Bright. Bold. Spirited. Artist Loveis Wise’s mural featured in our newest Los Angeles DM’s store is just as vibrant as the Abbot Kinney neighborhood it’s inspired by. We first met Loveis in 2019 when we collaborated with them and fellow artist Mohammed Fayaz to tell the story of the Pride Month artwork in our Herald Square store. Now, Loveis is making waves on the West Coast and brought photographer Rikkí Wright into the fold to celebrate and document their new mural in our store.
Dr. Martens: Last time we worked together you were living and working in Philly. What prompted the move to LA? How was the moving process and how are you liking LA?
Loveis: I decided to move to LA because, like most folks, I was enamored by the city and as an east coast person I also really wanted to experience warmer weather! The process took a lot of Capricorn-brained planning and trusting myself but it ended up being pretty easeful moving along with my sweet Shiba Inu, Melo and so far we love it!
DM: 2020 has been an unprecedented year, what have you done to adapt to the challenges of the last year? Any projects you’ve had to pause? Any new projects you’re especially proud of or want to promote?
L: Most definitely, this year brought a lot of time for reflecting and understanding the importance of taking time to rest. For a while, I was taking on loads of projects this year and I decided to take a few months to slow down and really think about what projects I want to create for myself. I’m really proud of this mural because it brought me a lot of joy to create especially in a time where things feel very uncertain. Additionally, I’m currently wrapping up two picture books I’m excited to share soon!
DM: The last mural you did for Docs was centered around celebrating Pride. What’s the inspiration for this mural? Are there any overlapping themes between the two, or is this a fresh vision?
L: Yes! Both works definitely center on joy, playfulness, and celebration and with this piece, I was inspired by the vibrancy and joyous nature of LA.
DM: How do you know each other? Have you worked on other projects together?
Loveis: Rikki and I met through Instagram a few years back! I admired her talented, beautiful personality, and reached out online! From that point, we met up once I moved to LA and our friendship blossomed from there! We actually got a chance to work together once before on a project with Rikki photographing my work and process on another mural.
Rikki: Our connection began before we met each other via social media. We were following each other’s work, and I’m pretty sure that’s because we both have obvious representations of women of color within our art. Before this project, Loveis and I worked on another project similar to this where I documented the process of them creating a mural.
We met Loveis through a recommendation from past Docs partner Mohammed Fayaz. For this project, Loveis recommended Rikki to shoot the project (thank you btw, Loveis). How important are recommendations in supporting your work and the work of other artists in your community? Is there any advice you would give to young artists about getting gigs through word-of-mouth?
L: I love being able to support my friends and folks within my community for projects because it shares space and opportunity for us all to grow! My advice to young artists would be to see what’s out there, don’t be afraid to ask other artists that you appreciate questions, and always check in with your community if possible. My advice to brands would be to trust and ask artists/creatives who they’d like to recommend because you never know whose talented work you might find that way.
R: I’ve really enjoyed being able to work on projects that mean a lot to me with people whose work I admire and we just so happen to be in community with one another. I believe that that has only been possible because we are speaking each other’s names in rooms and in conversations when we’re given opportunities.
Are there other ways that you support other artists?
L: In addition to recommending them for projects, I also appreciate supporting other artists by showcasing their work via social media and buying prints of different artists that I love!
R: Having open and vulnerable conversations with other artists I know has been a huge mutual support lately. Talking about rates and being very specific to encourage them and myself to have more autonomy within the way they approach their practice.