Lorraine Loots is a Cape Town-based artist known for her astonishingly detailed miniature paintings (which could easily be mistaken for photographs at first glance), and we love how she uses Instagram to showcase her work.
According to her website:
“365 Postcards for Ants is the second phase of a project started on 1 January 2013, which involved me creating a miniature painting every single day for the entire year.
In celebration of our city’s designation as World Design Capital 2014, I’ve decided to do it all over again, and this time all the paintings will be Cape Town themed. In addition to the original framed painting, there will also be a limited range of 5 “postcards” (archival art prints of the daily paintings) for sale.”
Every day Lorraine uploads the day’s miniature to Instagram, and I can vouch that it’s a real highlight on my feed to see what she’s come up with next. Her teeny-tiny paintings are perfectly suited for viewing on an equally teeny-tiny mobile screen, and it’s incredibly inspiring to see how she uses Instagram as a platform to build the conversation around her work. We were burning to know more, so we asked Lorraine some questions about her life and work with ants as her patrons:
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I was born in Bloemfontein, spent the first two years of my life in the Kruger National Park and then moved to the Western Cape. I studied Visual Communication at Stellenbosch University and then did a Masters in Film and Media at UCT. My first real job was as a PA to a CEO, but I was soon repositioned as Social Media Manager when they realised I was pretty much the worst PA ever. A year later, I quit my job and started freelancing in many different directions.
How did you come up with the idea for 365 Postcards for Ants?
Long story short: it was borne out of the need to keep creating art after deciding not to make art my career. I decided to dedicate an hour a day outside of my “real job” to finishing a piece. The only thing I could finish in an hour was a miniature painting, and that suddenly gave the project an interesting angle, and a name: 365 Paintings for Ants. The second phase of the project is 365 Postcards for Ants. The project has changed a lot since, the main difference being that it’s gone from a side project to being my sole occupation.
How long does it take you to complete a single painting?
At first, I could finish a piece in an hour, but now it can take up to 5 (because it’s not just a side project anymore, I can invest more time into each piece).
What role has Instagram played in the project?
At first, it was just a way of holding myself accountable, but now, most of my followers are on Instagram. It really is at the very core of the project.
Have there been any crazy or weird suggestions for your paintings?
Yes, very. “The Internet” was my favourite.
What’s your favourite thing to do, other than paint gorgeous miniatures?
Do you think you’ll continue with 365 Postcards for Ants next year or do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
At this stage, your guess is as good as mine. I do feel like I might need a bit of a break at some point though. It’s a huge commitment.
Do you follow any other cool 365 projects on Instagram?
Mike Eloff (@thelawry) is doing #365portraitsofstrangers…I can’t think of any other 365 projects right now?
Who are your favourite people to follow on Instagram?
@idafrosk, @kinfolk, @bronwenbrauteseth, @stellamariabaer, @jackspiceradams, @garethpon
Some of Lorraine’s Instagrams of her beautiful artwork:
If you would like to book a painting or postcard print on a particular day, you can do so on Lorraine’s website here.
Words: Kristen Duff Images: Lorraine Loots