Silence – Loish

There are those people who appear to be annoyingly good at a lot of things.  I have been told I am one of those people.  What this actually means is, I try my hand at a lot of “stuff” and I continue to practice and hone the skills for the things I appear to be good at, and things I am not so good at, I stop doing.  For example, I really like writing (obviously), photography and drawing – I am however rubbish at making sushi (unless you like it being the size of a tractor tyre) and riding a bike.  There is a level of self awareness to this, knowing what you enjoy because you can achieve results you are happy with, over doing something you aren’t very good at but enjoy doing.  Those annoyingly genius people just know they should follow the path of the things they can achieve a result in, rather than following the “practice makes perfect” mentality.

Loish, or Lois Van Baarle is one of those people who embraces that she may not be brilliant at everything, but she knows that she is rocking the digital art freelancing world with her beautiful designs and short films.  She has managed to set herself very clear boundaries to working in this environment to enable her to achieve what she wants in exactly the way she wants to do it.

I first saw a piece called “Nocturne” which drew me to this artist.  The shadowy figure leaning into a pool with wide illuminated eyes really pulled me in.  The light seemingly catching the plant life around the figure, highlighting the form and telling a story with a limited pallet and only 3 elements.


As I started to read about this artist, it became apparent that she is a woman who knows what she wants.  She highlights on her own website that she has been “drawing since the time that she could hold a pencil”.   Born in Holland, Loish has lived all over the world, including the USA, France and Belgium.  She studied animation in Ghent for a year, before moving back to Holland and further studying animation at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht.  Now in her mid thirties she is a freelance illustrator and frankly she is smashing it.  Loish started taking commissions as a student, but has had the opportunity to work with Guerrilla Games, Autodesk, Blizzard entertainment and Lego (I mean Lego… how cool is that?).

Loish has done many interviews on how to be a successful freelancer, which you can find with a simple google search.   Search for Loish on Deviant Art and you will find that she is known for supporting artists of all levels, and keeping an open dialogue to others to cultivate inspiration and creation.  Her open and expressive nature has yielded her nearly two million followers on Instagram.

I selected “Silence” as the feature for this article as there is something so serene about the piece.  I think it is the look on the woman’s face, almost as though she has found peace in the void of space.  I really enjoy how her hair appears to be fluid in her helmet, almost like water, and the oxygen pipe to her tank is wrapped around her, almost like a womb or the rings of a plant, in a protect form.  Her hands are peacefully relaxed by her side, as she drift through the ethereal environment of space.

The pallet of the piece makes me think of a supernova – which is so contrary to the behaviour of the woman in the foreground.  Just in case you aren’t sure – a supernova is a large and powerful nuclear explosion and final evolutionary stage of a white dwarf star as it collapses in on itself.  Perhaps this is post explosion, as the luminosity of such an explosion can take months to fade.

This picture with just a few small changes could easily depict a panicked situation, but everything is so perfectly placed, that I challenge any viewer of this piece to find anything but tranquility within it.

While I do feel that this painting is serene and tranquil, I can’t help but be reminded of the painting of Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais, this could be my recent viewing of “Melancholia” which has made my mind link space to this painting, but there are similarities to the almost accepting way both women are floating in their chosen medium.

What I also appreciate in this work is the lack of over accentuating the space suit.  All too often artists get drawn into trying to make space suits look either too futuristic, or too close to reality, which would have again, completely changed the tone of this.  Instead you can see a small oxygen pack, you can see a simplistic helmet – the elements are there to make the viewer feel at ease with the women being in that environment without it being all about the suit.

This is a key trait for Loish, as she really does seem to be able to portray the character of the subject within her work, and an intense emotion without having to spoon feed the audience.

Loish does take commissions and you can see her work as well as her short animations on her website, which you can find here.  I can’t recommend enough that you view her animated shorts, as these are just as intense and beautiful as her cheeky and moving artworks.

What do you see when you look at “Silence”?  Why not tell me in the comments?  Like this post?  Why not share it?


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