The Picture Show - Show and Tell!
We decided to put together a Q&A for our artists, so that you can find out a bit more about them and their work.
First to be grilled is Emily!
What do you want your work to convey?
Something quite fun, playful but considered. I aim to make work that is commercial and marketable. One of the reasons I studied Illustration rather than Fine Art is because I wanted to create things that had a broad appeal and were more accessible than for example a conceptual piece in a gallery. In the initial stages it is too inhibiting to think about someone else judging your work, but when refining a piece, I definitely have the audience in mind.
Which style do you like that you don’t ‘do’ yourself?
I love the tactile nature of printmaking, but it’s something I don’t work with partly due to lack of equipment and space. I like the aesthetics of the inevitable small imperfections, and find multi coloured linocuts and woodblock prints really impressive because they’re so labour intensive. It’s a nice mixture of precision and chaos.
Where do you go for inspiration? (You can be as broad with your answer as you like!)
I think that to keep being creative, you have to keep feeding your senses new information, and avoid numbing the mind with routine. I like to visit new places, even if it’s just a cafe at the end of my road that I’ve never been to before. - If the new place happens to give me a nice lunch this is a bonus. Once I have some initial ideas, I like to have a big brainstorm in the library. The recently built CLR James library in Dalston has a children’s library, which is a great resource for picture books.
Which cartoon character do you most identify with?
When I was younger I really wanted to be like Mowgli from The Jungle Book, but I’m probably more akin to Garfield.
Where would you like to visit?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many far afield places, but there are still lots I’d like to visit. I’ve heard Iceland is very beautiful. I ‘d like to go to Uganda and hang out with the gorillas.
What do you do to break through a creative block?
I find that good old- fashioned sleep deprivation works for me. The state of semi-delirium is conducive to some ridiculous thoughts, which when edited by a more alert mind the next day, can be quite productive. It’s also amusing how an idea that seemed brilliant the night before, turns out to be complete b******s.
Name one outrageous ambition you would like to achieve before you pop your clogs.
It’s not wildly outrageous but I’d love to do a long distance cycle trip some day, along the lines of Dervla Murphy’s journey to India.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an illustrator?
I’d probably be a bit of a wheeler dealer. I’d like to run my own small business buying and selling second hand goods. The appeal of working for yourself is that you retain autonomy, which stops you from going mad. I hate the idea of working for a huge company, or any place where I have to wear smart shoes.
Which era would you like to have been an artist in and why?
The late 1800s would have been a very exciting time to be an artist, with lots of new movements emerging. I would’ve liked to travel the world painting botanical illustrations like Marianne North did in the 1870s.
Who do you admire? (could be anyone, not just an artist)
Hope you enjoyed the answers! More Q&A soon!