Posts tagged illustration
Shop Small: Christmas Cards

This year as I am on maternity leave and not selling any of my own products, I thought I would share the love for some other of my favourite small businesses and do a series of Christmas gift guides on the blog. I have decided to start off with Christmas cards which is one of my favourite things to shop for from independent illustrators and designers as they are often so beautiful and different from what you might pick up in the high street shops. I am going to keep the format of these posts pretty simple - and below are 8 of my favourite packs or designs that I have seen and I really hope that you will love them too. Yes buying from small independent businesses can end up costing a little bit more, but usually the quality, the gorgeous designs and the customer service make it work while. As a small business owner myself I can tell you for sure every sale really does make a difference to the people behind the scenes (and it is often just one person doing everything) and Christmas is an especially important time for them. Maybe you can’t afford to shop small for all of your christmas cards or all of your gifts, which I totally get, but even just one pack of cards, or one gift can make a big difference. And if you want to find out more you can always check out the Just a Card campaign which is constantly championing and supporting small, independent, and local businesses. Enjoy shopping and I hope you find something that you love below. Also keep an eye out for my gift guides which will be coming up in the next few weeks right here on the blog!

Illustrated Maps

Recently on pinterest I have been noticing and pinning lots of beautiful illustrated maps. I just love the creative ways that people represent different places. Obviously these are not the sort of maps that you would use to actually get around but they are a great way to see that place from different peoples perspectives - and you can usually get some great ideas of places to visit from creative types.


London Map - Livi Gosling


Sheffield Hallam University Map - Sarah Abbott

Amsterdam Map - Rifle Paper

I have dabbled with drawing a few maps in my time as a graphic designer but they are usually more practical rather than illustrative and I would love to have a go and create some fun hand lettered maps at some point. I will add it to my long list of things to work on - but in the meantime I hope you enjoyed checking out the maps by all of the amazing illustrators above! 

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Inspired by: Oliver Jeffers

So, I have mentioned a few times already about starting a sketch book and creating work that is not for anything in particular. I am struggling with it to be honest and haven't got very far - but I am still determined to do it. I am hoping as I start winding down client work before maternity leave that might afford me a bit more time to experiment. 

Anyway I am rambling - the other day I stumbled across sketch book pages on Oliver Jeffers website and it got me so inspired (you should also check out the rest of of his work - I am in awe - I also can't wait until our kid is old enough to read books so that I can buy ALL of the kids books he has illustrated!). How amazing is the picture below. There is something so satisfying about a big fat messy sketchbook. Don't you just want to be able to feel it in your hands and look through it? The sketchbook below was actually a part of a project called BOOK which included 3 other artists and involved them sending the sketchbook back and forth between them (across the Atlantic no less) and each contributing pages over the course of 36 weeks. 


In this post are some of the pages that Oliver Jeffers created for the BOOK project but also some from other sketchbooks that he has included on his website. 

I love that Jeffers seems to use lots of different materials in his sketchbooks. It is not just about drawing and sketching in the traditional sense - there is a really fun and playful nature about the pages which I guess matches his illustrative style. It feels like he is experimenting and trying things out and the results are a thing of beauty. 

I have so many scraps of paper and ephemera that I have collected that would be perfect for using in my sketchbook experiments. I just need to get started! Using all sorts of different scraps of paper and techniques Jeffers creates so much texture in his sketchbooks. 

I hope that these pages have inspired you as much as they have me. I am really hopefully that it won't be too long before I can share some experimental pages of my own and give you a bit more of a behind the scenes of my creative experiments. I have the sketchbooks and the tools and now it is just a case of getting started and being a bit more disciplined with it instead of just talking about it! 

Inspired by Abbey Lossing

I noticed the other day that all my 'inspired by' posts seem to be illustrators. I guess maybe it is because people are hardly ever just one thing anymore - designers are illustrators too - illustrators are amazing photographers - photographers are designers etc etc - there are just so many overlaps within creative disciplines. Anyway, it seems I tend to be drawn to share illustrations here - but in the future I might try to consciously mix it up a bit. 

