Meet Lala Watkins, a fun loving digital illustrator who makes illustrations filled with personality. Enough of boring ol’ me though, here’s Lala.
HOW DID YOUR LOVE FOR DESIGN BLOSSOM?
It happened by accident really. I didn’t know that what I was doing in my spare time was design.
As a child, I loved to draw and my parents really supported that.
My dad would even challenge me to drawing face-offs where we would draw the images on VHS tapes, book covers, or book interior illustrations. Whatever it was, we would draw what “we see”.
Of course, my dad would win a lot of those until I eventually beat him. So I just kept at it. Improving my skills, going to a magnets art school from middle school to high school.
It was then when I went to college that I found out all those lettered notes, greeting cards and other fun things I made to make someone smile were part of design, like that’s a thing. It blew my mind.
WHAT CONVINCED YOU TO ACTUALLY BECOME A DESIGNER FOR A LIVING?
Haha, are you ready for this? It’s a funny story. When I applied to Ringling College of Art and Design, I wanted to be an animator.
Unfortunately, I got into the college but didn’t get into the computer animation program.
Don’t worry I was allowed to pick another major so I most definitely enrolled in Motion Design. Surprise!
While it was interesting to learn about motion design, I was always doing greeting cards, lettering, illustrations and cute pick me ups in my spare time (a.k.a. instead of doing my homework I was doing something else) if that’s not a sign then I don’t know what is.
So one day my friends said that I should switch to the Graphic Design program.
That was the light bulb moment for me. I made the switch from motion design to graphic design and have been making my heart do the smiley emote ever since.
DO YOU DIG IT?
It really makes me happy. I can’t (won’t) stop telling people that my style is like a summer pool party because it is so true.
Life’s a party and I am the artist that brings people to that party. So anytime that I can spread the joy, encourage others to be awesome, throw a sprinkle of yay and a dash of tiny little reminders of the greatness that is within then I’m happy.
WHAT MEDIUMS DO YOU WORK WITH?
Digitally. Usually working in photoshop and/or illustrator.
Sometimes paper, marker, and pencil.
HAVE ANY SPECIFIC ARTISTS INFLUENCED YOU?
Yes! Lauren Hom, Mary Kate McDevitt, Tiffany Ford, Punziella, Irena Freitas, Gravity Falls (the show) and so many of my creative friends.
WHAT UPCOMING PROJECTS DO YOU HAVE PLANNED?
Right now, I’m enrolled in Passion to Paid with Lauren Hom. I’m super excited to start my own passion project, still working on that one but for now, I’m just working on personal work doing my own fun illustrations and my side biz French Fries and Good Vibes.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING DESIGNERS AND ILLUSTRATORS?
I would suggest that you never stop being proactive outside of school, work or whatever you may be doing and create work that makes your heart do the heart-eyed emoji.
While I was in college, I was doing design competitions, learning new skills on Skillshare, just making things for myself that I loved that I placed in my portfolio. It lead me to get an internship at Cartoon Network, Sanrio, some great freelance projects and meet some really cool people that have become dear friends.
Also, don’t compare yourself to others in a quote I like to use a lot for myself “ Focus on your spaghetti and don’t compare your spaghetti to anyone else, because everyone wants spaghetti so gimmie.”
Using that same analogy; “You can look at other people’s spaghetti to take little inspiration from, adding seasonings and toppings here, but it’s still your spaghetti, just adjusted to your growing taste buds over time.”
Lastly, the most important advice, having emergency dance parties.
If you dig Lala’s work, and I know you do, check out more of her work.
A Case Of Lala
Or perhaps you’d like to connect with her:
I hope you enjoyed learning about Lala as much as I did. If you have a favorite piece of Lala’s, let me know! Let her know! Let everyone know!