The Artist's Way: Lulaland

It's a pleasure to share with you snippets of a conversation about art, influences, and the creative life that I recently had with my friend Lula Aldunate, the creative director of the Lulaland childrenswear label. Enjoy!

Who's your art crush—and has it changed over time?

At a young age (and through my grandmother’s painting books) I discovered Impressionism. Then in college I learned about Art Nouveau and fell in love! I’ve always been a lover of Gustave Klimt (Iand his colorful and magical darkness) and my current crush is Colombian mixed media artist Maria Berrio. Although I live my life more and more “lightly” (moving towards my own minimalism), visually I still am a maximalist!

What sparked your personal creativity—was there a person or mentor in your life,  a notable childhood experience that set you on a path of artistic pursuit?

I feel I’ve been always very creative. Since I was very little I drew, wrote and painted (as many kids do) and remember that it was important in my life as a way to express myself. But I kind of “lost touch” with it in my 20’s when I thought it was more like a hobby and I went to marketing school. After moving around the world a couple times (I’m from Argentina and lived in Italy and Spain before coming to NY), I changed careers a couple times, and shaken in my professional path, I reconnected with my artistic side and put it in a more important place in my life. I decided to do something more creative for a living, and the stars aligned, bringing me to where I am today—connecting all the dots that I can see clearly now! My two grandmothers have had a big influence in many things in my life—both were very creative in different ways. My mother’s mother was a painter and a lover of sewing; she made her children's and her grandchildren’s wardrobes! My dad’s mother was a magnificent knitter and I learnt it from her! Both of them encouraged me, with their love and dedication, to follow my artistic instincts.

Tell me about your own creative process when designing a collection or any other kind of creative endeavor?

My creative process is very organic, so it is difficult to put it into steps. Anything can inspire me— an image, a color, a fabric, a room, music or even a smell. I’ve been an interior and still life stylist, a visual merchandiser, and a party stylist before creating my clothing brand. In all my projects the process was always the same: I let myself go and naturally flow in my selection of objects, textures, colors and I don’t plan it or question it, I just flow. It took me a while to realize that that was it, and to understand that that was MY way, and to trust and believe in it, but at the end of that “process" everything clicks and works together perfectly (to me) creating something that I was not planning but that makes “total sense" in my aesthetic world, making me feel very “complete” and happy. I feel something bigger channels me, and I’m the interpreter of that energy, and through “Lula", it comes to life!

What is the role of the community in the life of a creative person? 

As I grow older I realize how much we all need a community. We are all connected, and with others we can learn to be better people and grow stronger. We can give to others and learn from them. Constantly finding our own path we can be encouraged or inspired to be our authentic selves when surrounded by a healthy and loving community, leading to be the creative beings that we all are.  I’m also a believer and advocate of groups of women, I believe we need each other’s energy and empowerment to blossom in this amazing world that has been defined by patriarchal thinking!

Thank you Lula for inviting me to your Brooklyn studio! Keep up with Lulaland on Instagram @lulalandatelier All images are from the Lulaland AW16 lookbook shot by Stylish and Hip Kids.