Today I am totally inspired by the illustrations of Abbey Lossing. She has such a great sense of colour and I really love the palettes that she chooses for her illustrations. There is something simple but really captivating about the characters she draws and you can't help but smile when you look at them (well I can't anyway!).

She seems to have a great sense of humour, (a talented illustrator who is genuinely funny is a great combination!) which is evident in her animated gif's - they also engender feelings of endearment towards the characters in them and contain witty observations about life that we can probably all identify with! 

Check out her site too because where there is so much more of her amazing work. It was really hard to pick out a few pieces to share. She also has a shop where you can buy a couple of prints. I love it when the work of artists and creatives that I admire is available to buy so affordably. 

Hope you have a creative and inspiring week!

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Inspired by: Kate Pugsley

For a bit of Monday inspiration I wanted to share the work of Kate Pugsley with you. Kate is an illustrator based in Chicago. She studied illustration and is also a painter and surface designer. I really love her illustrative style and the colours that she uses. I find the work of illustrators really inspiring when it comes to thinking about colour palettes for my design work (I might do a separate post on that soon!).

The illustrations have a simple and childlike quality and are super fun and quirky. I really love the music class illustration below. I think a lot of the subject matter is also things that are very relatable to people. She also has some great colourful abstract pieces too.

I am always on the look out for beautiful illustrations and art work for my walls and Kate has an online store where you can buy some of her prints. Check it out here!

Anyway I hope you all have a lovely and inspired Monday. 

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Book Review: The Fox and The Star

Last week after seeing images online I impulsively bought a new book by Coralie Bickford-Smith (of Penguin book cover fame) called The Fox and The Star. It is a children's book and is probably one of the most beautiful books I have ever owned. I would seriously not let a child touch this book, it is far too beautiful for drool and grubby fingers, so if I ever do have children they will have to sit on the other side of the room whilst I read it to them! (haha). 

I have long been an admirer of Coralie's work and the attention to detail from the cloth bound cover, to the colour palette, to the little details in the illustrations are just spot on. The pages are beautifully thick and creamy (have I every told you about my obsession with stroking paper?) and so along with the hard bound cover this book feels really great to hold in your hands and very sturdy. I also really appreciate that the pages are on uncoated stock rather than silk which is what I think children's books are often printed on. 

The story is sweet and simple and something that I can totally imagine reading to a child and them enjoying - but as you might expect the illustrations are what really make it and what makes the story come to life. I really love how the colour palette is mostly dark colours, navy blues, blacks and greys and then you get the amazingly bright pops of orange from the Fox and other details. 

I don't normally buy myself children's books but I have to admit that I think that that this is a book that I will look at over and over again even if I never have children because it is so well done. If you haven't checked out Coralie's work before I would really recommend doing it and if you are a lover of books and illustration then this is the book for you - whether you have children or not!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend whatever you are up to! I am going to try and make some time for reading - there really is nothing like holding and feeling physical books in your hand.

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Inspired by Amelie Fontaine

The internet is a magical place but also a total rabbit hole sometimes. I really love Pinterest for getting lost and discovering new artists and a few weeks ago I stumbled across the website of Amelie Fontaine and totally fell in love with her illustrations. 

These are just a few of her illustrations that I loved but there are seriously SO MANY good ones on her website. She has a shop on her site selling a book that she has illustrated but I seriously hope she starts selling prints because I would love her work on my walls. I really like the black and white food illustration below. I really enjoy the lines and marks that she makes to build up her illustration and how she breaks some of the rules, and by doing that totally builds up and enhances her individual style. Hope you enjoy checking out these images and getting lost in her website!

Moodboard Monday - Swimming

I don't know why but I recently realised that I was obsessed with swimming illustrations. I like swimming and everything but I am not a fanatic, but I just think these illustrations are all beautiful and so fun (ok so the one below to the right is more sunbathing than swimming). Anyway I thought I would collect together some of my favourite swimming illustrations for my moodboard this Monday. If you click on the images it will take you to the sources. Hope you all have a wonderfully inspired Monday! 

Moodboard Monday

It has been a little while since I have done a black and white moodboard so I thought I would indulge my monochrome pinterest addiction and get myself inspired this Monday morning. Looking at these above reminds me how much I need to make time to just experiment with making marks and patterns. 

