1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
I grew up pretty much as far into the middle of nowhere as possible in Devon, England so spent a lot of time around animals and nature, imagining, thinking and generally digging around in mud. I am an only child and was obsessed with building even then. I used to build houses and even theme parks in my garden from various detritus and I thought creatures (fairies? Not sure) would come and play in them at night, I also loved to build houses for insects which I’m sure were not appreciated by the tenants. I loved art and drawing all the way through school although when I was 14 my teacher suggested I try being an illustrator and my response was, “ew no.” I thought illustrating meant only being allowed to draw exactly what other people told you, down to the finest details, how wrong I was! It was only later, when I actually learned what illustrators did, that I was instantly intrigued. I’m now about to graduate from university where I’ve been studying illustration for three years!
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I model my pieces entirely from paper and paint so I like my images to seem like windows into little worlds, where something might move at any second. My images are sometimes quite traditional aesthetically and sometimes more modern – I’d say that recently my work is definitely edging more toward cleaner, sleeker imagery but I’d like to retain the classic delicacy and detail even in those bolder images.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I feel like I’m obligated to say paper, as that’s what I make everything from! But I think its actually gouache. I paint everything with gouache now after discovering it in my first year at university. Sometimes I use it like watercolour and other times opaque. Watered down it creates beautiful shapes as it spreads and opaque, well there are few things more satisfying than laying down a perfect, smooth layer of gouache!
4. What is your artistic process like?
Initial visuals always pop up for me very quickly and I go through a stage of haphazard excitement where my mind races through all the stuff I could do! It keeps me awake at night quite a lot. Although I’m a very visual thinker I can only do initial planning in words as the images change too quickly to draw each stage but when I’ve filtered through them I will draw thumbnails and think more logically about what works for that particular piece, be it thematically or aesthetically. Once I have an image I plan my colours (although often they come relatively naturally alongside the image). I then have to work out how I will make the objects in the piece. This involves a lot of scraps of paper that I bend into shapes to try and simulate the object and I usually create a sort of “visual equation” which allows me to make the final items. Then it’s painting, building and photographing. I pretty much always do some editing in photoshop, just to try and make the image balance as best as I can.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Like my work, I think my inspirations are split into classic and contemporary. I love a lot of classic art, especially Pre-Raphaelite (Waterhouse is one of my favourites) but I also admire countless contemporary illustrators with styles varying from simplistic to intricate. I love books a lot, and have always been drawn to the classics and fascinated by mythology since I was a child but I also read a lot of modern novels and short stories. Beautiful animation and video games are also a huge inspiration. I think ultimately all my inspirations are linked to world building and emotion. I can’t really fall in love with something unless it makes me feel something palpably. I’m also obsessed with the macabre and the weird but also the pretty and frankly, mundane! There is intrigue to every aspect of life and I want to learn about them all!
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I’m a very “head in the clouds” type of person, I often see things day to day that make me stop and appreciate the moment, often those moments will feed into an idea for a piece of work at some point. I also approach everything visually, my clothes, living space, cake decorating! Ultimately I think I see the world through a creative lens, which is probably quite naive at times, but they do say ignorance is bliss.
7. Where did you study?
I am about to graduate from Falmouth University in Cornwall, England.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?
I try not to plan ahead too much these days. I used to be obsessed with knowing exactly what my plan was and how I would get there but ultimately it made me miserable. I think life is much more fun when I see where it organically takes me and hopefully that will lead to things I enjoy and maybe things I didn’t even know I wanted!
9. What about in ten?
See above! But just so I’m not evading the question completely, I definitely want to still be creating in ten years. Hopefully I will have learnt a lot and progressed ability-wise. It would be incredible to be able to combine my artwork with my own writing one day and I’d also love the opportunity to work in animation or games at some point but above all I’ll be happy as long as I can keeping making my small worlds and characters for as long as I can, hopefully in new and exciting ways.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Above all I want people to feel something emotionally when they look at my work. Some pieces are much more emotionally charged than others, some are more humdrum and slice-of-life-esque but I think both of those states can trigger an emotional response even if its very small or nuanced. I also want to promote a sense of intrigue, which I try to do through the method but also through visual cues in the piece. It would be nice if people felt they wanted to find out more about the world I’ve established a small window into.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Ummm… that might be the hardest question so far. I have an incredibly sweet tooth and love cake, but I also love greens – spinach is incredible. I feel like this whole thing so far is just me revealing I have two separate identities in everything I do.
12. Favourite book?
Argh I can’t answer favourites questions!! ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’ are the first two that spring to mind so I’m just going to stop myself there, However I have to mention ‘Harry Potter’, because it shaped my formative years so intensely.
13. Favourite genre of music?
I don’t think I have a favourite genre (surprise surprise)… I guess my favourite “genre” would be music where the artist is experimenting and being introspective. My parents taste must have informed what I like, me and my dad used to listen to ‘The Residents’ in his car, which has got to affect a child somehow! Right this second I’m listening to ‘Tame Impala’ – ‘Why Wont They Talk To Me’.
14. What are your hobbies?
Drawing and building is an obvious one, I also love baking (as an extension, I’m obsessed with watching videos of people icing cakes!), looking at other artists’ work, sewing, reading / listening to books, Playing video games, spending any time I can with animals and walking in pretty or interesting places.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I think probably a writer. Whatever I do definitely has to be creative and I think I need to be able to invent worlds in some way, I’ve always done that and can’t imagine not having it as a part of my life.