Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?
I'm an illustrator based in Glasgow. I graduated with BA (HONS) Illustration from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009.
Since graduating I have been building up a career inspired by the city I know live in.
I mainly create a card and print range but venture into other products including fabric,T-shirts, homeware, timber lasercuts and up-cycled furniture.
What is a typical day like for you?
I normally get to my studio for 11 after reading emails over breakfast and coffee, maybe a card delivery on the way. If its not typical Glasgow weather I enjoy a cycle along the Clyde to the studio. Once there I enjoy a wee chat with fellow studio mates. I'm surrounded by painters, printmakers, framers, poets and video artists so its always fascinating to see what they are working on. Then after a day of working away I'll normally head home around 7.
Who or what inspires you?
I can't go without saying that Glasgow inspires me, from interning with Timerous Beasties, creating illustrations for local shops, or walking through Kelvingrove park. Seeing other work by fellow illustrators is always inspiring, local gallery Recoat is a great showcase for illustrators.
On a larger scale, following favourite artists on Instagram has recently become a great way to see how and where international illustrators work (behind the scenes). Johanna Basford, Mike Perry, Lesley Barnes, Susie Wright to name but a few.
What do you most enjoy about the work you do?
There is two elements I particularly enjoy. Working on commissions for people is very rewarding, its lovely to create a piece of work that is really relevant to that particular person and see what it means to them.
I enjoy setting up stall at Sloans market, Granny Would Be Proud and other fairs. I get such a buzz from meeting the people that actually want to part with their money for something I have made. To be honest, to be at a stage where I can live off what I love doing is a real treasure and what I enjoy most.
What piece of work or achievement have you been most proud of so far?
I enjoy trying out other ways to see my illustrations come off a flat piece of paper.
One way is when I upcycle furniture with my digital printed fabric. I was really excited when some pieces featured in 'Editors Picks' section of the Home And Interiors show at the SECC and also to be featured in the Magazine. I was also very happy to work with a client as big as Jo Malone, painting live instore. I'm slowly beginning to feel proud to say I'm an illustrator and really believe it!
What has the biggest challenge been so far?
In the first couple of years, a big challenge was simply to build the confidence. Its can be very difficult to know what your own work is worth, having the ability to charge what your work is really worth can really be a big challenge. There is always a balance in doing the free work to get your name out there and then drawing the line when you actually need to pay the rent.
Whats in store for the future?
I have some exciting project in the pipeline. Currently working on an animation, which is a first. This is a collaboration between myself and composer Richy Carey and author Martin Fro den. I'm also working on patterns that will be rocking down the catwalk in May, on mens suits at St. Martins. Then its time to step up the business head to get my products national shops ready (and Commonwealth games ready)
Whenever you have read interviews before what question do you always wish they had asked? "Where do you work from?"
I have recently moved into my own little studio, which I really love. Its on the third floor of East Campbell street Wasp Studios. I was finding it difficult working from my own bedroom. It is something that I know illustrators can struggle with, working all day on your own day after day isn't everyone cup of tea.
There really is something more satisfying in having somewhere to go to work at. Its also great to be around other working artists, inspiring and motivating. I'm looking forward to my new studio share poet moving in. Bookcases and Armchairs are coming. Hopefully a collaboration...