“Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art.” – Constantin Stanislavski
Hailey is known for her unique cool fashion sense and laid back personality but most importantly her artwork. From starting her brand HML to debuting her work in her first group art show of the year and interning for world renowned artist Hebru Brantley, this visual artist has every desire to push her talents to the world. We took a minute to chat with Hailey on her inspirations and how it applies to her everyday creativity.
Q: Who is Hailey? Introduce yourself.
A: So yeah hey, I’m Hailey Marie Losselyong. HML is my brand and I’m 21 years old.
Q: What was it like growing up?
A: I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and I am the only girl in a large family of boys. Majority of my childhood was based around sports. I’ve played almost every sport you can imagine but soccer was my focus from about 6 years old all the way through high school. Even though sports were important, I always had a variety of creative outlets. Again, I dabbled in almost everything; drawing, knitting, sewing, those paint by number joints, and I loved to thrift. I loved thrifting because I could spend little to no money while taking something old and revamping it to make it fashionable again. In high school it ended up becoming a source of income for me when people started paying me to find clothes for them. So technically I was a personal shopper for a short period of my life.
Q: You recently quit your day job this year to become a full-time starving artist. Was there a pivotal moment when you knew it was time to just focus on your dreams?
A: There were many moments where I sat and thought about becoming a full time artist and honestly almost all of them were scary. As an artist, nothing, especially money, is guaranteed. And there aren’t many people that believe art is a reasonable career to pursue. Luckily I had been working a full time job as a phlebotomist (I know, random) and I was able to save up a good amount of money. With support from my friends, family and most importantly a belief in myself, I was finally confident enough to take that leap.
Q: Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?
A: Both are important aspects to my paintings. Majority of my subjects are women and I want them to be portrayed in a positive way. But at the same time, the way they are executed is important because the colors I use and the use of the dots really do tie the whole piece together. It goes from just being a painting of a woman to being uniquely mine.
Q: What artists do you most admire? Why?
A: I have a lot of admiration for Chicago artists. Hebru Brantley is extremely admirable and my admiration has only grown during my internship. He’s truly been able to create characters that you immediately identify with in relation to both him and Chicago as a whole. When I think of artists, I don’t only think of painters or designers. Nolis Anderson is a Chicago photographer as well as my boyfriend. I can confidently say with an unbiased opinion that his work is amazing. His portrait work has played a huge role in inspiring a hand full of my paintings. Another artist I admire from Chicago is Ravyn Lenae who is a singer. I love listening to her while I work because similar to my paintings, her music is so vibrant and colorful. But these are just a few, the list goes on.
Q: How did your internship with Hebru come about?
A: So the idea of an internship had been on my mind from the moment I decided to become a full time artist. I have no traditional training in art so I was really set on finding someone to learn from. Hebru had actually posted on Instagram that he was looking for interns. Nolis sent in this video time lapse of an anime inspired piece I had done and I was asked to come in for an interview. To anyone that is searching for internships, it’s just something you have to go for. I was beyond nervous to send my work in, especially to someone as talented as Hebru, but it all worked out.
Q: If you could describe your work in three words, what would they be?
A: I only have two, Bold Women.
Q: Polka dots has become the signature site in your art work. Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: I love the addition of polka dots in my work because they add a certain depth to the paintings. The polka dots make it so the Painting looks completely different when you’re standing far away vs when you’re standing right up on it. More important than the polka dots is the women being portrayed. I draw inspiration from women everywhere.
Q: Not only do you paint on canvases, you also hand paint on accessories and clothes. Do you consider yourself as a designer?
A: Well I think there are different facets to design. I am not a designer in the sense that I draw/cut or sew patterns and make them into clothing. But I do consider myself a designer in that I can take an old, somewhat tired piece, and revamp it with a painting.
Q: How do you overcome mental creative blocks?
A: Creative blocks have to be one of the most frustrating things you can go through. Its important to be able to step away from your work sometimes. Having hobbies is a great way to decompress and take your mind off of work. I’m definitely the type to binge a show all day and not move from the couch for anything but food. You can also find me at the thrift store buying things I don’t need. Neither of these are painting but they are both still sources of inspiration for me that sometimes help relieve that creative block.
Q: Where do see yourself in the next 3 years?
A: I’ve learned that I’m not great at answering this question. Or maybe its just that many things in my life just don’t go as planned (Rarely in a negative way though). If you would have asked me this question 3 years ago, I would’ve said that I’d be in my senior year of business school at DePaul. It’s just so funny because at this point in my life, that couldn’t be farther from reality. I’m actually going on my 3rd year of being out of school all together. I’ve moved to and from Iowa, worked numerous jobs including phlebotomy, decided to pursue my passion, participated in my first art show, and got an internship with an amazing artist. None of these things even crossed my mind three years ago. But that’s the beautiful thing about life, anything can happen.