We just spent a lovely long weekend in Dorset so there will definitely be lots of colour later in the week.

Sources of all of the above clockwise from top: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Hope you all have a great Monday!

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My insta faves

One of my main aims this year has been to be more consistent with blogging and instagram, and so far it is going pretty well. There are still a lot of areas that I need to work on and improve but things are going in a direction that I am happy with and excited about and I am just really enjoying myself. I am loving this space more than ever and am also really coming to love the instagram community that I am part of. 

Instagram is such a mine of inspiration and I have started following some amazing people recently with beautiful accounts and so I thought I would share some of my favourites so you can get inspired at the start of the week. 

@ryntor  - beautiful scenic shots mixed with cute illustrations. It is a collaboration between Illustrator Ryn Frank and Photographer Tor Harrison.

@ryntor - beautiful scenic shots mixed with cute illustrations. It is a collaboration between Illustrator Ryn Frank and Photographer Tor Harrison.

@sarahledonne  - I literally just discovered her today. She is a Graphic Designer living in Stuttgart, Germany. Lots of clean white and pinky hues. 

@sarahledonne - I literally just discovered her today. She is a Graphic Designer living in Stuttgart, Germany. Lots of clean white and pinky hues. 

@cedillee  - This French Designer/ illustrator's feed is what my dreams are made of. Lots of lovely colours, illustrations and details from out and about around her.  

@cedillee - This French Designer/ illustrator's feed is what my dreams are made of. Lots of lovely colours, illustrations and details from out and about around her.  

@sosally_  - I love seeing the world through Sally's eyes. She is a Graphic Designer based London and has lots of lovely travel photography. 

@sosally_ - I love seeing the world through Sally's eyes. She is a Graphic Designer based London and has lots of lovely travel photography. 

@wenevermet  - beautiful shots of strangers with cute stories about them. This has turned into one of my favourite accounts and always makes me smile. 

@wenevermet - beautiful shots of strangers with cute stories about them. This has turned into one of my favourite accounts and always makes me smile. 

@lovebex_  - lots of white and minimalism and frankly just beautiful. Consistently stunning, clean and fresh photographs. She also runs a cute little shop. 

@lovebex_ - lots of white and minimalism and frankly just beautiful. Consistently stunning, clean and fresh photographs. She also runs a cute little shop. 

@felingpoh  - lots of cute illustrations and lovely hand lettering. This girl has skills and her feed is chock full of inspiration and beauty!

@felingpoh - lots of cute illustrations and lovely hand lettering. This girl has skills and her feed is chock full of inspiration and beauty!

@mitchellkuga  - This feed is called 'Just the tip of things' - and it is so cool. Look at the whole feed and you will see the genius. The photographs are awesome!

@mitchellkuga - This feed is called 'Just the tip of things' - and it is so cool. Look at the whole feed and you will see the genius. The photographs are awesome!

To be honest this is just the tip of the iceberg of my favourite accounts - I might need to do some more 'insta faves' posts like this. Let me know if you would be interested. Hope these accounts give you some Monday inspiration!

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Inspired by Karolin Schnoor

I have been admiring the work of Karolin Schnoor for a little while now, and it was these screen printed envelopes that cemented my love (I don't think I would ever be able to send them to anyone though, they are just too beautiful). Karolin is a German illustrator and designer who lives in London and she has a pretty lovely client list having worked for people like The Barbican, Creative Review, Huck Magazine, Little White Lies and the V&A. 


When I was picking which images to use for this post I was drawn to her black and white illustrations. I love how often she works with black and white and then includes a bright pop over colour, like the first image and the neon pink glasses in the prints below. She also does lots of beautiful illustrations with colour which you can see on her website

I am hoping one of these days to add one of these beautiful prints to my collection. Check out her etsy shop if you fancy one too. Hope you all have a great Thursday and keep your eyes open for the free download tomorrow. 

