Friday, 16 March 2018

Studio Life: Getting to know... Gemma


Today we're having a catch up with our lovely illustrator Gemma, to find out more
about her loves and working process...

Hi Gem! Can you start off by telling us a little bit about where you gather your inspiration from?

Many places! Instagram is a great platform for daily inspiration. Visiting bookshops always inspires me (especially in the children’s book section!). Wondering around museums & art galleries, discovering patterns and colour palettes in old ceramics and textiles. Flow magazine & Frankie magazine always have lots of lovely illustrations and interior inspiration in them.

And how does your working process usually start?

Usually my ideas start with a very rough sketch or a rough painting and then I will use the light box to neaten things up & experiment with the layout. Depending on the technique, either the light box is used to transfer the design onto watercolour/cartridge paper for painting or I’ll scan it in and edit on the computer - when working digitally, a lot experimentation happens before deciding on the final outcome!


Who are your illustration heroes?

This could be a long list, but to name a few favourites…
 Isabelle Arsenault creates the most beautiful textures and compositions, Laura Carlin has such a unique style and her take on ‘The Iron Man’ by Ted Hughes is still one of my favourite illustrated books.  Oamul creates wonderful illustrations and little scenes that are often animated - something that I’d love to learn how to do!

What design tools can't you live without?

My tiny paint brushes -  I usually paint things very small in various sketchbooks and these help with adding tiny details! Gouache paints - I’m relatively new to using gouache, but the Holbein colours are so vibrant and make experimenting with colour palettes and patterns very satisfying
 Lightbox - it’s so useful when piecing a design together or trying different layouts.

Who would be your dream client?

Anthropologie is definitely one! This isn’t a dream client as such, but it’d be brilliant to illustrate a children’s book - after admiring them for such a long time.

What is your favourite piece of artwork you have on display at home?

A print of Emily Sutton’s painting ‘Cheval’ in our living room, which I treated myself to whilst visiting her exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, her work is beautiful and is filled with so many interesting textures - I love the different characters sat chatting and watching the day go by.

What are you currently reading?

I’m just finishing David Nicholl’s novel ‘Us’ and next on my list is Grayson Perry’s ‘The Descent of Man', which I’m looking forward to reading.

What are your fave things outside of work?

Climbing, I love the challenge that rock climbing gives you, both mentally and physically - we’ve started going climbing outdoors, which I’m looking forward to doing more of in the spring!

I often take time to paint and create little personal projects, it gives me a place to experiment with new ideas and techniques.

We love the teeny tiny paintbrushes you use to create such pretty, delicate paintings.
And we're seriously impressed by the outdoor climbing skills, thanks Gemma!

We'll be catching up with the rest of the team over the coming weeks
so stay tuned!

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