I came across this awesome Birmingham illustrator in an issue of NEO so i decided to send a quick e-mail her way and find out a few things...
What sort of educational background do you have within art and design?
I studied art and design as soon as I left school because I knew I wanted to be involved in the creative industry from an early age. I went to college to do a national diploma in graphic design. But from being unsuccessful of getting into university at Manchester Metropolitan because my portfolio was shit, I studied a foundation degree at my home town to find my muse in illustration, there I built a style I enjoyed working with. And in 2007 I went onto studying a Degree in Visual Communication at the Birmingham Institute Of Art and Design.
I really admire your focus on the figure, have you ever taken life drawing classes?
Yup, even though it bored me to almost death! I found them invaluable. I have been taking life drawing classes regularly from 2004 until last year, and now I find I understand the human figure enough to draw many poses in my own style without reference. Although I do still have trouble drawing different perspectives.
What kind of influences do you have and do they affect your way of working in any form?
I loved Japanese Anime from the day I discovered it. And I always drew and drew it in my spare time, despite the criticism I received for it (my college tutor advised me to bin all the anime drawings I did). I dropped it for my foundation year to focus on drawing more abstract. Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures inspired me in my past work, I still use structural forms in my recent work as well as being inspired by organic forms such as shells and leafs. My other inspirations include Egon Schiele, Marcos Chin and Joao Ruas.
From my perspective, your work seems quite conceptual, how do you initiate your ideas?
Most of my illustrations come from my mind. I picture how I want it to look, and begin drawing thumbnails to revise which composition would work best. My figurative style is built on experiments, what I enjoy and is comfortable doing. I work a lot in traditional, and move it into digital. Filling in Colour and playing around with the composition in Photoshop. I always like my illustrations to have a traditional feel, although its finished digitally.
What kind of mediums do you utilise?
I use traditional media, and then transfer it into Photoshop. I use Copic Markers a lot, and ink. But I find I work more detailed in pencil. Right now I’m experimenting with getting a silkscreen print effect with colour, digitally and combining it with my style.
Thanks again Cherry...