When did you first start illustrating and was it something you wanted to do as a profession?
As with most people who are still doing it, I've been drawing since forever. I have a pretty terrible memory, but I can remember being under five & my dad telling me that people could draw for a living, that being an artist was a job. As someone who only really knew about growing up to be a doctor or a nurse or a police officer (thanks to some educational jigsaws), I was in awe. Apart from for a few years in my early teens spent fantasising about becoming a vet, it's all I've ever really wanted to do.
What is your favourite medium to work with?
At the moment, I mostly draw with ink & a brush. After being a bit too much of a perfectionist at university, where most of my work was clean lines drawn on a computer, I decided to start embracing mistakes & disproportion, & go with whatever came out of my pencil rather than rubbing things out & starting again. There's a part of me that still instinctively wants to neaten everything up but I think I'm reaching a nice balance with how I draw.
Where do you find your inspiration?
The things I draw inspiration from are pretty general; nature, things that I see, fictional characters & people I know. Although I've always tended to draw females as opposed to males, I've used ladies a bit more consciously in my work over the last couple of years, which I imagine has stemmed from research into & better awareness of feminist issues.
Is there anything you are currently working on?
I have a few things on the go at the moment: I'm about to start work on a large mural for a new Zizzi restaurant opening up in Glasgow; I'm doing some daily drawings for the Fun a Day project that'll end up in a little exhibition (& hopefully in the form of a zine) in Dundee next month; I really enjoy screen-printing & after a bit of a break am heading into the Print Studio I use to work on some notebooks for an order for a shop in Bristol; & I've recently started a ceramics class - I'm not sure where it'll lead, but it's exciting to create objects with my hands & make a mess. I've always found working on things that aren't two dimensional a little daunting, so I'm pushing myself to make some tangible objects - even if they do end up just being clay canvases to draw on.
How do you get the ideas for your illustrations?
I sometimes find the ideas part of illustrating the hardest bit, mainly when it comes to self-initiated work, but I usually come up with the things I do just by opening my sketchbook and doing some drawing, & focussing on enjoying the process without trying to over-think things. Getting outside is also good; as I mentioned, the great outdoors is always inspiring, & going for a walk makes for good thinking time.
Are there any Illustrators that you are a fan of that deserve some exposure?