Q & A with Hailey Marie Losselyong, creator of HML Art & Design – South Side Weekly

Hailey Marie Losselyong is a self-taught, interdisciplinary visual artist based in Pilsen. She works under the name HML Art & Design, creating bold murals, illustrations and clothing designs using abstract female portraits.

Her latest installation, HML Home, will be in Pilsen’s Vault Gallerie until May 7. Transforming her gallery space into an IKEA-style apartment, Losselyong provided works of her past works. She celebrates her creative evolution as an artist and the implications of intentionally creating accessible art.

Photo by TJ Olmos
Photo by TJ Olmos

As I walk, I get the impression that my friend’s apartment is a little in the bathroom. Immediately, you start snorting through a free-standing closet truck, poking at brightly colored stickers and prints on their desks. The more you look around, the more you notice a stylized, innocent woman with colored lips and closed eyes. Some people print the slogan “Leave Me Alone” on their earrings or next to them with a stencil as if they were saying “Leave Me Alone”. No harm, but don’t shit! “

The pattern is drawn on the back of the jacket, the shoes hidden under the mirror, and the framed image on the wall. It is depicted on flower pots, coffee tables and drink coasters. When it was time to enter the bathroom, the women were there again, standing on the wall. What are they thinking when they close their eyes?

South Side Weekly He talked with Losselyong about her creative process and the inspiration behind her Leave Me Alone art series, inspired by the one-sided interactions women often face in public with men. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


How would you describe yourself as an artist?

I say I’m an interdisciplinary visual artist. I’ve mainly focused on painting in the past, so I can paint on almost anything, including canvas, walls, and clothing. I also like visual arts in general. I also like taking pictures and making video content. But I think my artwork is centered around portraits of people. My painting is a portrait that emphasizes the duality of femininity and femininity, as well as the various strengths and weaknesses of femininity.

When did you start visual arts?

I didn’t start drawing my own original paintings until I went to college. In 2014, I went to school for business, but after that I took several illustrator workshops. I was painting a little to make a little money. A year or two later, I fell into my style.

How would you describe your art style?

When you see it, I hope it is influential. I don’t just want people to recognize that it’s mine, but I want them to feel something. I like to make things really big and bold, [though] Now I’m focusing a little more on movement. Just looking at it makes me feel something.

Where do you get your inspiration when you start a new project? What does your creative process look like?

In a sense, it’s cooperative. People know what kind of artwork I’m making, but then we get together to see what their style is and what their mood is, we I have a happy medium.

It is definitely very inspired by femininity and femininity. I like to show women and women in color. Many of my larger projects started by placing murals in spaces that weren’t previously seen, and allowing colored women’s murals to be placed in spaces that weren’t seen before. I find it really important to me to help people who need to see themselves in the artwork. I think it’s really important to feel that everyone is represented, especially through art.

What influenced the artwork for Leave Me Alone?

It started with street harassment. A few years ago, I had trousers depicting some girls and wrote a small “Leave Me Alone” on the front. And I just wanted to see what would happen. It was a summer night, so I had to wait for a few friends alone, so I ended up being forced into a 7-Eleven group. Thankfully, nothing happened. But it’s as if I could literally write it to me to leave me alone, I’m not asking anyone’s attention, and still beyond my boundaries, my safety is questioned It was like. I feel uncomfortable for no reason.

After that, I drew pictures on many clothes and wrote big ones. And other girls supported it. There were many questions from men. But most of them were curious about what that meant, and when I explained it to them, they were like, “Oh, that’s something I’ve never thought of.” So it’s like a little piece of thought. It’s not something like “Don’t talk to me or get close to me.” [But] Before you do that, think about how you get closer to me.

How long have you been working in this series?

I started it in the summer of 2017 or 2018, and it grew from there.From my experience it is [began with] Literally street harassment. But like any other job, I really like it It can mean different from person to person, so be prepared to interpret it for those who are digesting it.I think [the message is], In general, for people: just respect each other. Think about your actions, what you are saying, what you are doing, and what it may look like a small action to you, but it can really affect other people. there is.

What’s so interesting about working with so many different media?

I don’t really believe that I have to do one peculiar thing. There are many ways to express yourself creatively. Why focus on just one medium? And I hand over props when people focus on one thing. That is wonderful. You’re probably a pro, but like my personality, I like to experiment a bit, bounce back and understand new things. I like being challenged. Then it’s just fun. I think I chose a freelance career to decide what kind of project I would like to work on. That’s a very important part for me. It leaves room for creative growth.

