InnerViews: A Creative Interview with Lynn Louise Larson
This InnerView features Athens, Georgia-based textile designer, Lynn Louise Larson ("Lylou"). Lynn designs hand crafted bags created from top-quality vintage and new upholstery fabrics. As a designer, her keen eye for innovative color combinations, unique patterns, and exquisite texture demonstrate her passion for beauty. Her designs have been featured in magazines such as Lucky, Athena, Georgia, and Deep and are carried throughout boutiques throughout the U.S. and Ottawa Ontario. She earned her BFA from the University of Northern Colorado in 1990.
JJLJ: Hello Lynn - Welcome to this session of InnerViews and thank you for agreeing to participate!
LLL: Hello, I am so happy to be part of your InnerViews. I started reading your blog a few months ago when you featured Ann Roth and have been very inspired by your interviews since then.
JJLJ: How did you come to work in textiles and designing Lylou bags?
LLL: I grew up at the foot of my mother's sewing machine. She would create the most amazing outfits and customs for me all throughout my schooling. Unfortunately, when I left home for university so did her sewing for me and I had to start fending for myself. –grin. That was when I started deconstructing clothing and began experimenting on my own. The University of Northern Colorado's Art School was the perfect environment to encourage me to push limits on creativity.
JJLJ: What continues to be a source of inspiration for your work?
LLL: Much like most artists I find inspiration all around me. I am continually amazed and inspired by the people around me. I am particularly inspired by my mother's beautiful birdhouses and Bibbi's delightful ceramic flowers. I am going through a big 'floral' and 'birds' phase at the moment. I am also inspired by Jillian's photography and her ability to always create the most amazing photos of my bags for publications and my website.
Other then people and their art, I am inspired by aromas, flavors, sounds, textures, and colors. I can't get enough of the things around me and at times I feel as if I am acting like a child with a new toy, but I can't help but be excited every morning I open my eyes to the world around me.
JJLJ: Is there anyone who has played a significant role in your career?
LLL: There are a few people that have been strong holds and influences in me 'going for it.' Of course there is my mother, then my friend Jonathan in NYC that was/is continually telling me I can 'do it' and when I am feeling overwhelmed gives me great advise and helps me organize my thoughts. My friend Brian has been a very intricate part of my success and always there with reassuring words and a kind heart. To be honest, there are so many friends that have been here for me that it would take hours to name them all.
JJLJ: What are you currently working on?
LLL: At this time I am working on two new designs for women's clutches. One of the clutches will retail for around $50 and be perfect for everyday use and a second one that will be more exotic and perfect for those 'special occasions, such as weddings, galas, or even a garden party. They are going to be very organic in form and influence by the flora in my garden. I hope to launch them by the end of February, just in time for spring.
I am also working on opening a high end house wares boutique in Athens. I have been tossing around the retail thing with a girlfriend for the past few months and we have decided to try our hand at our own shop. It is going to be a long road to completion, but fingers crossed we can get it up and running by next fall.
JJLJ: How do you see your work influencing others?
LLL: I am not sure if my 'work' has influenced others, but I think I have been very influential to others through my encouraging and positive attitude. I am a very 'driven' person and try to keep 'can't' out of my vocabulary. I am big at setting goals and finding ways to achieve them. It is a lot of hard work, but if there is a will there is a way. I try to always be available to lend assistance and network with others to help out others. It has not be me alone that has gotten where I am today and I am more then happy to include others in my good fortune.
JJLJ: What is the strangest or funniest comment or question you've ever gotten about your work?
LLL: I guess the strangest requests I had was to fix a woman's Kate Spade handbag, b/c she didn't want to spend the money on purchasing a new Kate Spade bag. Funny? Not really.
JJLJ: What is your idea of personal success?
LLL: My idea of personal success is having a happy home, filled with smiles and laughter and love…oh, and wine. -grin Living financially comfortable and working a career that I love. Having the time and ability to create on many different levels and share this interest with others around me.
JJLJ: Are there any links you would like to share?
LLL: Yes there are:
JJLJ: Thank you, Lylou for contributing to InnerViews. We wish you continued success and look forward to following your career!
LLL: You are more then welcome and I look forward to reading your next interview.
For more information on Lylou's designs, please visit her website: www.lyloudesign.com