Lost Hills is a Kirkdale-born self-made artist who works in murals, paste-up art and contemporary paintings around the UK & Europe.
Having always been into art as a child, Lost Hills drew and painted, but was told “don’t bother going into art, you’re never going to make money.” For some reason, he listened and just gave up, despite having been due to go to art college. Instead, he got a job and “went down the route of what you do.” The one person who used to encourage him was the mother of a friend who would always say he had a gift.
Lost Hills wanted to get into art at some point but didn’t know how having not been formally trained. He didn’t want to join a painting group full of older people as he didn’t feel that he’d fit in.
Instead, Instagram and street art were a route in. In circa 2016, one of his friends started talking about street art and social media in “one of those conversations at a party at 2 am in the kitchen”. “He said ‘you can do this’ so I had a go myself, playing around making small stickers. Once I started drawing, it was as if something clicked. Maybe I was playing catch up, maybe I should have been doing this for years. Maybe you can only hold it back for so long and it all started to come out of me.”
“At first I didn’t know what to draw, I was doing famous people like David Bowie and musicians. Then my son asked me to do Jake the Dog.” (a cartoon character from Adventure Time). I went to a street art festival, cut them out and sprayed them different colours and they were getting shared more than serious pieces of art, with known street artists like D7606 encouraging me. If there was no such thing as Instagram then I wouldn’t have had that feedback. Social media somehow gives you a platform, a stage.”
From that point Lost Hills just kept going, moving from small stickers to spray-painted works with stencils and posca pens and then to bigger murals. He began to travel, putting his work around the UK and London gallery, BSMT got in touch to represent him after seeing his work on Brick Lane. He has also exhibited his work at Upfest, the biggest street art festival in Europe and has sold to private buyers.
Lost Hills has recently moved into oil painting miniatures, evolving his journey through self-education. “I was working too neat and detailed and it was taking me too long to produce work alongside being self-employed. As a practical solution, things needed to change. I researched the impressionists and honed in on Van Gogh and the others who painted quickly which gave their paintings a fresh energy. Once I started to do it, I really enjoyed it.”
Lost Hills now aims to build a portfolio, get into galleries and see where that’s going to take him.