Meet the Creative Kid: Lara Meintjes

Illustration by Lara Meintjes
Heidelinde and sarah by Lara Meintjes
I have a special Monday treat for you – a chat with the one and only Lara Meintjes! I love Lara’s work so I was absolutely over the moon when she agreed to feature on the blog. She’s got the best hair ever, and man, she can draw! I think she might be my spirit person – her beautiful illustrations create a world I’d love to live in – there just need to be a few more panda-people to cater to my panda bear obsession.

Illustration by Lara Meintjes
Lovely Lara

Here’s what Lara had to say:

Name & Age: Lara Meintjes – 31
What do you do? I am a freelance illustrator, artist and mom… mostly I drink tea and warble along to opera music while playing with ink. I am very lucky.
Illustration by Lara Meintjes
Tanja Giraffe by Lara Meintjes
Why do you do it? Hmmmm…. I have a constant party happening inside my head and if I kept it contained in there I might spontaneously combust, so it is better for my health and for the environment if I share it.
What do you want to be when you grow up? When I grow up I would like to be a professional bingo player, I think a lavender rinse would really suit me and the golden girls had the best wardrobes.
Favourite medium to work with? I work predominantly in pen and ink, although my second great love is mud so I have done quite a bit in ceramic as well, this is something I am determined to explore further this year.
Illustration by Lara Meintjes
David by Lara Meintjes
Work you’re most proud of? Oddly enough I think I am most proud of the dinnerware I made for my family when we moved to the US, the bowls are all odd and organic, and we have used them for many dinner parties as our circle of american friends has grown so they are wrapped in this glorious imaginary film of memories and shared laughter. It is a beautiful thing to be able to create something that you use in your everyday life.
Where does your creative inspiration come from? My creative inspiration comes from everywhere, I love exploring the world around me and wandering off on my own small adventures.
Sometimes I feel like the space in my head is like the lagoon near my house, where the moon jelly ballet continues uninterrupted by the fish disco sparkling and dashing around the same stage. I think impossible combinations and odd contrasts are quite fascinating, and make us look at all aspects of a thing instead of just glancing over it and moving on.

Illustration by Lara Meintjes
Wee Gerald by Lara Meintjes
Which creatives inspire you? Gah! This answer is potentially neverending so I will be as brief as possible I guess, I am passionately obsessed with fabric, and textile design in general so the work Yinka Shonibare does is right up my alley – I think we are both interested in post colonisation and globalisation too so I find his work pretty fascinating on so many levels. I love Norman Catherine, and again with my interest in textiles – Amanda Laird Cherry inspires me both visually and as a person, she is so incredibly kind and warm, and she cuts things that make me look like a real human – win! The “so wrong but so right” work that the Ardmore Ceramic Studio produces is an absolute wonder, especially the pieces created by Wonderboy Nxumalo. My daughter inspires me in both her painting and her general desire to explore the world and all it offers, as does my husband who, as a photographer, will often frame the same image I am seeing in a way that is completely different. Okay, I am going to leave that there….
What’s your spirit animal? My spirit animal is a thoroughly confused goat, I have this manic urge to climb onto things and look further, but as soon as I get up high enough I realise I am terrified of heights and have to chew on something to calm down.
Favourite cupcake topping? Anything lemony, my sister in law, Alex, makes these incredible cupcakes but lives far away. I wish I could import her and just make her a small bed in the corner of my kitchen so she could feed me lemon meringue cupcakes all day. Maybe we could build a dumbwaiter so they could be delivered to the roof semi-automatically and I wouldn’t get stuck up there with nothing to chew on.

Illustration by Lara Meintjes
Wee Sadie by Lara Meintjes
Sneaky hobbies? I draw on my daughter’s (James – age ten) lunch bags, a lot of my work starts out as doodles on brown paper, we travel a lot, spontaneous roadtrips are a hobby, right? I am also an obsessive collector of stuff, I once almost bought a life size fibreglass great white shark at a flea market but hesitated just long enough  that somebody else took it home, sad.
Advice for other creatives? Ha! Let me get back to you once I have figured out what the hell I am doing 😉
Who should I feature next? Ross Garrett is an amazing photographer, Johan De Lange is my favourite illustrator ( and I wish he would publish his book already.
Can you draw a self portrait in 5 seconds?
Illustration by Lara Meintjes
Illustration by Lara Meintjes

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