WELHOUS X LUIS ORNELAS INTERVIEW
As a collective of creatives WELHOUS has a real fascination with what goes on in the minds of artist and creatives in general. In our quest unpacking these creative minds we try to find the common denominator that connects creatively active people all across the globe.
In our ongoing and ever expanding series of interviews with the talented and creative like; Emmavie and Fantich & Young – We now targeted Luis Ornelas for yet another deep diving and mind unpacking interview.
As a long fan and follower of the talented illustrator Luis Ornelas, we just had to ask Luis if he was willing to share what’s going on in that creative head of his. Luis Ornelas is an up and coming and very talented artist from Dallas , Texas. He’s worked with the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Joey Badass and is bound to work with a lot more influential artists..
We would describe his style as; retro, popart dipped in contemporary (hip hop) culture.
But let’s not pigeonhole a creative and leave it up to the artist to explain to us what it is that he’s trying to create and convey…
Who is Luis Ornelas?
A Dallas based Graphic Designer and Illustrator.
Who are your parents?
My Mom Isabel is from Chihuahua, Mexico and my Dad Luis Sr. is from Juarez, Mexico. My mom grew up in a small town as for my dad he moved quite a bit. He spent a few years in El Paso and then moved to the small town where he met my mother.
Where did you grow up? And how was it growing up?
I was born in Chihuahua Mexico, year 1990. Moved to the U.S around 1997 or 1998, can’t really remember. We moved a lot when I was young.
I grew up in a small town close to Dallas, TX. While growing up I was constantly trying to get used to the American culture, even though I was young everything was new to me. Learning a new language and seeing my parents work long hours to ground themselves. My parents were very young at the time, even though we had family in the area they were struggling with culture clash. We started from scratch so economic status, I would say poor. My parents always brought food to the table but sacrificed a lot, which I appreciate a lot and never take for granted.
Do you ever visit the place where you/your parents are from?
I have family there so I try to visit. At the moment I have been finding my place within my career, constantly working so I don’t have much time to travel.
I was hooked on Lowrider Arte Magazines, that’s how I was introduced into art.Luis Ornelas
Was a 15 year old Luis already into art?
Yeah, I started drawing at a young age. I’ve always liked taking things apart visually and trying to understand how it was made. I used to give out drawing to friends all throughout middle school.
What type/category of art was a 15 year old Luis into?
I was hooked on Lowrider Arte Magazines, that’s how I was introduced into art. Later on I took art classes in school but was never really pushed by my teachers until High School. In High School I started looking into classical painters, that’s when I really got interested into the craftsmanship in art and its history. (not sure if you would consider this art but when I was in High School I got more into hip-hop and fashion, this is when I started looking into design and hand painting t-shirts)
Was a 20 year old Luis (still) into art?
Yeah, I was taking college courses by then. Was not sure what I was doing but I did know that I wanted to push my creativity and work on my craft.
What type/category of art was a 20 year old Luis into?
I was really into classical fine art, loved the line work, craftsmanship and passion behind it. I then took a few design classes and that’s when I found out what graphic design was, it was fundamentals but being exposed to the different printing methods and software I figured out how to combine a lot of my passions into one.
Was a 25 year old Luis (still) into art?
By 25 and till now I am still trying to find myself as artist or designer.
What type/category of art was a 25 year old Luis into?
This is when I was starting to research the many branches of design. I was an apprentice for a letterpress shop. This is where I found out about ephemera, printing methods, and production. I learned what I would consider my passion as a designer and understand what I wanted to do and didn’t want to do. So a lot of my beginning years of experience are learning how things are done.
I like Uzi’s unique way of rapping and sense of style. He brings something different to the table.Luis Ornelas
Could you please explain when and how art become a part of your life?
I’ve always been into art and took it serious. I didn’t know I could start a living off art, was never exposed to what or where art could take you. I’m constantly fighting to live off my art, but i will always create whether it makes me money or not. I enjoy every second of it.
Where do your skills & passions lie and how did you hone these craft(s)?
I am always trying to improve, like any creative I am restless with my work. I wouldn’t say my skills are honed, I try to draw and create as often and as much as I can.
Did you set out to become a professional that practices these skills/passions from an early age?
I am a very ambitious and focused person. in my case that’s both good and bad, I intensely embrace my passions and hate failure.. So once my pencil hit the paper, it never stopped.
Did you have other dreams/ambitions in your childhood?
As a child i was never exposed to anything other than just hard work. As far as other careers, I did not know what else was out there.
If you had to categorize or name the style of art you create, what would you call it?
I would say versatile, I’m constantly absorbing what’s around me.
Artists usually don’t like to get pigeonholed or have their art/style compared to other artist and put into random categories. Who have people told you, your art/style categorizes as or resembles?
I don’t think I’ve been compared to anyone. Only comments I get is that it looks retro, vintage or old school.
We hope we don’t offend you by saying we see/feel an old-school vibe throughout your work, What do you have to say on our opinion?
Love it! Can’t beat a classic, I’m inspired by timeless design and art.
music and coffee is what sparks my creativity.Luis Ornelas
What’s the story behind the creation of the Lil Uzi Vert and the Joey Badass illustrations/artworks?
Those are two of my favorite illustrations. For Joey I got the opportunity to talk to one of the Pro-Era guys on Instagram, Niles (Very dope guy, he is a designer too), I’m a big hip-hop fan and think that Joey Badass represents hip-hop with his lyrics and style. So I volunteered myself to do the illustration.
For Lil Uzi Vert‘s portrait I reached out to one of the guys from Generation Now ( TC their apparel designer really down to earth guy too) He liked the Joey Badass Portrait and asked if I could give it a shot with Uzi. I like Uzi’s unique way of rapping and sense of style. He brings something different to the table.
