How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it before?

Folk inspired rustic narratives – made by hand.


How did you start off in the arts? How/when did you realise that you were an artist?

At school, art was always the subject which always came easily. Whereas the sciences and stuff I had to think and take time to figure stuff out – art just flowed. I still don’t really view myself as artist as such as I still have to get up every morning to get work. Though, if an artist can be viewed as someone who has a kind of wonky almost song-like view of the world and then attempts to recreate this view into an image then I’ve always been like it since I was a nipper.


Please describe a typical day of art making for you.

Having a whole day would be a luxury! I’ve recently moved house so my drawing/making space is currently a cushion on the floor in front of my record player leaning on an old piece of wood. I usually spend my evenings drawing and things so it usually involves lots of herbal tea, lots of old time folk and roots music and lots of pencils or needles and thread.

I tend to start with doodling in a wee little A6 Moleskine and then scan and work on the hand drawn stuff using either Photoshop or Illustrator. It always starts with drawing.

Please describe a typical day of art making for you.

I’m currently working as a concept artist on a film in the costume department, so it’s early mornings and long days at a film studio, but if I’m freelancing from home I will start the day with a nice long dog walk to wake me up then depending on whether I’m working digitally I will be at my cintiq in the office in the garden or if hand illustrating I prefer a cup of tea working at the dining room table – I love to listen to music on my headphones while I work, I find it helps me close off a little from the outside world and time seems to disappear. I find all my work usually starts off as a sketch before I scan it into the computer, even though I could easily do this on the cintiq I find my sketches are far less self conscious if I start of with a good old pencil and paper.


What contemporary artist or developments in illustration do you find interesting right now?

I think the artist that have inspired me the most in the last ten years are Arthur Rackham, Edward Gorey, Craig Mullins, James Gurney, Lucien Freud, Paula Rego and Sargent to name but a few – I can look at their work for hours. As far as developments go I suppose I’m just a little old fashioned and although having an iPad with an ebook, or illustrated story app can be fun and handy I would still go for a good old book any day of the week.


How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

It really depends but I would say on average an illustration could be pretty much done in a day.

When do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you’re not creating?

When I have the time I love to play a little bit of guitar – badly, knit, make clothes or get on my motorbike with my husband and zip around the countryside!


Any advice for aspiring young illustrators?

I think the best piece of advice is to just keep doing it – you really do get better the more you do and trust in your own style – you can’t pretend to be someone your not …artistically speaking!


See more of Kimberley’s work here