What is your favourite card you’ve designed for Sunshine Llama and why?
With all of the designs, it was intriguing to interpret a classic book in a fresh and playful style. I particularly enjoyed the illustrative process of the Little Women cover. With 4 characters to draw, it was fun to find ways to explore the uniqueness of each character through their outfit choices and details such as earrings, hats and exaggerated coats.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your design process? What do you enjoy most?
I usually begin with a rough sketch of the composition and then experiment with the proportion of elements by selecting individual elements, enlarging them or scaling them down. I often make the character’s head smaller compared to the body and sometimes the character itself will be interacting with a larger scale environment, creating an unusual perspective. I find this abstract approach exciting and feel it can convey the delicacy of certain subjects well.
My favorite part of the process is blocking in the colours and adding in textural elements, I often have to remind myself to not quickly brush past the previous steps to get to this bit! Emulating hand-drawn marks and textures breathes life into my work, I feel it looks too clean or mechanical before I add these in. Since developing more of a style, I’m no longer interested in creating a ‘perfect’ or photo realistic depiction of a scene but rather capture its likeness in more nuanced ways
How did you get into illustration/design?
At university I studied Creative Media which was quite broad and allowed me to experiment with various mediums including photography, film, design and animation. I’ve always created illustrations on the side and kept a portfolio of them on instagram. I can’t pinpoint the moment I got into illustration as I started drawing from an early age of around 9 but only in recent years have developed and found more of a voice as an artist. When exploring fine art in sixth form and prior to this, I was mostly focused on capturing a realistic depiction of a subject. I no longer find this approach very liberating but I think it is important to learn as a basis to expand and deviate from. I always come back to illustration as it’s cathartic for me and I love the endless possibilities in conveying ideas.
Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration can often come from obscure and unexpected places, ranging from the packaging of a product in a supermarket to a new word I’ve learnt. I usually take a photo of these inspirational moments when they occur.
A lot of inspiration also comes from traveling and immersing myself in different environments / cultures. Including learning new skills.
Who is your favorite artist?
In a traditional sense, I’ve always been very drawn to Edward Hopper’s cinematic compositions and depictions of lighting. It’s almost as if you’ve clicked ‘pause’ on a film and there’s an anticipation for movement to occur.
There’s so many incredible artists I follow on instagram such as Holly Stapleton and Cecilia Reeve who’s work bring me so much joy to look at.
Do you have any top tips for aspiring designers?
When you’re starting out, don’t be afraid to experiment and explore different mediums! I’ve felt a bit of pressure since graduating to hone in on a particular style and stick to it which has been overwhelming and has led to big bursts of self doubt at times. I think it’s important to let your curiosity wander to the different creative avenues and find what approaches bring you the most joy and convey your voice.
What’s been the best part about working with Sunshine Llama? What have you enjoyed most?
Working with the team at Sunshine Llama has been seamless. They have given me useful feedback along the way whilst still allowing me to use my illustrative voice and approach to the concepts. It has been a joy to work with such an enthusiastic and attentive team, who encourage the uniqueness of different artists in their designs.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
When roaming around places like supermarkets and bookshops, I often spend a lot of time analyzing the fonts on the packaging / covers to see if I can identify which ones they are! It’s almost like a little game
Anyone who knows me would probably tell you my favorite film is “About Time”, it has become a bit of a ritual to watch it a few times a year and I could probably recite most of the dialogue to you. Recently I watched Aftersun and I think that has taken the place of a new favorite. I think it’s beautifully paced, shot and I love how the scenes linger. It feels very raw and intimate, capturing the relationship between the characters so effortlessly.