Lo Harris: Imperfection is Perfection
By Alixandra Rutnik on Jan 11, 2024
One Club Member and artist shares her love for giving back to the community
Drinking more lemon water may or may not be a part of your New Year’s resolutions, one thing that definitely should be is becoming a member of The One Club for Creativity. We are looking forward to welcoming many new incredible members into our community this year, and we don’t want you to miss out on all the amazing things we have planned for you!
With the help of Brooklyn-based photographer and One Club Member Suzanne Saroff, we’ve been highlighting the inspiring stories of our members through a series of stunning portraits. And it's now time for the fifth one in our series!
New York-based artist Lo Harris is the personification of positivity and happiness in both her lifestyle and work. She is Design Manager at the Innocence Project, and is currently illustrating her third children’s book, set to be published later this year. Lo served on the ADC101st Annual Awards Illustration Jury, and was named a finalist in last year's COLORFUL competition, proving herself to be the superstar she so clearly is!
We caught up with Lo about her bright and brilliant career as an artist and her journey with the The One Club for Creativity.
How did you decide to make design and illustration your full time job?
I’ve always loved having art in my life. In high school, I wanted to be a better artist, so I used the internet to improve my skills. My first experience with digital art was with Microsoft Paint. Then I went to journalism school and stopped creating, but I’m super happy I followed my intuition and reconnected with art in 2021 because that led me to become a full-time illustrator today.
You have illustrated a couple of children’s books with another on the way. What’s the new book about?
Picture Imperfect is being published by Random House in 2024, and it’s about a carefree little Black girl just being a happy kid. Little Black girls aren’t allowed to be messy or be just kids– Black kids are often adultified, especially Black girls, so I wanted to create a book where a little Black girl is allowed to have dirt on her dress because she played kickball. And a stained t-shirt because she loves apple juice and spilled juice on herself. And then not be torn apart for the way she looks. I’m super passionate about this book right now.
“Black kids are often adultified, especially Black girls, so I wanted to create a book where a little Black girl is allowed to have dirt on her dress because she played kickball. ”
Talk to us a bit about your job as the Design Manager at the Innocence Project. How did you get involved in this work?
Justice is an important cause to me, just as it is for people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and organizations such as The Center for Anti-Racist Research, so this position at The Innocence Project was a natural fit. Their mission to promote equity and criminal justice reform really resonated with me.
When I started this job, it was a big shift for me from working independently to working for a company, but the freedom and trust of the organization have made me feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be their first full-time designer.
How would you describe your first engagement with The One Club creative community and its role in shaping your career?
I first found The One Club on Instagram through Young Guns. Then I met The One Club's Global Head of DEI, Adrienne Lucas, at an event and learned more about the club through her diversity work. Adrienne asked me to be a judge for the ADC Annual Awards and I was really impressed by the quality of work and creativity. From there, my involvement just snowballed. During last year's Creative Week, The One Club's Membership Director Adam Izen invited me to appear on the live broadcast of their Morning Buzz video series.
The One Club is doing so many great initiatives and providing excellent mentorship opportunities. The One Club is really changing the landscape and connecting the dots for online creatives. Instagram makes it so easy for people to interact online, but The One Club does an amazing job of taking that talent offline to create an authentic physical space for creatives to thrive. Go One Club!
“The One Club is really changing the landscape and connecting the dots for online creatives.”
Connect. Learn. Elevate. Give Back. Which one of these membership themes resonates with you the most?
Elevate and Give Back resonate with me the most, because they fit with my personal goals as an artist. I want to be an elder in the creative community, not an old head. Elders give back. I see the talent in young people, and don’t feel threatened by them or feel they should have to suffer in the ways I had to suffer. That type of giving back is super important because there’s more than enough creativity for everyone. In fact, the more creativity there is, and the more people who practice art, the better my art is going to get, the more challenges I’m going to pursue, and the more stories are going to be told.
“The more creativity there is, and the more people who practice art, the better my art is going to get, the more challenges I’m going to pursue, and the more stories are going to be told.”
How do you want the creative community to see you (apart from being a talented artist)?
I hope people think I’m a good person. The way social media has impacted the art scene, with the constant selling of something and hyper-consumerism, I think it’s easy for artists to feel like they have to show up as monetarily successful people or present themselves a certain way in order to be taken seriously. Earlier in my career I could see I was trying to exude that, so when I’m presenting myself going forward or sharing my work with my creative community, I want it to feel accessible– that my work comes from a place of love and human connection, and not necessarily clout, aesthetics, or reputation.
Lo is a shining star -- in her career and in the community. She is passionate about using her skills for good in the world and for the industry. Even at her young age, Lo is an inspiring mentor, judge and role model. This is what The One Club for Creativity is all about - it's about the best creative work making a positive impact in the world. It's about a community that thrives on challenging one another while also helping everyone get a leg up. It's about taking the stage and shining your light and showing others that there's space for them here, too. If that sounds like a group you'd like to be part of; we can't wait to meet you.