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
We visited the beautiful Spanish city of Barcelona recently for some much needed inspiration. Spending a few days meandering around the Gothic Quarter and up and down the Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig De Garcia, we discovered some wonderful childrens boutiques, concept stores and beautiful bookshops along the way.
With the obligatory snack stops, we ensured we had time to indulge in the local delicacies whilst we were there.
Here are a few of our favourite hot spots...
A brilliant opportunity for a 'shelfie' if ever we saw one; the curated concept store Chandal housed a rather beautiful selection of childrens picture books aswell as a fantastic array of toys and gadgets.
With a hand picked selection of brands such as Aden and Anais, DJECO and Noe & Zoe Berlin, the concept store Konfetti Kids is a little hidden treasure trove of gorgeous clothing, decor and books.
A favourite for brunch/ lunch was the chic Taranna Bar & Cafe. Veggie friendly, with lovely looking cakes and fresh food prepared in their super cute kitchen, we can highly recommend a visit.
The baked eggs with guacamole and sourdough went down very well, so too did the quiche!
After spending a good hour in this amazing bookshop, we can honestly say LA Central probably had the biggest selection of beautiful childrens books that we came across on our trip. A definite treat for the eyes!
One of the last stops on our visit was the stunning design market La Nostra Ciutat. Supporting the local design community, selling an array of products from cards and stationery to jewellery, baby gifts and ceramics, and an absolutely amazing display of wall art.
With the addition of those gorgeous earthy tones, this pink and blue palette is the perfect update for 2018. It conjures up desert adventures and hot hazy days in a calming oasis - a million miles away from what we're currently experiencing here in the U.K!
We love seeing the collection coming together, and this season the wanderlust trend continues, seeing travel and exploration still high up on the agenda. No doubt eased along with those amazing instagram travel shots and our desire to escape the world.
Pop along and see us at Printsource, New York, 16th & 17th January.
We'll be at Hotel Pennsylvania, booth 36/38, waiting to say hello!