20 questions with Hollis+Lana

Conor Hollis + Amorette Lana answer 20 questions! The artists are starting their mural project at 21st and Pearl Street in Boulder this weekend. Check out their interview and stay tuned for more updates on their project.


Name: Amorette Lana and Conor Hollis

Current Residence: Denver, Colorado

Country/City of Origin:
Amorette: Denver, CO Conor: New Orleans, LA

Describe yourselves and your work:

A: I am here; making life out of art; and love. Living in pursuit through research, testing, process, freedom, and enlightenment toward the elegance and wonder of the question itself. The quest and journey become more present and enjoyable when the exploration, the mistakes, and the open spaces remain. I follow curiosity and organic geometry as far as they will take me. I am fascinated with bio mimicry and biotechnology. I use most things out of context at some point and click on buttons and keys everyday.. Erryday. Philosophy and fiction keep me confused. Music keeps the beat. Movement is to be, as we are together, not approved. Our work is a collaboration that organically came to be as we speak to each other through formal visual language.

C: I'm an art geek. I jump at chances to learn about new processes or materials and hang out with other people who geek out on what they do. Passion or obsession, depending on how you paint it, is what compels me to make our work. I have always been a maker. As a very small child I would collect scraps from construction sites in my neighborhood and build elaborate assemblage sculptures and installations. In a way, I think I still approach making art the same as that small child, discovering and mentally collecting the world around me to assemble something new for me to experience and share. We are nature lovers who spend most of our time together in the studio or studying science, nature, music, architecture and visual art. There is truly a moment when our artwork embodies an act of exploration.

How did you get started?

We each started our lives of making in early childhood leading each of us to discover a love for sculpture which is where our worlds and incidentally our careers melded into one. We started making our individual work together, always assisting each other's work. We entertained each other and grew more inspired by one another's skills and approach to art making. Together we search for the authenticity of a creative moment in its essence and the beauty of sharing those moments together.

What piece of work best represents you and why?

A: The most self-portrait like work for me is actually the most public. It's the central figures in our Seattle block mural. They struck me when I was working on them and I fell connected to their existence. C: pinning down one work as being the most representative of me would be very difficult. The entirety of our body of work is probably the best representation. Our work continues to evolve and develop with every new work, which, I feel is a place I always want to be as an artist.

How does material influence your designs?

C: Texture, weight, color, pliability, etc. determines what I grab when making. The inherent richness or lack thereof of a material can greatly affect the final result of a work. All of these variables are greatly considered throughout my creative process. A: Material declares the physicality of the physicalism.

Where do you go to get inspired?

Natural environments, other areas of study, and museums . We both love technology and the internet. Our peers these days are bold and it's almost too inspiring at times.

What have you learned through making that has surprised you?

It never gets easier, and we don't it's not supposed to. The struggle is infact where the true gems are hidden. The unknowns and the questions we've just thought of, are the paths we choose to explore willingly and fully. The more we know the more we learn there is to know and it's an incredible wormhole to travel!

Describe the setting of where one of your works will be in the year 2050.

Most importantly, in a place where it is thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by those who experience it. Some of our work is intended to have an ephemeral existence leaving only a residue of memories and photos.

What is it like when you collaborate with each other, what is the process?

It's a fucking blast in the studio. The street is unpredictable, as it should be. There's a lot of laughing, dancing, and Pajama wearing in the studio. We like to take full advantage of our living\lovin situation. We are always collaborating in some way. We both live to add to the brain trust and bust ourselves up in the pursuit of art.

How do you balance being an artist and being an entrepreneur?

Dive in, there is no balance! It's what we do all day every day. The hardest thing to balance with being an artist and an entrepreneur is being a human who needs groceries and to clean the house. Sometimes, when you're all in on what you do, the simple everyday things become the hardest to balance.

What is your process for creating new designs?

Create an infrastructure for process, draw, brainstorm and problem solve, correct the drawing, collect materials and supplies, begin, rest, continue, evaluate, problem solve, continue, rest, photographs, review on screen, review budget, continue, finish testing, finish, deliver, install, photos, celebrate, post. Rest. Do it again.

Why do you believe art has value?

C: we wouldn't be human without art. It's a representation of our ability to express emotion outside of our physical being. There are works of art from hundreds of years ago that still convey an emotion the same way it did the day it was completed and long after the creator is gone. That, I believe, has value and significance. A: Art is soul and cultural nutrition a source and action of thought, coexistence, and prosperity.

What is playing on your stereo?

It's a pretty broad musical sampling usually. To mention a few: The National, Future islands, timber timbre, Nappy Roots, Wiz Kalifa, Mos Def, Amy Winehouse, Ottis Redding, Blood Orange and of course our hometown favorites Snake Rattle Rattle Snake and Nathaniel Rateliff.

What’s in your cup in the morning?

A: coffee with cream C: always ice coffee, even in the dead of winter. Both: Bhakti Chai hot or cold

Who inspires you most right now?

C: Marilyn Minter, EtamCru, Herakut, Lee Bontecou, and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

A: Yoshitomo Nara, Takashi Murakami, Lisa Yuskavage, Pussy Riot, Jason Freeny, nature videographers, astronomist, always David Jones. Quintin Gonzalez. Pedro Barrios, always Louise Nevelson, and Louise Bourgeois , even if they didn't get along. Christo and Jean-Claude, Ashley Williams, Deborah McClary, Nathan Ables, Hunt Clark, Ashley Carlisle, Jenny Morgan, Joel Swanson, Thomas Evans

Whats the best thing about your studio/workspace/workshop?

We have a great team at the fabrication shop with insane skills and equipment and our studio is home now and always available. We can work on paintings until we fall asleep and get the opportunity to reflect on the work while living with it. The combination of work and studio life makes for a busy and rewarding lifestyle.

How do you stay motivated to create?

Research, reading, and exposing ourselves to other artists work. Many of our family and friends are also makers and they tend to be very inspirational and supportive.

Whats the best part about being an artist?

C: not having to resign myself to what's readily available. Knowing that the world around me is only limited by my own imagination. A: The responsibility to thought and actions of freedom. There is a belief system in art which values thought above conclusion and conversation over judgement. We both find it highly rewarding and sacred to our beings.