It's Illustrator Interview day! It's been a bit of a longer gap since the last one, sorry about that. I'm excited to introduce you to Lucy Smith today of Love Lucy Illustration. I first discovered Lucy's work on facebook, and her work is completely gorgeous.
Hi Lucy, thank you very much for joining me today! I’m so pleased to be interviewing you - your illustrations are so utterly charming. They make me smile every time I see them. So onto the questions…
~ Are you a full-time illustrator? Am I right in thinking you design cards for Phoenix Trading?
Thanks for having me! It's a privilege to be interviewed by Cupcakes for Clara.
I am a full-time illustrator, I recently took the plunge and gave up my part-time job to concentrate on Love Lucy Illustration. I’ve worked with Phoenix Trading for two years now and love every minute of it, they’re a great company to work with and really look after their artists, I’m very lucky to have found them.
~ You have some gorgeous products and characters in your shop. Do you have a favourite?
I generally find my current piece of work is my favourite, but if I really had to choose it would be my ‘Fancy Dress’ characters, published by Phoenix Trading. It was certainly my favourite to paint, the characters seemed to come alive as I painted them, I found myself talking to them and wishing them luck when I sent them off to be reviewed by the publisher!! I read afterwards that Beatrix Potter did the same with Peter Rabbit & co, so nothing to worry about there!
~ When illustrating do you mainly use traditional methods? Would you mind telling us a little about your technique?
Yes, my methods are really traditional, using good old watercolour and gouache paints on high-quality Italian papers . I’m VERY fussy when it comes to materials and also a bit of a stationery addict!
I usually start with sketching ideas and getting the composition right before I put paintbrush to paper, and then I work out the colour schemes as I go along. Some designs happen very organically, others take a little more work!
~ If you could illustrate any book/text from any time in history, what would it be?
Oooh, that’s a good one! I think it would have to be ‘Milly Molly Mandy’ by Joyce Lancaster Brisley, although I don’t think her illustrations could really be improved…they're lovely as they are. The map of the village on the first page really sticks in my mind from childhood, and I adore the stripey dress and little boots, little Milly Molly Mandy’s a bit of a style icon for me!
~ If you weren’t an illustrator what do you think you would be?
I always liked the idea of being a florist. Or a sign writer. Thankfully though, I absolutely love my job and thank my lucky stars each day I’m actually doing it!
~ Do you have new exciting projects in the pipeline?
I do, indeed! But I’d best not give any details for fear of jinxing them. My online shop is gearing up for the busy Christmas period and I’ve already had lots of lovely commissions for personalised paintings.
I find the more work you have on, the more inspired you become - my head (and sketchbook) is fit to burst with new ideas!