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Book Review - Envelopes by Harriet Russell

Over the years I have been a big fan of collecting beautiful design and illustration books. I have had to cut back on this in recent years because I am running out of space but there is nothing like holding and looking through a really beautiful design book. Recently I have been trying to look through and enjoy old books that I have had for ages but not looked at for a while, and so I thought I would start a feature on the blog where once a month I share one of my favourites. Mostly these will be books that I already own and enjoy (and are probably quite old) but every now and then I might use it as an excuse to treat myself to a new one. 

So to start the ball rolling I want to share with you Envelopes by British illustrator Harriet Russell. What I really love about this book is the sense of humour in it. The concept of the project was to challenge the postman...and see how much effort he/she would put into solving puzzles to work out what the address is. 

The book is full of beautiful envelopes created in Harriet's lovely illustrative style. I have always been a lover of snail mail and so I was immediately drawn to this book and it always inspires me to try and make my envelopes a bit more interesting. You can totally imagine these letters making the postman smile as he went about his/her day. 

The book is smallish and quite thin but has a really good hardback cover and is nicely and simply laid out inside with one envelope on each page. The end papers (below) are also a really fun detail with a collage of the insides of envelopes. I love the patterns on the insides of envelopes and have a little collection of my own (and even made some envelopes out of them) - so this totally floats my boat!

This is the sort of book that you could flick through quite quickly and that would be lovely to have laying around the house for people to pick up, it would definitely bring a smile to their faces. I think it would also make a great gift for illustrators/designers/snail mail lovers. 

Creating a distinctive illustrative style

I love finding new illustrators whose style I admire and I'm always impressed by how so many illustrators create such distinct styles, to the point now where there are certain artists work I will see in a magazine or advertising campaign and just know that it is them.

Although I am not an illustrator as such, my design work often includes illustrative elements, but I have always struggled with creating a distinct style. Although saying that, friends at university always reassured me that I did have a distinct style – I guess it was just harder for me to see. I think sometimes it's really good to limit yourself to inspire creativity when producing new work. Sometimes I try to limit my colour palette or the tools that I use.  Recently I've been trying to limit myself (well not exclusively but mostly) – to black ink.

I read an article once about how creative types find it hard to just do one thing, they want to try everything. I think that is definitely the case for me. I struggle to pick just one thing and get really, really good at it, because I'm inspired by so much, and want to try so many things and learn new stuff.

Sometimes I love this, but sometimes I get frustrated and feel like that famous quote “Jack of all trades, master of none” applies to me.

Anyway I don’t really have any answers, I think I'm still going to want to keep learning and trying lots of new things, but I think for my personal work and my etsy shop I am going to try and limit myself a bit more, choose a few things to work on and get particularly good at. At the moment I feel like the things I want to focus on are my black ink illustrations (whether typographic or patterns etc) and lino printing. I only just started lino printing recently but really loved it and feel like it could be a printing medium that could work really well for me. I might dabble in screenprinting too and see where things go from there.

Now that I've written that though I've remembered that I've been really wanting to experiment more with collage too. See I just can’t help myself!

I feel that since I've opened my etsy shop I've stepped things up a bit in terms of creating personal work rather than just work for clients (which I do love to do too) – and it's meaning I'm making much more time to experiment, produce more and make mistakes, and I 'm really enjoying it. As ever I'm hoping to keep sharing more of my creative journey on this blog. 

I would love to hear other peoples thoughts on whether they find it easy to focus on just one discipline or work in one particular style, or whether they're always wanting to try new things, and experiment with different styles and tools.  

Thoka Maer

Seriously HOW AMAZING are these illustrated gifs by Thoka Maer. They made me smile so much today. I was a little bit mesmerised. They are a comment on the little everyday obstacles we encounter and the series is called 'it's no biggie'. Check out the tumblr to see them all! (and the other illustrations on her website are lovely too) These are my favourites:


animated gifs are so cool. I have always wanted to make some (will add it to the to do list) - remember these ones?

Judging book by their covers

So the old saying goes, 'don't judge a book by its cover' - and you know...I get it, but I am a graphic designer so I have to confess I totally do. I think books is where I so regularly see the power of good design. It affects which books I pick up and peruse at the book shop for sure. Maybe I am missing out on some great novels (and in the past I have refused to buy books that were probably very good but their covers were so ugly) but recently I have been seeing some really beautiful covers. Some of them are almost like works of art. Here are a few of my favourites I have spotted recently on good old pinterest and would love to have lying around my house. I will definitely be adding some of these to my reading list for holidays.

