Loveis Wise is a rising icon in the art industry. As a freelance illustrator and dope artist from Washington DC, the University of the Arts alumna has been livening things up by imposing artistic magic on the faces of well-known outlets. Publications like Google Doodle, The New Yorker, Say Her Name and recently, Coach New York, have all been blessed to brandish their colorful and memorable pieces. Some may say their work is reminiscent of the labors of Matisse and Marc Chagall but way more luscious and defined ( loosely defined like L’Asie and vivacious colors like Paris Through the Window.) Their pieces are visual symphonies of pattern, texture, color and movement. Captivating onlookers with their fusion of whimsical and pragmatic imagery, their work is bold and triumphant and commemorative.
Looking at their illustrations and pieces, my eyes ventured to everything green. After a while, I realized that green is often present, and brilliantly used in their work. Initially, I thought that maybe green was their favorite color, but with all the alluring shades and tones, I think it’s much deeper. Green generates a cordial aura; I can’t help but feel calm, relaxed, and wrapped up in their illustrations whenever I look at their work. Personally, I associate green with mother nature and its healing properties. No matter how serene, they are depictions of unbridled love, joy, optimism and hope. What I love most about their work is how they confidently portray their illustrations, demanding to be heard, seen, and understood, without the use of words. Instead, they utilize lines and shapes beautifully, to pass their message! An au courant use of line and contrast. Their pieces remind me of Jacob Lawrence, The Migration of the Negro or Aaron Douglas, Song of the Towers. Serenity of a dreamscape but the colors are vivacious. This is what it’s like to dream in technicolor.
Below is my choice of works that best show the illustrative prowess of Allis Wise:
1. Wise’s Illustration Used to Compliment Dara Mathi’s Story on Food52
What attracted me to this piece is the intentional color coordination. The piece is clearly dominated by green (in various shades). I was snatched into this illustration. For a minute, it felt homely and cozy. It evoked a sense of nostalgia in me, making me crave my favorite home-cooked meals. Despite the eggs and cooking motions in the picture, it feels wholesome. The wrinkle on the person’s face with the earthy green makes it inviting. The lady has been captured in a calm, composed and confident gait, an indication that she knows her way around the kitchen. She doesn’t appear to be in a hurry, so she takes her sweet time baking with love. It reminds me of my grandmother. Many people will probably associate it with their grandmothers or mothers. The use of line and shape to create movement is brilliant. Cloud-like ripples are seen in the subject’s hair and blouse, wallpaper and bowl. This creates a dance for your eyes to mimic and move around the canvas. Even with the touches of other colors, the simplistic shapes with various tones of green tell me: Love is simple. Love is nurturing. Love is filling. Love is caring, and there is no better way to care for someone than to cook for them with love.
2. Wise’s Illustration Featured in Loves Me, Loves Me Not Zine
Any piece with a message of self-care, acceptance, or love: I’ll take the bait. Contrary to the first piece, green is absent in this illustration. Instead, bold is the right word for the colors assembled for this piece. With royal colors and the red at the bottom, I was reeled in. The colors are vibrant and amusing. I adore the bold shapes and simplistic lines they used to create the person holding the flowers. The flower stalks and pant legs are black and anchor your eye to the bottom of the piece as a starting point, only to allow the attention to levitate towards the beautiful and colorful sunflowers depicted in various shades. Then finally resting on the words above. From this, I am inclined to think that even with the darkness within the self, light emerges, and from soil (the black stalks of the flowers), grows life (the sunflowers). With a relaxed pose and flowers in tow, it feels as if Loveis Wise is telling us to bask in who we are and to do so with delicacy and love. The yellow abstract image in the background looks like a guitar. As if to say: listen to the rhythm of your heart or dance to your own tune. The caption itself, “choose within you” is precise and compelling. It instructs us to search within and listen to what we, as individuals, require in order to nourish and bloom. A message I’m sure many of us can support.
3. Admiration for The Sable Collective
My favorite piece from them was dedicated to the Sable Collective. Loveis Wise partnered with Instagram’s @Design team to celebrate small businesses. They highlighted their favorite small business that’s black and women owned. The Sable Collective is a retail space that sources from BIPOC, women creatives, and entrepreneurs. Loveis Wise admires The Sable Collective, which features three fabulous femmes with three different vibes, sporting items from the Sable shop. The illustration by Loveis Wise pays keen attention to every detail exhibited by the three femmes and adds glamour and color to it. The choice of color in this case is subtle: gentle yet eye-catching. I love abstract pieces with a pop of color.
We can also appreciate how the three femmes have their own style, class, and pose. You can see the confidence in them and how high they have held their heads. From the piece, fashion and style have been impeccably captured. Their dress codes go hand in hand with their jewelry, without any color crashing. They have dyed their hair indicating boldness, especially if you have short hair. The thick lines and exaggerated legs make me love the piece more: they are curvy and they wear it in confidence. Besides, the picture exhibits closeness and how they have each-other’s backs. They form a unified front and peacefully coexist. Also, they are depicted as women with their own businesses, who, even with all the competition in the business world, choose to support the other.
Loveis Wise in partnership with Coach
The piece that Loveis Wise did for Coach’s pride-inspired motifs was downright magical. The beautiful butterfly (Who probably just came out of metamorphosis) is on-brand with Loveis Wise’s color range and flair. The butterfly seems liberated as the person in the picture appreciates and embraces where they are at the moment. The eyes on the wings give the impression that one is finally waking up to oneself. With the star being held in the air, it’s almost as if the person is aware that they are a star and no longer holding back who they are for anyone!
Loveis Wise’s pieces give me a warm and joyful feeling that I’m sure is intentional. Loveis Wise’s illustrations give me a soothing sense of nostalgia. It reminds me of the Harlem Renaissance paintings and drawings I grew up observing. I grew up being surrounded by the styles of Harlem Renaissance paintings and pieces. Yet, the colors and items give it a modern twist. As Loveis Wise continues to share their colorful hands and artistic eyes with us, I hope we can admire their pieces and feel encouraged by their boldness (Literally. Their lines are always thick).
Loveis Wise Info:
To order Loveis Wise’s Coach Bag:
Check out their Etsy Shop (They are currently closed, but will open up sometime this summer)