1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
I’m Zoë, and have been alive for 22 years. I was born in Devon and have lived in Brighton for three years now. I grew up in a madhouse with too many animals, and my parents are both very creative. I like drawing a lot and also doing things that aren’t drawing.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
Eye-catching colours – bright blues, purples and pinks and greens – but generally not more than two or three per piece. My work is mostly digital with lots of texture and detail, with isometric and geometric shapes and patterns…and definitely lots of biological/scientific elements. I have a tendency towards quite abstract imagery but still with ‘real-life’ elements. It’s often about places and things rather than people.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Digital! I used to be very much a traditional type of artist…lots of sketch booking and painting…endless sheets of paper, collage etc. But then I got Photoshop, a drawing tablet and gradually found that this suits my hand and my brain much better…I still love to draw in my sketchbook, especially when watching TV, but mostly for quick ideas and sketches rather than bigger ideas and illustrations.
4. What is your artistic process like?
Thinking… lots of thinking and not much doing… and then a lot of doing. I am very quick from start to finish with a piece – my brain works pretty fast so working digitally really suits me. I used to get stressed about sketchbooks and got stuck into a certain way of thinking that they teach you in school – that sketchbooks are supposed to look really beautiful and well presented, but now I use sketchbooks and have accepted the fact that they will most often look super rubbish. I often have a really strong idea and draw a tiny thumbnail in my sketchbook and then just go for it on Photoshop. For most of my illustrations, I don’t do a lot of planning, I just draw and see what happens.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
So many things! Escher, retro Sci-fi illustration, definitely anything related to science, technology, the future…I’m really into physics and space (broad I know), so there are often space-like elements in my work, but recently I have been more interested in the biological sciences – plants, cells etc. Also, anything to do with technology, computers, diagrams. I also love listening to podcasts while I work – anything with big ideas that keep me inspired! I love The Infinite Monkey Cage and also The Habitat.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I try not to look too deep into things…usually, I am a very deep thinker and often I would be questioning why I am drawing when there are many way more important things I could be doing…however I have accepted that I’m probably not going to change the world with what I do, so for the moment, it is just something I really enjoy and keeps me happy and my brain working hard.
7. Where did you study?
I have recently graduated from illustration at Brighton University.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Ideally, I would like to be doing what I am at the moment which is splitting my time between a more sociable job – being on my feet and working insanely hard as a support worker – and staying at home drawing and being a recluse. Maybe living somewhere else like The Netherlands or somewhere in Canada, and also to have done something a bit cool like taking part in an important scientific research study or something.
9. What about in ten?
Ideally, I would like to still be alive. And I want a completely different job…maybe retrain to become either a paramedic or a firefighter. It’s important to me to have something really practical and different to do other than just art. And obviously, I will still be drawing.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Not a lot, I have very low expectations for myself. But seriously, I would really love to do editorial illustrations for science magazines – that would be my ideal. And maybe get to work on a longer animation for a music video. And I think my work would really suit a platform computer game…although I hate playing computer games.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Kind of boring but any type of vegetable or beans…or anything with potato. And hummus.
12. Favourite book?
I have so many. I recently finished the 1Q84 series by Haruki Murakami…it has such a strange and interesting atmosphere and is also completely mad and unlike anything else I’ve read. Also Nod by Adrian Barnes, and Wool by Hugh Howey – I’ve read that so many times.
13. Favourite genre of music?
I would have to say classical…and a bit of anything else that my ears seem to like.
14. What are your hobbies?
Well…drawing. But aside from those normal things, I guess. I really like reading, walking and also maths/puzzle type things – I love Sudoku, Rubik’s cube type puzzles, chess. I also play quite a few musical instruments. But I also just enjoy lying down and completely zoning out…I’m either extremely focused or super daydreamy.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Currently, I spend most of my time working as a support worker… so that is something I want to keep doing. In the future maybe a paramedic or firefighter. But completely unrealistically… I would love to be a theoretical physicist or maybe one of those scientists who search for new bacteria in remote parts of Iceland – something important.