1. See this one is so good it actually makes me want to find out more about physics and see what is inside. Ha that proves that design can be really powerful!

2. Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov - I really love the illustrations on this cover...and a little searching on Amazon reveals a whole series of penguin classics by this author with beautiful illustrated covers.

3. Excellent hand painted type and I really like how the bar code has been incorporated into the design. I want to add this to my book shelves for sure. (also in colour on Amazon)

4. Ha I have never had the guts to really tackle Ulysses by James Joyce, (something about no punctuation) but apparently it is one of the most important works of modernist literature so maybe I should give it a chance. I really love the colour palette used for this cover. The cover was design by Fuchsia Macaree who has lots of lovely work on her site.

5. Just read the blurb about this book and it sounds to add to the summer reading list I think and the cover totally drew me in.

6. Sadly can't work out where this cover has come is not the cover that is on amazon...but I love it. If anybody knows let me know and I will add a credit.

7. Love the type and image combination on this book and the penguin logo peeping over the mountain is a nice touch. I think this penguin classic could also be worth a read by a pool in the summer. adding it to the reading list.

8. So many of these book covers are not the ones they are published with...but illustrators/designers have re-done the covers and this one is a beauty. After rummaging around I discovered it was by Paige Vickers and then got to enjoy exploring her other work on her site. I love the internet and finding new inspiration and talent.

9. This cover was designed by Elena Giavaldi, and is actually one of the rejects. I like the fun an playful nature of this cover. You can see the chosen one and other rejects here. Lots of other beautiful work her on her site too.

10. This book totally grabbed my eye and after investigating I actually bought it for my brother for christmas. I think I need to get myself a copy though as it sounds so interesting. It is an honest memoir of the realities of being a humanitarian aid worker.

11. The trees on this book are beautiful. I think not including any text on the cover is actually a really clever idea and it really does make you want to pick it up and find out more. It was designed by Laura Carlin for the Folio Society.

12.  Jane Eyre - I loved this book when I read it at school. There is something appropriately eery and hidden about this cover. I think it represents the novel really well and looks beautiful and intriguing. As far as I can work out it was designed by Sergio Serrano

Moodboard Monday // Patterns

I have been thinking about patterns a lot recently. When I have a bit of spare time (Ha) I really want to try and make some of my own repeating patterns. There is just something so beautiful and satisfying about them. I started a new board on pinterest to keep them all (naturally). Here is a little moodboard of some of my favourite patterns this week. Check out the pinterest board to find them (and who created them) and also to see more - there are so many beautiful ones.


Over the weekend I actually started combining some hand drawn patterns and type so will hopefully be able to post up some of my experiments on here soon! Also sorry for the lack of posting at the moment. I am only managing these monday moodboards at the moment...but hopefully will be able to do a few more posts each week soon!

Happy Monday friends x

Introducing: Dave Bain
Dave Bain
Dave Bain

Today I am so happy to be posting this interview with the supremely talented Dave Bain. He has such an impressive range of work (more of which you can see on his website) and some absolutely stunning prints to buy in his shop. Dave was a few years ahead of me at University Collage Falmouth and it is so great to see how well he has been doing since then. Read on and get inspired....

Where do you live and how do you think it influences your work? Bristol has been my home for just over seven years now, since graduating from University Collage Falmouth. After the sleepy environment of coastal studying, I craved bustle and a wider creative community, which Bristol has in spadefuls. It’s still quite a relaxed city though, and there are a wonderful group of illustrators, designers, artists etc… often working together and certainly hanging out together - making for a fantastically collaborative atmosphere. It’s re-assuring knowing that there are people around, who I can reach out to for advice and support. The music scene is fantastic too.


(Collaboration with fellow illustrator and member of Drawn in BristolLoch Ness, this large drawing was created live alongside a planning event for a new creative quarter of Bristol.)

