Eloise Dörr On Skating, Skate Spots and Her Blobby Skateboarding Characters
We spoke to the south London artist and skater about living in London as an artist in 2018.
Image: Eloise Dörr / The No Comply Network
The No Comply Network is a London-based, UK-wide network of artistically creative skateboarders, founded by Birmingham-born skater Jason Caines. Every week, we'll be profiling a new No Comply member.
Eloise Dörr is the artist responsible for one of The No Comply Network's logos, so it was only a matter of time before I got her on here. A skater and artist based in south London, the first thing you'll notice about her work are the blobby black silhouette characters, many of which are recreations of skate photos, spots and sessions Eloise has seen and reinterpreted.
I had a chat with her about her characters, living in London as an artist in 2018, and her favourite south London spots to skate.
VICE: What do you think about the relationship of skateboarding, making art and your creative process?
Eloise Dorr: I've always seen art and skateboarding as very similar creative outlets – that's why the two fields cross over in so many areas. You're creating something out of nothing in both art and skateboarding, putting a thought into action and making it a physical thing. And each is completely individual to the skater-artist. How it can be defined, however, is completely [down to] the individual. It's something about that freedom that's so attractive. My creative process is completely dead without skateboarding. If I don't skate, I can't begin to think about painting – the two go hand in hand.
How did you develop your characters?
My characters developed very organically. When I first started mixing drawing and skating together I was just doing realism, so I was just drawing humans as they are. I quickly realised there wasn’t much room for expression in this style; if I extended a leg or exaggerated an arm it ended up just looking badly drawn. So I started drawing stick people, which then slowly developed into these blobby silhouette characters that I draw now. Now I can mould them and shape them to be as exaggerated or understated as I would like.
Outside of skateboarding, who inspires you?
I look up to a lot of other artists, living and dead. I've always loved impressionism / post-impressionism: Lautrec, Morisot and Monet stand out the most to me. I’ve recently discovered New York-based artist Ali Miller, and I'm really infatuated with her work – her colour palettes are beautiful. Absolutely genius. Then I always get inspired by artists who are my friends. Liisa Chisholm and Lucas Beaufort are always inspiring me with their work, although they're both skaters as well, so does that count as outside of skateboarding?
I'll allow it. Where's your favourite place to skate?
I moved south of the river earlier this year, so I'm going to Deptford skatepark a lot. I'm also quite near Mudchute, which has always been a favourite. There's also a curb in Dalston that I’ve been going to for years. It's barely even a spot, but it's always stayed dear to my heart.
Who inspires you in skateboarding?
Plenty! I know so many amazing artists / skaters who inspire me endlessly. I’m a big fan of Liisa Chisholm – she rips and makes amazing art and is generally a great human and always inspiring. Lucas Beaufort has and always will be a huge inspiration of mine; I've been following his work since I was 17 and I'm still just as big of a fan as back then. He's been hugely supportive of my career, too. In fact, I'll be a part of one of his big projects coming up next year, called "The Art Camp". Very stoked.
My London people who kill it: Georgie Winter, Beth Kerins, Helena Long, Amy Ram, gotta chuck Chroliver in there too. Not so London based: Jenn Soto and Mariah Duran. I mean, them as a pair is just unbeatable. Marisa Dal Santo has always been up there for me. Mike Carroll is also an all time favourite.
How do you find it being a "creative" working and paying to live in London?
There's definitely been a few struggles along the way, but generally it's been a really positive experience. The biggest struggle is obviously finance; it's really expensive to live here, and trying to fully support myself through art can be tough. I've had a few part-time jobs, but it means I can't do everything I want to do for my art career, so I'm really trying to not go back to that. Apart from that, it's been really great. I've had so many people around the way who support me, and I'm forever grateful and hope I can do the same back. I'm renting my studio from the VC Motorbike ladies, who are so great. Shout out to you!