What was your inspiration and what is the feeling/experience you tried to evoke?
My inspiration was a combination of many things, from old printing methods, gig poster typography, to artist style like Robert Crumb, etchings and much more…
How long did it take you to create these artworks?
That’s hard to nail down, once I work on a project I lose track of time. That my biggest flaw, once I get in the creating mood or vibe time doesn’t exist.
How long does it averagely take you to come up with/create artwork?
It all varies from client to client. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with amazing people that respect the craftsmanship and process. It’s always a collaboration, that’s what makes it unique and fun. Not one single project has been the same. Each one is unique to a persons personality.
I would like to work with either Big Krit or Chance the Rapper.Luis Ornelas
We’ve seen hip hop artists and influences in your work. What does ‘Hip Hop’ culture and its history mean to you?
Oh man, hip-hop and music in general is everything to me. I’m constantly researching it, watching documentaries, It influences me a 100%, so much raw talent.
What are your current 3 favorite artist in music?
That’s tough, as of right now these couple of months I’ve been listening to Pusha-T, Joey Badass , and Big Krit. But what really catches my attention is Southern Hip-hop or anything with a soulful beat.
What are your thoughts on the Drake and Pusha T beef?
I found it interesting everyone loves controversy. Hip-Hop is raw and it expresses a lot of emotion. As far as the beef part I didn’t find it as interesting as the execution of the music. Well timed, you can see the craftsmanship of each artist. You just have to appreciate it.
A lot of artists created classic art stating, confessing and/or admitting to the usage of certain substances to spark their creativity. What are your thoughts on this? And do you (have ways to) spark your creativity in this or any other way?
Everyone has his or her way to open that gateway to creativity. I respect it. As for me music and coffee is what sparks my creativity.
Among other things – you design logo’s for businesses. For what dream company/brand would you love to re-design the logo/look?
Another tough question, there are two people I would like to work with; either Big Krit or Chance the Rapper.
If you had to name one great talent in art that’s out there where people are sleeping on, who would it be?
I would say my friend JoshySoul, he is an amazing musician, versatile and energetic.
Where do you see yourself and your art in 5 years ?
I’m not sure these past two years have been full of surprises, humbled by the opportunities.
Do you have any other specific goals set for the future?
I would like to continue working with musicians and designing apparel.
Do you have any skills or passions outside of art?
Yup, if I wasn’t a designer I would be a barber.
Do you believe in global warming?
I do, if you don’t take care of something its bound to change.
Do you believe you have a responsibility to contribute to a more durable and sustainable earth?
Yes I do.
What are things you’re already doing to contribute?
I recycle and re-use as many things as I can.
I’ve heard of people not being able to separate beliefs to a persons craft or product. I enjoy music in general.Luis Ornelas
Do you know where you were when you first heard the news that Trump became the US president?
Yes, I was in my living room.
What are your thoughts on his presidency?
I’m not pleased with the results we have seen. You can feel the tension and stress that people carry. I personally think if there is change needed you start with what is at arms reach. So helping others, especially the youth. One of the goals i set for myself is to help and guide kids with creativity.
What’s your opinion on Collin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem and now no longer being able to play in the NFL? What are your thoughts on his actions and the repercussions he’s facing?
We all need to stand for something, we run by passion and we should respect and hear what people have to say. If it has to get to an extent to kneel for the national anthem to be heard, then we aren’t paying enough attention. There are consequences for everything but I don’t think he should be punished only heard.
What are your thoughts and opinions on Kanye West’s recent comments?
I think Kanye is a unique person, full of raw talent, emotions, and confidence. But no balance, he says something but means something else. There are no excuses for certain things but as an artist I’ve learned to pick and choose things I can learn from.
What are your thoughts on his recent released 7/8 track projects with; Nas, Kid Cudi, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor?
Overall, he did an amazing job. Shows his craftsmanship and talent, it takes me a while to understand the meaning behind the lyrics. I listen more to the overall feeling of the song and vibes I get from them.
Does you agreeing or disagreeing with his comments have an effect on how you experience Kanye’s art?
Not at all, I’ve heard of people not being able to separate beliefs to a persons craft or product. I enjoy music in general.
What are things you’d like to see change for the better in the world?
Main thing I would like to see if people helping each other. A bit exhausted of people being selfish and wanting more than what they need, from materialistic items to knowledge that people tend to keep to themselves. That’s how many crafts have died or close to it.
What are things you’d like to see change for the better as a professional artist?
I think the expectation of things to be done instantly. We live in a time period where things can be made with an app. and printed by pushing a couple of buttons on your computer. Things are easier but art in any form still takes time, majority of people do not understand that and take it for granted.
To what day and age would you travel if you had a time machine?
I would say the Baroque period.
I gravitate to artwork that has a lot of contrast. Being able to see the masters from back then create art, when the mediums and concepts were pushed.
What would you tell a younger and talented artist trying to make it?
I would say to push fear away and just do what you love. Don’t dream about it, dive head first and get your hands dirty. Failure is your best teacher, and that’s the only way you will grow as an artist. Expect a lot of mistakes and the rewards will be more gratifying.
Is your art up for sale somewhere?
I haven’t really had the time to put my art up for sale yet. But will soon, just takes a little bit of patience and the right song to get me going. So be on the look out!
Drawing on paper /or/ Designing/Editing on a computer?
Drawing on paper
Kendrick Lamar /or/ Drake?
I’m an introvert /or/ I’m an extrovert?
Beer /or/ Mixed-Harder Liquor?
Beer ( I rarely drink)
Biggie / or/ 2Pac?
American Muscle Car /or/ German High Tech Car?
Meat /or / Vegetables?
Weed Illegal /or / Legal?
An empathic and artistic / or/ a smart and decisive person as president?
Empathetic and artistic
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