Having a good creative environment has, of course, influenced my work. Seeing new artwork up close and being able to discuss methods of working and learn from others has fed into my practice. Collaborating with other artists on murals, live drawing events and commissions has led to rewarding results and been a great experience. Although, I firmly believe you can work anywhere, it helps to have an immediate culture of art around you, which you can visually tap into and be part of.


(A trio of artworks created for a Day of the Dead exhibition, which then led on to inspire my design for the Gromit Unleashed project)

(Wrap around design, hand-painted onto Gromit sculpture, which sold for £25,000 in the auction for charity)

How would you describe what you do? What I do evolves constantly and that’s important to me. I don’t like to pigeon-hole myself too much, as I’ve found that being open to taking on projects that I’ve not tackled before is a good challenge and better to attempt than to ignore. Sometimes those jobs have led to similar work and I’ve followed that path for a time. I work primarily in traditional mediums and always come back to that as much as I can and if a commission allows for that. Illustration is at the roots of what I do, even when authoring my own artworks, I can’t help enter an imaginary world of illustrating a concept, idea or story.

Beach Mural for Bournstream from Dave Bain on Vimeo.

What are your tricks for getting inspired when you have a creative block? Getting away from “it” works well for me. I love music and so sticking on an album or a mix is a good escape. I collect records too and lucky enough to live with people who also enjoy playing music and listening to it at volume 11. Reading, free-association drawing, playing games and walking/cycling all help too. Conversations can lead to some interesting ideas or solve problems. A problem shared…

The worst thing, I find, is to agonise over a blank piece of paper. At the very least, standing up and getting a coffee before re-looking at something can be enough to reset the brain.


(Stage mural, hand-painted for The Gallimaufry)


(Drawing to commemorate one year of The Gallimaufry being open. This drawing was reproduced as a limited edition mini-print and given to all customers attending the one-year party)

What is your favourite project/piece that you have worked on and why?  It’s really tough to pick out a favourite, as each project has it’s own merits. One ongoing client that I work with is local curios bar ‘The Gallimaufry’, who originally commissioned me to do a large mural across the back of their stage area, developing some characters that I’d created for an exhibition the year before. It was exciting to enlarge, what were originally quite small paintings and add new characters to that set and see them in the context of, what is, a very eclectic and fun bar/restaurant space. The Gallimaufry have continued to bring me back in to work on posters, drawings and other artworks, sometimes featuring the same characters. The prominence of the bar and it’s associated identity with my paintings has also led to other commissions.

If you could learn a new skill what would it be? I’d like to improve my digital illustration know-how, as I feel like I’m only scraping the surface sometimes. I’ve a long-term goal of having oil painting lessons from a master too or at least putting aside time to better learn that medium.

What is your favourite song right now? Crumbs! This changes often. I’m going to have to say a few, because picking just one doesn’t really cut it. I had the pleasure of seeing producer Ital Tek play recently and have been following his music a lot this year and this remix by Throwing Snow is a firm favourite:

‘Still On Fire’ from Trentemoller’s new album has been a good one for our kitchen (fierce)

And if there’s one tune I keep coming back to it’s this pitch perfect remix by DJ Koze of a classic Matthew Herbert tune


(Illustration promoting the Christmas volume of The Print Shop)

Which designers/artists/photographers get you super inspired and excited? I admire the career and work of Russell Cobb - his attitude to drawing and the way he works is prolific and wonderful to explore. I’ve been particularly inspired by many of the print-makers I’ve come in contact over the last year, while setting up The Print Shop (a pop-up shop) in Bristol, which is open until Christmas Eve.

How do you relax and unwind? Bad TV, good food (and bad food), friends, live music and a good boogie.


(Detail of illustration for a food market)

What is your top tip for life? Enjoy the journey and be yourself. Bit corny and I could witter on with other sentiments, but it would probably keep coming back to those thoughts.

Thank you so much Dave for this interview and sharing your work and thoughts with us. To find out more about what Dave is up to check out his website and blog and also follow him on twitter.

To read some more inspiring interviews check out previous ones with Bianca, Belinda, Chloe, Rachel, Jonathan and Luke

Introducing: Rachel Stubbs
rachel stubbs
rachel stubbs

I am so excited to share this interview with the beautiful Rachel Stubbs - her work is stunning and I want to wallpaper my walls with it. It is so nice to be interviewing an illustrator and getting a little glimpse into her creative life! Check out some of her work and thoughts below...

