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Emily Foster

Emily is an illustrator, maker and content creator based in Norwich, UK. Her work focuses on queer joy, intersectional diversity and positivity. The aim of her work is to create environments where everyone can recognise themselves through increasing representation and inclusivity.

What is your favourite card you’ve designed for Sunshine Llama and why?

I love them all but I think inching ahead slightly is the YOU ARE A MAGICAL FUCKING HUMAN design because i have lots of supportive women in my life that I’d love to send this card to. I think it’s lovely to tell your friends how amazing they are and this is an awesome way to do that.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your design process? What do you enjoy most?

I start with very sketchy thumbnail pencil sketches on paper where I splurge all my initial ideas, very roughly. I then move my favourite idea onto Procreate on my ipad, finalise the layout and block in the colour. Then it’s my favourite part: adding the details, the texture and making the hand lettering. I love lettering and making it fit exactly within the illustration.

How did you get into illustration/design?

Whilst I decided not study art/design at University, I’ve always been creative; I’ve kept sketch books, always made greetings cards for friends and family and taken tons of photographs. Now I’ve made my way back to illustration via 2 years of teaching English in Japan, quite a few years working in the homelessness sector, having 2 kids and a cat called Peggy. I’m now building up my portfolio, working on lots of varied projects and I am thankful everyday I get to draw as my job.

Where do you find inspiration?

My kid’s drawings. My funny friends. Politics. Telly. My cat. The garden. And mid century modern design. Any where and every where really!

Who is your favourite designer/artist/creative person?

I love Charlotte Ager’s illustration. She talks of the way her work can communicate: “the difficult and challenging whilst having having enormous capacity of joy and silliness”, this really strikes a chord with me and what I attempt to convey within my illustration.

Do you have any top tips for aspiring designers?

Keep going! Work hard, get feedback, don’t get disheartened when you get a ‘no’. Keep making work because you’ll get better. Also, make friends with people who draw/design on Instagram and then, if you can, meet them in real life! I’m a people person so I find working on my own a bit lonesome but meeting and sharing stories with other designers really helps.

What’s been the best part about working with Sunshine Llama? What have you enjoyed most?

I’ve loved the collaborative process of working with Sunshine Llama. It’s been great to work closely with the team throughout, going back and forth playing ‘tennis’ with the collaborative process. It’s been ace! (bad intentional pun) I asked SL to suggest a colour palette and they gave me some juicy colours to play with and I loved working with these for my 4 designs.

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

My other work is in voiceover so if I’m not drawing you can sometimes find me in a recording studio… at the moment you might hear my voice in the ad breaks on daytime TV trying to sell you a well known vacuum cleaner!

What’s your favourite film? Why?

I’m a big fan of La La Land. My partner is from Long Beach near LA so we’ve spent a lot of special time there over the years. The film takes me to California on drizzly, wintry days at home…and I’m a sucker for a love story. And a song and a dance. And the sunshine.

What’s your star sign?


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