classic style... with attitude!
As I dig deeper into the greats of the last quarter century, in anticipation of the "LetterForms" show, I'm discovering that the old saying "behind every good man is a good woman" to be very true. Actually, I discovered Laura Smith on my own looking for art on the web, only to learn later that she's the wife of master designer Michael Doret. I'll show you some thumbnails her, and you can pop-up the graphics below -- but the real treat is visiting Laura's studio web site.
Laura was raised in a mid-century modern house in Manhattan Beach, California (literally on the beach), where no one but her mother locked their doors. She found inspiration at the age of 5 in her best friend's father's artwork. Not realizing it at the time, nor did she until many years later, but he (Donald Putnam) was a pivotal artist and instructor teaching at the college she would later attend Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. Upon graduation Laura moved to New York City to jump-start her career. After developing her style in New York for 12 years, she returned to California and set up shop in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and known designer of letterforms Michael Doret.
Laura's graphic approach to illustration has been inspired by some of the great poster artists of the first half of the 20th century. Those who have most influenced her have done so because of the simplicity and directness of their work in terms of graphic elements, as well as their ability to communicate an idea quickly and efficiently. Economy in imagery and design have always been the motivating forces behind her art. She also has a great appreciation for the innovative use of typography and it's incorporation into a design. She attempts to integrate type with imagery and occasionally (when budgets allow) will work together with husband Michael.
She has produced illustrations from advertisements to billboards for such companies as HBO, Microsoft, Capitol Records, Japan Airlines, Bols (Liqueur), Heinekin, Time, Newsweek and Business Week. She's done promotions for the NY Knicks 50th Anniversary , advertisements for Mercedes-Benz, billboards for Wrigley's, Budweiser (Japan), and Levi's. She has created posters for The Kentucky Derby, The Walt Disney Company and Disney Cruise Line's Millennium Celebration, for the Norwegian Cruise Line, for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as for the theater "Pal Joey" (Chicago). She was also hired to do postage stamps for the Sesquicentennial Celebrations of both Florida and Texas Statehood for the United States Postal Service. Laura has also gained recognition for the mural she executed for the NBA City/Hard Rock Cafe in Universal Studios, Florida as well as the program covers for The World Series and the American and National League Championships (2000) for Major League Baseball. She was the "Official Poster Artist" for the 2003 Kentucky Derby as well as for Honda's 2005 LA Marathon. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
I hope you enjoy Laura's art as much as we have...
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