-biased reflection of what she currently likes, and who she currently is. We can’t wait to see how Lola and her art will develop and change, as she grows.
Lola was first caught “vandalizing” walls at age six, by Joe Ficalora– founder and curator of Bushwick Collective– a grafitti and street art project. Bushwick-native Joe is not an artist himself, but was inspired to give the walls in neighborhood a makeover. Through his work, Joe is credited for helping to make the community beautiful, and also more safe. We predict that Bushwick is only a few steps behind a Wynwood, Miami movement.
Be sure to follow @lolatheillustrator to keep up with Lola’s work, and check out the Bushwick Collective Instagram to keep up with their ever-changing street-art projects, and events (we just missed their epic yearly Block Party last weekend!).
Photo Credit: John Midgley
by CHLOE.: Hi Lola! Thanks SO much for chatting with us! We’ll let you introduce yourself.
Lola Glass: Hi, my name is Lola Glass, aka Lola the Illustrator. I am nine years old. I make murals at the Bushwick Collective, and I skateboard.
bC: Tell us about how you we’re first discovered (or caught!)?
LG: I was six years old and I had just gotten a spray marker from a relative. I wanted to test it out, so we went to Bushwick. I was going to make a replica of a Beau Stanton mural when Joe (Ficalora) saw me draw on the mural and screamed, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!” But then he talked to me and asked if I wanted to join the Bushwick Collective. Obviously I said yes!
bC: Would you say you have a “style”? And if so, how would you describe it?
LG: Yes. I draw a lot of girls and focus on the eyes and hair. Right now, I’m drawing mainly skaters and genies. It’s a little bit of cartoony and realistic and Japanese style and my own style. I don’t really draw boys. And I’m terrible at birds. Hayao Miyazaki is an inspiration. When I was seven, I liked copying from his books.
bC: Are there any artists out there that you really admire?
LG: Yes!!!! I like Jerkface, London Kaye, Danielle Mastrion, Franck Duval, Dasic Fernandez, Magali Le Huche, Mike Maihack, Cindy Whitehead, Hayao Miyazaki, Sophie Cleverly, Lucy Sparrow, Raina Telgemeier…They all have different styles.
bC: When you’re not outside vandalizing walls, is there a particular place where you like to paint or draw?
LG: I like to draw in my sketchbook and I also sketch on an iPad Pro. I like drawing while sitting on the window sill when it’s open and the fresh air is coming in and you can see outside. It’s just comfy. If I tuck in my legs, my cat Ollie can come sit next to me. In a way, it gives me space from my little sister Phoenix because she can’t fit with me on the windowsill. I also sit in the closet sometimes and draw. Sometimes I sit outside and draw what’s around me. The subway gives me lots of things for inspiration. Mario games also give me a lot of inspiration!
bC: At 9 years old, you are ALREADY so accomplished! What do you think you’ll be doing when you’re 20?
LG: I’d like to be a writer, street artist, and skateboarder.
bC: Other than creating art, what are some of your other hobbies?
LG: Skateboarding, writing, reading, traveling, and playing Nintendo. The book I’m writing right now is “The Ghost Club.” I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s about 20 pages long so far. I think it’s going to be a series, but I’m not sure yet. It’s about me and two of my friends going on a journey, and it has something to do with ghosts. I don’t plan my stories or do a draft, I just invent them as I go.
bC: How does your mom, Cecile help you?
LG: She provides the snacks, and I just like when she’s there, especially when I feel aggravated. Also, she carries all my stuff!
bC: What’s the best part about finishing a piece of art?
LG: You feel good because you’ve gone through all the challenging parts. Walls are hard because they’re bigger and spray paint is harder to use than pencil. Sometimes I have to do a few tries on poses and go over them a few times until it looks right. Sometimes I think “I can’t do this,” and it’s aggravating. But when I finally get it right, I feel fantastic. Sometimes I add new details on the wall, like the stars on June’s shirt on my latest wall “Splatter Void.” There is always a little thing different from the original sketch.
bC: What are you up to this summer? Any fun plans or new projects you’re working on?
LG: I will be drawing on an iPad Pro at the Apple store in Williamsburg this weekend. I’ll be showing kids how to use iPads to color some of my drawings there. I also have some design projects with a clothes company coming out. Other than that, maybe another wall, some traveling, and a lot of skateboarding.
Nickname? The Young Vandal.
Favorite Emoji? 😜😜😜
Favorite place on earth? Coney Island.
Favorite food? Dumplings.
Fun fact? I play snare drum in the school band, and I sleepwalk.
Choice super hero power? Breathe under water.
Favorite Nintendo game? All the Mario games!
Favorite book? Bone (especially “Crown of Horns”) and the “Scarlet and Ivy” series by Sophie Cleverly.