When did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?
I think I knew I wanted to do something creative from a very early age, but the idea of illustration becoming a career was probably not until I did an art foundation course. What I love so much about the way I work is that it often overlaps into other creative disciplines, such as graphic design and window display. I’m always kept on my toes.
Where do the ideas for your illustrations come from?
I do love the internet, and record a lot of my curious finds on a dedicated blog, museandmaker.com; but I do try to get away from my screen when I can, as so much of my process takes place at the computer. A lot of my inspirations end up being from vintage finds: old books found at a flea market or 1960s paperback covers … I think I may have been born into the wrong era!
Which materials do you prefer to work with and why?
I always sketch out a rough layout and ideas prior to getting on the computer, but it’s often on scraps of paper with a ball-point pen – nothing too special. The sketching process is less about mark making for me and more about ideas.
What attracted you to where you live? Do you think your location has influenced your style?
I live in east London, and I do think it has helped me to be in such a creatively vibrant area. Not a week goes by without a private view, so it’s always nice to see what other illustrators and designers are up to – there is a lovely sense of community and friendship in the world of illustration.
You illustrated the cover for SHOP Düsseldorf autumn/winter 2013/14; do you know Düsseldorf well? Do you have any great memories of travelling there?
I’m afraid I have never been. Researching the city and its iconic buildings has encouraged me to look into a trip though. I’m keen to travel a little more this year if possible.
Where did you start when designing the cover for SHOP Düsseldorf?
A lot of my designs play with scale and the unexpected, so it was nice to create a cityscape with objects as big as the buildings. This was where the process started. I usually always plan out my colour palette first, too; I prefer to work with a limited one of about four colours.
Did it turn out the way you expected?
I had quite a clear vision from the beginning, so was pleased it took shape how I expected it to. The longer I work in illustration, the clearer the end goal is at the start. I’m almost trying to re-visit the way I used to work, which was more process led and often resulted in happy accidents. That said, it’s good when working to commission to have a clear idea and stick to it, especially for the client, so perhaps I’ll save the experimentation for personal work.
What should SHOP readers not miss when they visit your home town? What are your favourite places to shop in the city?
I would recommend coming east and visiting some of the independent boutiques and restaurants. The Goodhood Store is a lovely lifestyle store off Hoxton Square, and Labour and Wait on Redchurch Street is always a winner. I’m slightly obsessed with home interiors and décor, so my most enjoyable shopping experiences are usually based around finding beautiful things for my home and desk space. As for art, KK Outlet and Kemistry Gallery always put on interesting shows.
What five items will you never travel without?
Passport, perfume, electric toothbrush, washbag and my travel cushion …
And finally, what would your dream commission be?
Probably a shop window for Hermès; that would be very lovely.