When did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?
I always loved drawing and making things as a child, but I had no idea I could do that as a job. It was during my art foundation year that I realised illustration was the best fit for me given the mix of drawing and problem-solving that illustration requires.
Where do the ideas for your illustrations come from?
Inspiration comes from absolutely everywhere. I really enjoy the research element of my job and can get completely lost in the internet. I have always had a love of printed ephemera such as packaging and maps, the cruder the better. Over the years I have gathered a library of scraps of paper, postcards and design and art books, in addition to a file on my computer full of vintage finds.
Which materials do you prefer to work with? Do you have a favourite pen or paper?
I started my career using paper stencils to screen-print my work. However, over the years I have become more and more digital. I draw into the computer using a tablet, but still enjoy a bit of printing in my free time. I have also started making images using fabric as my graphic style suits the simple, bold shapes I can cut from it. I really love getting away from the computer when I have the time.
What attracted you to where you live? Do you think your location has influenced your style?
I live in London and have done since I graduated. After college I co-founded illustration collective Peepshow with some friends I met while studying. We have created a studio and often collaborate on joint projects. This, and the thriving illustration community, has kept me anchored to London.
You illustrated the cover for SHOP Cologne for autumn/winter 2013/14; do you know the destination well? Do you have any great memories of travelling there?
I visited Cologne once as a teenager to see an Andy Warhol exhibition. While the art gallery has stayed strong in my mind, my memories of the rest of Cologne are a bit fuzzy.
Where did you start when designing the cover for SHOP Cologne?
There is a lot of research involved in taking on a SHOP cover. I really enjoy the picture research about the place and figuring out how to bring it together in a composition. You have to experiment with how to represent the buildings and how much detail you need in order to get across which city you are in. Usually you start with the most iconic buildings and go from there.
Did it turn out the way you expected?
I had a bit of a battle with the buildings fighting with the products in the foreground. The city is much less detailed than I first imagined, but I think paring it back is all for the better.
What should SHOP readers not miss when they visit your home town?
I recommend jumping on the top deck of a bus and seeing where it takes you.
Which items will you never travel without?
Well, this seems to have changed since I had a child: plenty of baby wipes, books and an iPad full of distractions.
And finally, what would your dream commission be?
I would love to do an activity book, reminiscent of those I loved as a child, which would encompass my love of making things, diagrams and odd facts.