Lola + Bek is an award winning duo of illustrators and designers based in New York. They both are Co-owners of the graphic studio: LOLABEK.COM
Who they are:
Lola Kamalova was born in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, the center of the Silk Road and ancient mystics. She graduated at Tashkent Institute of Art and Cinematography and met her future husband, Bek Shakirov before graduation.
Bek Shakirov earned his fine art Master degree from Moscow State Academy of Arts. Right after the Soviet Union collapsed they moved to New York City.
How they Started:
Living in New York City gave them access to many big fashion companies, just by knocking their door and showing their portfolio. From 1993 their clients already included Ralph Lauren Scarves, RL Home and Bedding, Tiffany tableware, etc. Their major scarves involvement came after working for the Wanthne Company, a very upscale boutique on 57th Street .They sold their first design to Saks Fifth Avenue stores.
With their academic/classical fine art background, they didn't struggle much to find those jobs, they think they were lucky, but I say their talent is outstanding.
Right after that, they started commissioning them for the entire annual seasonal collections for many years to come. At the time everything was painted by hand, also by handmade silk screen printing in Japan. Other clients include Echo Scarves as well. It was a very successful and long lasting collaboration as well.
By studying computer arts in NYU, they switched to the publishing and advertising industry.
Also got interested in 3D modeling and created their first 3D animation titled "Bibi" (RT: 7 min)
Bibi short has screened more than 46 Film Festivals worldwide on the big screen.
How they work:
With freelancing independence, challenging themselves in different creative fields.
From sketch to the final rendering, they work as a team Lola+ Bek, and never get bored or tired, always motivated and excited. Bek is very good for searching for something new and style visualization and Lola is interested in concepts and putting them together.
They always switch back and forth and fill out each other's design work without a problem. After working so many years together as a team they have become more than a married couple, a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
I find this so beautiful.
How did they live the COVID time:
Their sense of gratitude, made that even Dark Covid 19 shutdown time turned out to be something very peaceful. Suddenly all the madness stopped and they started to hear birds in the early morning. And it was a great opportunity to turn inward and to start creating their own designs.
I asked them to explain how they lived meeting me and G&Silk in their own words, this was their adorable answer:
“As Lola + Bek studio we launched our Instagram account this summer. Frankly we are not much of a social media gigs and Gloria was the first person who opened the door for us. She followed us without any hesitation and even wrote us a very warm letter! We were so excited like two little kids. Both of us were sitting in the dental office when we got her letter and suddenly my tooth pain was gone : ) We felt like no more two little orphans in social media : ) Frankly we unconsciously started to follow her artists that she picks like a gem with her classical European taste. Also liked how she unconditionally promotes different artists with different cultural backgrounds. Basically she becomes a "discovery channel" for us. Her scarves presentations intrigued us to see our products in 3D look and we went further by challenging our scarves designs and putting them in scarves mockups. This is how we got involved with G&Silk brand. Basically Gloria's humble personality and storytelling gift turned out to be our Blessing! And we are truly grateful for that!”
And this is how I tell my side of the story:
Last June I saw their new account on Instagram, at the time they had 3 followers, including me hehe.
I noticed them right away.
2 months later, I saw they were creating patterns and they were applied to scarves. Funny thing, they were using the same mockups I was collaborating to create, so in fact, the scarves were exactly like G&Silk scarves.
So, proactive as I am, I told them that their clean strokes, themes, colors and compositions were exactly the vibe of the brand.
They are so humble that from minute one they made things very easy.
When connections like this one happen, is like it all fits into place.
I believe there was an aligment of some kind, and now when I see that their lovely designs are presented as “ Licensed by G&SILK” I feel such an amazing joy.
Collaborating with a Studio that is capable to adapt to every client request, with no ego, is a blessing.
I think my mentality is a little New Yorker when it comes to have things done.
That, or my brain works like when you are in love…and I am in love with these designs.
Welcome to G&Silk Lola and Bek, thank you for your kindness, enthusiasm, gratitude, energy and great designs!.