Danish artist Lilo has found a home in Los Angeles, empowering women and seeking to help us all find mental stability and joy in uncertain times.
n the heart of Los Angeles, Danish-born artist Lilo (just Lilo) is living her best life creating art that has a flow of movement that emits energy, joy, sensuality, and connection. Using a single continuous line dances on the awaiting canvas or paper, in a way that’s reminiscent of Picasso, Lilo finds beauty in what some may perceive as ordinary. The result is art that acknowledges the infinite possibility of the feminine shape and ongoing narrative.
“Every piece and story starts with me and is a reflection of how my life is at the moment I create it,” says Lilo. “I guess you can say the narrative is a simple version of special moments in my own life.”
Growing up in Denmark, Lilo remembers the simplicity of youth. “My childhood was full of fun moments. My parents were really young when they got me and my sister.” Lilo recalls her parents throwing frequent parties, being open to trying different careers to see what they loved, and adapting to being parents while still growing up themselves. “I really appreciate my childhood. Our house had a constant flow of people in and out. Some lived there for a while, some just visited, but everybody was always welcome. I had the freedom to be whoever I wanted to be, as long as I put in the effort and didn’t take anything for granted.”
In the wake of the recent state of the world, we are in need of creative release—perhaps more than any other time in our lifetimes. Maybe art can’t save us entirely, but it certainly does act as a gateway for humanity. Lilo agrees. “I don’t think that art alone can save the world, but if we let it in, it can make it a better place and heal our fears for sure.” As the political scene in this nation—and around the world—continues in a frustrating cycle of uncertainty, there is a collective voice that seems to be absent. Perhaps art that can step in.
“The political scene is getting so vicious. I am really missing a tone and a place where we all respect and try to understand each other and our differences instead of creating more hate, fear, and more division,” Lilo says. “We need the communities we live in to be places where we respect and inspire each other to be better and do better.”
It’s been said that art deeply affects us both consciously and subconsciously. A 2016 study in Art Therapy: The Journal of the American Heart Therapy Association revealed that a brief experience of art-making can lower cortisol levels regardless of prior experience with art, media type, or demographics.
“There has been a lot of research on how art (music, movies, paintings) affect us. Science tell us that the brain reacts similarly to art as it does when we have food, sex, or drugs,” says Lilo. “So no doubt about it. Art does make the world a better place! There is no right or wrong in art. Everything is up for interpretation and it can bring us together on so many levels. Where would we be without our favorite song, movie or painting?”
Positivity, sensuality, and hope fueled by the belief that art is provocative, fragile, sweet, fun, sexy, and scary, Lilo feels art can be used to help spread messages of inspiration and contribute to people achieving more in life. “The Black Lives Matter and Kobe Bryant murals all over LA are a great example of how art can bring community together.” Her brand, Lilo on Paper, is an extension of everything Lilo embodies and believes in. She sees the feminine essence as power and strength. Through the fragility and understated simplicity of her creations is able to emit positivity, sensuality, and hope.
“Art is a luxury,” says Lilo. “It is not economic. Art forces us to reflect on our qualities as human beings that make us more positive. That’s something I think the world needs right now.” She adds, “A lot of people pick art that goes with their interior design. I get it. But art doesn’t have to be pretty. It can be such much more.”
Art can improve mental health but it’s also tied to academia and critical thinking. “If art can make you question things, spark your imagination, or break out of monotony, that can take you to a place on wonder,” says Lilo. “To me, art has to surprise me in some way, take my imagination to another place. When you make, find or purchase art that does that? You’ll never tire of it!”
Lilo’s advice to anyone looking to purchase art is to ask themselves two questions: Why do you want to buy it, and what about it do you relate to? “Art can change us and engage us to emotionally develop if we let it. It’s a positive thing that is so much more than we expected and so much bigger than what we’ve wished for,” she says.
Love brought Lilo to Los Angeles from Europe. Once here, the life of flip flops, pink sunsets, drinks by the pool and the undeniable creative spirit of the city entranced her and so she stayed. Lilo on Paper is her body of artistic creations yielding subtle hints acknowledging artistic greats like Picasso and Matisse with a fiercely undeniable feminine prowess. The underbelly of her work exists in the fine lines, the playful endlessness of discovery, and the sense of recognizing and appreciating the female spirit.