Warmest Welcome to Lawrence Paul-Okoh
Lawrence Paul-Okoh was born and raised in Nigeria and now lives in London. He has always loved drawing. When he was about 7 years old, he knew he wanted to be an artist and he is very thankful to be doing that now! When he was in boarding school, Lawrence used to make his own comic books, heavily influenced by the stories he read in the Marvel comic books he bought with my lunch money. He wanted to write and draw just like the artwork I marvelled at. Lawrence’s mom bought him his first picture book, The Illustrated Winds in the Willows. What captivated his eyes were the illustrations. The quality of the drawings, expressive character poses and expressions made him come back to look at the book over and over. Apart from the enjoyment he gets from drawing and painting, he aims to create the best possible illustrations so that whoever looks at them can really be inspired by the quality of the artwork and would want to come back to look at it repeatedly.
Below is a Q&A with Lawrence so you can get to know him more
When did you start illustrating?
I have been illustrating from a very young age. At that time, I remember copying any artwork I liked from a poster, comic books(big marvel comics fan) and dictionaries(I found inspiration from everywhere lol)
Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?
My family has always supported my illustration career. My parents gave me the time and space to draw and paint(and be the subject of my many portraiture attempts lol), My art teachers at Clydebank High School showed me the different career paths I could choose and imparted the confidence in me to do so(thank you, Mr Fleming & Ms O’Hare). I have different mentors who give me their time to ask questions( shout out to Fraser MacLean, Steven Burch, Tonia Thorne, Kerrin Kokot).
Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?
From a young age, I knew I loved drawing and painting and wished to do it all the time but I never knew I could do it as a job until High school, thanks to my parents and teachers.
What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?
My favourite has always been human characters. There is so much I want to explore with character poses, the human face in all its endless various forms.
How would you describe your style?
At the moment, lighting is a staple in my work. I like to use cinematic lighting techniques to draw the viewer’s eyes to where I want them to focus on and how I want their eyes to travel through the painting to get to that focal point.
What is your favourite collaboration to date?
My favourite collaboration to date has to be with Netflix. Earlier this year, I was asked to create 4 illustrations for a live-action series which will be used in a way I would never have expected (sorry, can’t be specific until the show comes out)
What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?
After speaking with Amy at Illo Agency, I learned about the variety of projects I could be working on, I knew I wanted to be a part of Illo Agency
Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?
One of my favourite authors is Kola Onadipe. In high school in Nigeria, we read some of his books and one of my favourites of his work is Koku Baboni. Although the themes in the book are quite mature, he wrote it in a very moving way. Interestingly enough, I do not remember the details of the book, but I very much remember how I felt reading it, I can feel those emotions just rising as I write this now. I would love to illustrate it someday if possible.
Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?
I have been receiving feedbacks from my mentors about my portfolio recently so most of my personal projects revolve around creating new portfolio pieces. I have different animation and Children’s book storey ideas I would like to pitch, so I am creating illustrations for them too.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?
I like to listen to Schoolism interviews on YouTube. Especially when I was a little younger, listening to how different artists got to where they are was encouraging for me. It gave me hope. The Bancroft brothers is another one I listened to quite a lot too. There I got to learn about how different projects came to be and the type of mindset to have in the industry.
If you have any questions or a specific project in mind, please do get in touch: [email protected]
at illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.