Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hey! Lucy here! I’m an illustrator/graphic designer from country NSW, Australia (shout out to Armidale!). I relocated from Sydney to London in June and so far, no regrets! I work as a freelance graphic designer, working at different brands and companies each week/month. It’s perfect for me because I have spare time to do my own stuff and also a great way to meet creative people in this massive city. I plan each day around food, enjoy going out for beers, and spend 70% of the day laughing at my own jokes.
How and when did you get started in illustration?
After drawing all the time as a kid and through high school, I studied Illustration and Design in Sydney for 2 years. We did a lot of hands-on stuff and practiced different rendering techniques like watercolour, ink, and digital. During the course we were basically told that we’d never really make it as illustrators and that we should just aim for graphic design jobs and do illustration as a hobby, which I accepted and did after I graduated. It was only at the end of last year, after living in London for a few months with a full time design job I hated, that I was like, screw this! My fave illustration teacher who was English, and had moved back to London 1 year before, called me up and offered me a job to go and paint a giant mural with him for 2 weeks, so I quit my job with 1 weeks notice and went from there! I do enjoy graphic design, but freelancing and trying to make something of illustration suits me much better for now.
Tell us a bit about your work process.
So I have a list of things on my phone and notebook next to my bed, of stuff I see and think looks cute, or funny little stories that are probably only funny to me. Right now I have: sloppy socks and track pants; the rainy Sunday uniform; Sorry I’m not more lady like; Picking a wedgie from my bum, hairy legs (lyrics from an SZA song). And a poem and little anecdotes for a series of Valentine’s Day designs.
When I have an hour or so free, I pick something off the list and draw my little story out. I always hand draw with pens first, then scan them into my computer, and colour them in Photoshop, and then add a texture to the white layers, because pure whites give me anxiety.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
At the moment I like playing with colours that “shouldn’t” go together. Lots of mustards with pinks and yucky greens! I have a great Japanese book on colour combinations that has changed my life. I usually don’t like to use more then 4 colours in one illustration. My lines are pretty shaky and messy; I couldn’t draw a neat line to save my life! It took me a long time to accept that that’s just how I draw and to accept it as my style instead of trying to be fancy and neat.
What are some inspirations of your work?
Usually just my little life. Funny stories my friends have told me, songs I like, shoes I want, coffee I need.
What are some highlights of your creative journey so far?
I self-published a colouring book in 2016. It’s called “Yeah or Nah?”, an A-Z colouring book filled with illustrations of everyone’s favourite (and not so favourite) Tinder stereotypes, from well-known Sydney suburbs. The guy with no shirt on taking a mirror selfie, the bare bum guy at the top of a mountain, the guy in a group of 10 other guys and you have no idea which one he actually is… It was just a joke for me and my mates to begin with, but I ended up getting a few printed to sell and it was really well received! I printed a load more for zine fairs and markets and people seem to love it! Everyone can relate and have a good laugh. I’ve had mums buy them for their daughters, and girls buying one for themselves and for their mates so they can all have a colour and a laugh together. Seeing people laugh and enjoy my work is the best. I’m currently working on the London version, so look out boys! No one is safe!
How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t illustrating and making art?
I like exploring London! Every other weekend my sister and I plan an adventure to somewhere we haven’t been, which usually revolves around food, parks, or galleries. We’re pretty hopeless; one of our phones will die, and the other’s will run out of data, so we just pick an area and see what happens for the rest of the day! Best way to discover new things. Other than that I also practise a lot of yoga! It’s nice to (attempt to) turn my brain off for 90 minutes.
What advice would you give an aspiring artist, or someone who is just starting out?
I think any creative should try super hard to stop comparing themselves to everyone else. I’m just starting out myself and I find that the hardest thing, especially with social media. I always look at other peoples work and wonder why they have more followers and more likes and get more illustration jobs than I do. Sometimes I think I should change my style to be more on trend, but then remember those trends don’t last forever! You should just do what you enjoy and draw and make things how you like to. If good things come out of it after, then it’s just a bonus.
And what advice would you give your 13-year-old self, art-related or otherwise?
Aw poor 13-year-old, geeky Lucy. I’d tell her not to worry about the popular, jerk kids that ripped on her for being tall with glasses, hanging in the art room at lunch with her fellow geek mates. The people that peak in high school definitely ain’t peaking now! Art-related, I’d tell her not to worry what everyone else is doing and just do what you like (which I try and tell current day Lucy all the time too).
How can we keep up with your artwork?
You can keep up with my artwork on my Instagram @kittycad or my website.