What is your favorite project?

My favorite project is probably working with the mural movement. The mural movement was run by Delilah Martinez. She’s also the owner of the Vault Gallerie, where I’m currently hosting the show, but the mural movement was born in 2020, and all the neighbors boarded during the protest, so people are making murals at the storefront. It looks a bit like a war zone and brings us back to some sort of normal sensation.And they all supported Black Lives Matter [and] Unification of black and brown. Through the mural movement, nearly 200 murals have been completed, but I and other artists have had the opportunity to draw big projects and go to work.

And it’s just as important for the artist to have the opportunity to show your work. Not everyone can find a large wall of 30 feet. [first] Although we were able to see their work, we were able to give different artists the opportunity to show off their talents and then get a bigger and better job. Most murals go to a black or brown business, or a black or brown community, or a small business that usually can’t afford big murals, so I think it’s cool to work with them.

Why do you think it is important to use art for social justice?

It is important for young people to look at themselves positively. When we do these mural projects and projects in different communities, it always gets positive attention from the people who live in the area. They want to come and hang out and help with the painting. There is no lack of art and attention in these areas. People are clearly accepting it and wanting it to happen. However, there is not enough emphasis on beautifying the space. I think it’s important what the space you live in looks like. People just want to see themselves represented in their neighborhood, so it’s important that your neighborhood has colors and art and that all neighborhoods are treated the same. No one wants any more blank walls or wooden windows.

Why did you design your Vault Gallerie installation the way you did it?

It’s definitely inspired by IKEA. So IKEA is one of my favorite places. It’s like a Sunday trip. But I was always interested in making art. I really support affordable art. I think art will be a terrifying space for people to enter. I have such access, are interested in furniture and design, and like to explore those paths. I love IKEA ideas, just as IKEA prepares everything for you. They show you exactly how it is used, and people really buy the product because they can imagine it in their space and in their home. Can be imagined. I think the house is a very important space. It should really reflect you and your personality. Also, your home may have more items that are functional but still have art. Any item can be considered art. It doesn’t have to be just a canvas or a framed photo. It can be anything.

How much are you working on the installation?

There is a buildup of work over the last few years. I think about 50% of the paintings and things were completed by the end of last year, but the furniture, large pieces, walls, etc. were all completed within the last two weeks. So I’ve been working on it for a while in my brain, but physically only for the last few weeks.

How has Vault Gallerie supported you?

Vault Gallerie has been in use ever since its inception. Before going to this place, we were back on the other side of Pilsen. I used to be a paint and bite instructor and a candle making instructor at Delilah. We did these classes together. Then she opened a gallery and began to offer more space to showcase her work, and I was increasingly transitioning to my freelance art career. She is a 100% source of help in all areas. To be honest, she showed me my work in the gallery and gave me space to do this crazy installation. She doesn’t really impose any restrictions on the artists in her space. That is wonderful. And by performing mural movements and more, she shows many different artists their work and gives them the opportunity to sell and see their work. She is really important in the city.

What do you tell people who are new to art? What do you tell your younger version?

I tell myself to experiment faster. Learn from more people. [That going] It may be good to intern for people so that they don’t really get in the way of shadowing people. Even if it doesn’t exactly match what you want to do, if it’s in the stadium, it’s good to see someone professional and learn the business side of things. If you want to be a full-time artist, it doesn’t matter how great you draw, so you need to understand the business side.

But in the end, try what you like. Try it, fail, and move on. There are a lot of projects that I couldn’t do as I expected, but I’ll learn and move on, and next time I’ll do better. It’s better than not doing it at all.

What are you most proud of in your work?

There are many items in the world, so I think it’s a small community created by them. Whether it’s a bag or jacket, canvas or tattoo, it’s really cool to see people and friends from different states send me or someone my tattoo.

Is there anything new you can expect?

I feel like I’m always expecting something new. I don’t plan much ahead, and I go along with the flow. But I’m definitely looking forward to collaborating with new people and businesses, creating more installations, more space, and more collaborative work. And it just makes everything bigger and better.


Reema Saleh is a journalist and graduate student studying public policy at the University of Chicago. She can follow @reemasabrina on Twitter.she I wrote at the end About their vision for Brutin Productions and Chicago Loan’s studios and community centers.

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