Neighborhood: Windsor Terrace
Most Likely to: Surprise you
Favorite Quote: “Girls just wanna have fun.”
Lola Glass has a lot on her plate. She’s spray painted murals in Coney Island, at the Bushwick Collective, and at Art Basel in Miami. She’s also currently collaborating with Unfamous and Brooklyn Cloth to design t-shirts. Oh, and she’s nine. This accomplished pre-teen would rather be recognized for her work than her age—and rightfully so. Lola’s murals are seriously impressive, bringing whimsical, doodle-like figures to the walls of Brooklyn and beyond. With her talent, focus and ambition, and a passionate group of supporters, it’s only a matter of time before Lola is a household name.
What is your earliest memory associated with what you do now?
I remember when Joe Ficalora yelled at me for writing on Beau Stanton’s wall. I was six, and I was wearing my white dress. I had just gotten a spray marker, so I was looking for a wall to draw on. We went to the Bushwick Collective, and I saw all these gigantic murals. It made me really want to try it too.
When did your occupation become real to you?
The first time I painted at the Bushwick Collective’s block party and got my own wall. It was huge, and I was excited and scared because I had never spray painted my own wall before. Joe (Ficalora) was there, and I love Joe, so I was okay. My mom was holding the ladder for me, and I started spraying my elephant. I just remember loving it so much. It’s the best feeling to see your sketch so big on a wall and share it with everyone walking by.
How does Brooklyn/your neighborhood particularly inform your work?
Well, I live in Brooklyn, so it’s a part of me. But I guess it’s more about how it makes me feel. When I paint walls I have the same feeling as when I spend the day in Coney Island.
What do you feel is most challenging about being where you are now?
I get frustrated when people just want me to talk about my age and how it feels to be a kid doing spray paint. I don’t want everyone to say I’m cute. I work hard on my art, and I sketch a lot, and I listen to other artists. I don’t always paint the same things, and even if I know the sketch is going to be hard to do on the wall, I still do it anyway.
When I paint murals it takes a long time and it’s challenging. I have to be patient with myself. That’s what I like about the Bushwick Collective — they don’t treat me like a kid there.
What’s most rewarding?
Definitely seeing the wall finished. But I also love when artists I look up to tell me I’m improving.
5 spots in Brooklyn people should know about?
- The Bushwick Collective because it’s beautiful and always changing.
- Lola Star in Coney Island (a clothes store on the boardwalk). I love everything she does.
- The Coney Island Museum (next to the sideshows). There is so much weird art in there.
- The Coney Island History Project. You can see pictures of Deno’s family (The Wonder Wheel’s owners) and a real Cyclops.
- The Bandshell (in Prospect Park). It’s perfect for skateboarding. And in the summer they have shows.
What’s your most significant accomplishment to date?
My latest wall in front of the Wonder Wheel. It’s my biggest wall, and it was just a really difficult sketch to paint. Also, painting in Miami (at the RC Cola Factory for Basel House during Art Basel). That was really special. And the project I am working on for Unfamous and Brooklyn Cloth. I got to design t-shirts for them. I am super proud of it. Well, that’s more than one. Do I have to choose? I don’t know if I can.
Who/what inspires you?
I love Jerkface. He’s inspired by cartoon characters, and he thinks a little crazy sometimes. He always gives me helpful tips. Dasic Fernandez, Sipros, Franck Duval, and Chor Boogie are amazing. And I love Lauren YS, Danielle Mastrion, and London Kaye. London uses yarn and you can touch it. It’s soft and colorful. They are inspiring. I want to be just like them. Outside of street art, Hayao Miyazaki is probably my biggest influence.
Thinking about the future, where do you see yourself in the next 30 years?
Not in school.
What’s next you?
The only one I can talk about at this point is the collaboration with Unfamous and Brooklyn Cloth. Release date is yet unknown. But promo should start this month.