Where do you live and how do you think it influences your work?I currently live in South East London and have done for the past three years with my husband Jonathan. I love living here - there is so much to see and do for free so it’s an endless source of inspiration for us both. There is also a surprising sense of community to be found if you look for it, which is really encouraging and motivating. Working as an illustrator can be isolating so it is great to find others who are in a similar field.

How would you describe what you do?At the moment I am working full time as a freelance illustrator from our flat, although I have previously worked under many other guises since leaving university to make ends meet! Most of the commissions I get at the moment are for greetings cards, a lot of which I get through my agent. This can get repetitive so I try to vary it for myself by experimenting with different media. I’ve also been commissioned for editorials, book covers and typography projects and am slowly starting to get little bits of children’s work here and there which is really exciting. I love drawing and painting by hand with my pencils, inks, and watercolours, which I then combine using digital software to get it ready for print.


What are your tricks for getting inspired when you have a creative block?Switch activity. Whether it’s playing around with paint, going for a walk, looking through my books, visiting a local museum, cooking or meeting up with a friend. Anything to allows my mind to breathe a bit and relax.

What is your favourite project/piece that you have worked on and why?I really enjoyed working on the book cover illustration for ‘Islands of the Mind’, an anthology of poems and short stories written by a group of students from Lambeth Academy earlier this year. This was brought about by an amazing organisation called First Story, who arrange and pay for acclaimed writers to run weekly creative-writing workshops for students in state schools across the country. Walker Books helped them to produce and publish the final book and it was through a lovely friend who works there, Charlie Moyler, that I ended up being involved. She helped the group to articulate what they wanted the cover to feel like and then basically art directed me, which was really fun! The final piece feels quite different to a lot of my other work due to the dark subject matter, but it was a welcome change and challenge.


If you could learn a new skill what would it be?I’m really inspired by pattern and would love to learn how to make my own repeat patterns using Adobe Illustrator. Thankfully resources like Skillshare are making things like this more accessible, so I plan to make use of that soon.

What is your favourite song right now?I’m enjoying ‘Union’ by Deptford Goth at the moment. He’s a local artist and his music is beautiful – although you wouldn’t know it from the name!


Which designers/artists/photographers get you super inspired and excited?I love everything by Beatrice Alemagna, whose book ‘Un Lion a Paris’ first got me hooked into the world of children’s book illustration. She communicates with so much sensitivity and sophistication, and yet manages to retain a real sense of childlike naivety, which is difficult to do well. Her fearless approach to experimenting with different media and materials never fails to make me want to get back to work! Other favourites include; Roger Duvoisin and Jan Balet, Laura Carlin, Carson Ellis, Peter Doig, Shirley Baker, Jacob Whibley and Rune Gunerisssen.


How do you relax and unwind?I love exploring the different neighbourhoods and markets in and around London, visiting local museums and exhibitions, taking long walks in the park, cooking for friends, curling up with a good book and making haphazard creations on my sewing machine. I also love to get out of the city when I can to wide, green spaces.

What is your top tip for life?Don’t compare yourself – something I am still learning to apply to my own life. I love the quote “Comparison is the thief of Joy” by Franklin D Roosevelt, I think he sums it up beautifully.

Check our more of Rachel's work on her stunning website, and follow her on twitter and instagram.

Also read my other interviews with Bianca, Belinda and Chloe (I promise I will be interviewing a man soon!) 

Introducing: Belinda Love Lee
Belinda Love Lee
Belinda Love Lee

Today I would like to introduce Belinda Love Lee. Belinda is a friend of a friend and I have been admiring her work from afar every since my lovely friend Lois (look out for her interview in the future!) told me about her. I am looking forward to meeting Belinda in person and getting to chat about hand drawn type and all things design some day soon. Anyway for now enjoy finding out more about her and her beautiful work!

