EXCLUSIVE: Artist Laylah Ali and graphic designer Nicole Parente work together in the designer’s home office in Cambridge, MA. The artist’s hand-drawn notes are transformed into precise digital illustrations otherwise impossible without a computer.
Laylah Ali creates gouache-on-paper paintings that take her many months to complete. Ali meticulously plots out in advance every aspect of her work, from subject matter to choice of color, achieving a high level of emotional tension in her paintings as a result of juxtaposing brightly colored scenes with dark, often violent subject matter. In style, her paintings resemble comic-book serials, but they also contain stylistic references to hieroglyphics and American folk-art traditions.