My name is Lora Zombie, and I am an artist. I never went to school for art, but I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. I started off drawing our family pets when I was 5 or 6 years old.
I grew up in Russia watching a lot of American television; Star Wars, Batman, Looney Tunes. I became very interested in comics and comic book art. When I was 15 I learned about the virtual British band The Gorillaz, and for the first time I had a dream; to go to London and work for the Zombie Flesh Eaters which was the creative studio behind The Gorillaz. It was because of this I started to sign my work as Lora Zombie.
I managed to find a client in England to do some illustration work for and finally had the opportunity to visit London. I was only 16 years old, quite naive about the right and wrong ways to do things. I looked up the address for the Zombie Flesh Eaters studio and rang the doorbell with my portfolio in hand, a lady opened the door, looked at me and unsure of what to make of me, promptly closed it again. I learned an important lesson at the time about the discrepancy between the desired and the actual, and the need to have a flexible mind that is ready for introspection and change.
I returned home to Russia and kept painting, starting to produce my own ideas instead of just practicing drawing Gorillaz characters. I first posted my work online around 2009 to some Banksy internet art forums. People started to respond to it, so I kept creating more and posting more. I started posting on social websites like Tumblr, DeviantArt and Facebook which gave me the opportunity to start to build an audience. I would produce and post new images almost every day, sometimes several in a day.
With my art becoming more popular online, a few comments and likes turned into hundreds which turned into thousands. Requests to buy prints and be shown in galleries started growing as well. In early 2010 I was contacted by Tom Rowlandson who was starting an art company called Eyes On Walls, we started working together to offer prints through their website and retail partners. From there, sales of my work started to grow along with the comments and followers of my work.
Encouraged by the initial selection of prints being well received, we kept building on it, offering more prints, art books, original paintings, hand finished series of prints, special screen prints. We produced 3 solo art shows in Toronto (Canada), SoHo (New York) and Brooklyn (New York). While many galleries and print collectors would encourage me to keep my work expensive, rare, and difficult to get, I was always well synced with Eyes On Walls to maintain my work as something that is available and accessible to anyone. I wanted everyone, even my youngest fans to be able to access my work.
In 2014 Tom and I started to discuss the idea of creating an apparel design studio centered around my work and my personal style. The main focus would be wearable things, but we really imagined a creative and collaborative platform for fun and colorful things that people could wear and have in their lives to make them feel inspired.
We named the new idea HEROTIME and in late 2014 we launched the concept as a Kickstarter project. With a few initial product designs we had a huge response from over 600 supporters, sending our first creations to more than 30 countries around the world.