Where do you live and how do you think it influences your work?That's a really funny question to ask because I feel like I live in 3 different countries. I am a bit all over the place with my multiculturalism. I currently live in Cardiff and moved here almost a year ago, previous to that I lived in Toronto for 6 years, but my original roots are based in Hong Kong, I grew up there till I was 18. I have a serious case of the travel bug! Each country has a special place in my heart and has influenced my work in the way that I have gained knowledge and exposure over different cultures and design styles.

How would you describe what you do?By trade, I am a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.

I mainly focusing on branding, corporate identity, and designing bespoke wedding invitations. Work consists of hand lettering, drawing illustrations then bringing them on to the computer to give it the final oomph! My projects usually look like designing a logo for a start up business, or translating a couples love for each other onto design.

By heart, I am an inspirer. I love inspiring and influencing others. What excites me most about designing for people is that I get to help them achieve their dreams!


What are your tricks for getting inspired when you have a creative block?When I get stuck I usually just leave my work to the very last minute before it's due. I know that sounds counter productive, but for me procrastination works! Somehow my mind gets tricked into thinking "Oh my gosh, this company's logo is due in a day.I don't have time to mess around, I have to do it now." When I have tight deadlines my creativity just shows up! The creative block can't exist anymore because it's needs to get done. I think also walking away from your work gives you space not think about it. That way you come back to it with a clear conscious, new perspective and ideas.

What is your favourite project/piece that you have worked on and why?


It would have to be the cards I designed for the most amazing prop stylist Christina Yan - the reason being that they are beyond beautiful, but more so because this design landed me a presence on the internet. Before this year I was really quite afraid of putting my work online in fear that I just wasn't good enough and didn't compare the to millions of talents out there. But after designing these cards, I felt confident enough to show the world and literally overnight I had tones of reblogs and got featured on the best of design blogs- Grain EditDesign Work Life,Design Sponge. Though more importantly than the online press, it made me actually realize that I can't live in fear any longer, because it's just holding me back from doing the work I love and my destiny in it's fullest.

If you could learn a new skill what would it be?I've actually enrolled myself for a course in silk screen printing in January. Silk screen prints have always fascinated me, whether on paper or clothing. I like the fact that each print doesn't come out exactly the same, it somehow feels a little bit more organic and unique. Now that I have the time to learn something new I might as well!

What is your favourite song right now?My absolute favourite song at the moment would be "Until We Get There" by Lucius. I have this addictive personality to me that when I'm in love with a song, I'll put it on replay 24-7 until I get completely sick of it.


which designers/artists/photographers get you super inspired and excited?The one designer that absolutely inspires me is Anna Rifle Bond of Rifle Paper Co. She is the owner and illustrator of the most fabulous line of stationary goods. I aspire to be like her one day (hopefully soon!) I love how her illustrations and designs are so distinctly her. I can tell if a piece is a part of her line even before flipping it over to see her logo. In my opinion, Rifle Paper has changed trends in illustrations and stationary, and now tones of people try to draw like her. Not only is her stationary beautiful, but she is also an amazing business women. I think that's what makes her company so successful - Anna has somehow mastered the perfect balance between being creative and being an entrepreneur.

How do you relax and unwind?If money was not an object, I would travel to unwind! But since I live a modest lifestyle, it's a toss up between going to the gym, hanging with friends, or catching up on my latest TV series. (New Girls!)

What is your top tip for life?Do what excites you, what you're passionate about, conquer your inner fears, and your dreams will come to pass.

What frustrates me most is when people sell out to their 9-5 jobs that they absolutely dread and hate. Not that I'm against 9-5 work, if you love it and enjoy it, amazing. But what I'm against is people who go through the motion of work everyday but despise the very thing they put 40 hours a week to. Maybe they still go to work out of a fear of being unstable with finances, or because they're scared that loosing their job equates to loosing their lives. I personally think that  we were created to do work that brings you life. I see work as an extension of ourselves. At times freelancing can be very unpredictable without a steady income, though despite that, I would still never settle to do work I hate. It's just not a part of who I am.

Thanks Belinda for this great interview. If you would like to follow more about what Belinda is up to check out her blog, and follow her on instagram and twitter. Also check out the previous interview with Bianca. Happy Wednesday.  

Photo of Belinda taken by Joe Stratford