Tags: Arts & Culture

TFA Local Artist Highlight: Lori Hardy

Posted 03.18.16 by Aminda

We're back with our second TFA Local Artist Highlight! This week we're hanging out with Lori Hardy, an incredible artist working out of Glendale. 

The first thing I noticed about Lori's home was how insanely cozy it was. Her creative space is right in the living room, centering around the bay window - which provides gorgeous natural light. Lori has her drawings hanging on her walls, not only in the studio space itself, but continuing throughout her living room as well, making the whole front of the home feel creative and warm. 

I also noticed works-in-progress laying on her desk, on the floor, and pinned to the wall - all at very different stages of creation. It was amazing to see all of the phases taken to reach the finished product.

Lori went to work on a drawing of panda bears that she had previously started while I went to town snapping photos all around her, it was incredible to watch her process! Check out the photos and the interview I did with Lori below.

Downtown Tempe Authority: Hey Lori! Fill us in on what you create!

Lori Hardy: I create drawings of wildlife and pet portraits.



DTA: How did you get into drawing, and what inspired you to take on animals as your main subject?

Lori: Honestly, I have been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon. Once I was taught how to look at objects with a 3D perspective and how to look for lighting and shadows, my drawings went to a whole new level.


DTA: Do you draw from memory, imagination, photos?

Lori: I only draw from reference photos. Pet portraits are drawn from the photos sent to me by my clients. The other animal drawings are drawn from photos I find online. The perfect picture will stand out and will be like “pick me to draw.”  The lighting, shadows, background, clarity/resolution, and the subject are all what I look for in a great reference photo.



DTA: Give us the low down on the process you take to create each drawing. How long does it take you to complete one? What tools do you use?

Lori: Like I mentioned, I find the perfect reference photo or I am sent some by my clients. I then figure out what size I want my drawing to be (or what size my clients want) then sketch the animal/pet as accurately as possible. Sometimes I use the grid method and other times I just eyeball it. Once sketched, I get to add detail and color with pastels or charcoal. 

I use charcoal and pastel pencils/sticks as my mediums. I’ve only been using pastels for the past 5 months and I am so happy I tried this new medium. I love using color so much!

An average pet portrait takes about 10 hours for one pet, longer if there are 2 or more pets.

Original animal drawings range from 10-20 hours depending on the size and the detail I’m working on.



DTA: What is your favorite part of the creation process?

Lori: My favorite part of the creation process is drawing the eyes. Once the eyes are perfect, then I feel the rest of the drawing flows nicely. The more detail to draw (the higher the resolution of the reference photo), the better.


DTA: Do you have a favorite drawing?

Lori: The elephant drawing has to be one of my favorites. It took the longest of any drawings due to all the wrinkles, but elephants in general intrigue me. 



DTA: What can we purchase from you at the Tempe Festival of the Arts?

Lori: I will be selling originals and prints.  I will also be selling some pillows, blankets, mugs, etc with my drawings on them. I am always taking commissions for pet portraits or custom pictures of your choice.  Anyone can talk to me about this at the festival, or on my website! www.lorihardyart.com



DTA: Have you participated in the Tempe Festival of the Arts before? What do you like most about the Tempe Festival of the Arts?

Lori: This will be my first time participating in the Tempe Festival of the Arts. I love the size of the festival, the atmosphere, the smell from all the food vendors, the music and entertainment, everything! Mostly, I love the variety of art from the hundreds of participating artists.



DTA: What do you like to do when you’re not drawing or showing your art in festivals?

Lori: When I’m not drawing, then I am always doing something mom related. I am married and have four beautiful children; 2 older boys (13yo, 12yo) and boy/girl twins (2yo) that tire me out everyday, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.


DTA: What can we expect to see from you in the future? What are your future goals with your art?

Lori: My future goals are to be booked solid for years doing pet portraits/wildlife commissions. I love drawing pets as surprise gifts, for memorials, and just for fun. I will also check into some art galleries and who knows… maybe you will see some of my art on TV shows, movies, hotels, restaurant, etc. I’m still learning about and exploring the art community/world.


DTA: If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what would you want to be and why?

Lori: If I were to pick one animal to be and why, it would be a bird. Probably an eagle because of the grandness, majestic beauty and size but mostly I have always wanted to fly. 


DTA:  What's your favorite thing to do in Downtown Tempe?

Lori: I love Tempe Town Lake. It is so much fun to bring my family to play, have a picnic, or to walk around. The restaurants are great. It’s been awhile but I have also stayed at the Marriot’s Tempe at the Buttes Resort. It was breathtaking!

The Tempe Festival of the Arts is a favorite too, of course. It is such a huge and wonderful art show. ASU Gammage Theater hosts great, more intimate smaller concerts. 

Be sure to stop by and say hello to Lori at booth 5526 during the Tempe Festival of the Arts, April 8th - 10th!