Illustrator / Artist Interview 11 – Laura Taylor
1. How long have you been an illustrator/artist?
I been an illustrator for 7 years now, ever since I picked up a pen instead of a mouse during a graphic design lesson and quickly decided it was time to change courses.
2. What inspires your work?
I get inspired by the oddest places and at the oddest time. I remember once really struggling with a book I was trying to put together, I had done so much research and drawn 100’s of images but nothing was working for me.
I had a break and went off for some retail theory when my beloved iPod broke. It was being stuck on a bus with a load of school children with no iPod that ended up giving me all the inspiration I need. Just a simple argument between two girls about if a homeless man was really homeless (complete madness) gave me the idea of recording weeks worth of peoples random conversations and telephone calls (with out them knowing), when you next out and about have a listen in on people on the phone, its the funniest thing. Out of this I created my favorite illustration ‘homeless man’ along with a 26 page book of illustrations and typography.
3. What media/software do you work in and why?
I draw everything and use whatever is a round me. I love the freedom of inks, pens and paints, it may go wrong but that is the fun, getting messy and getting back to just being creative. I do sometimes just leave it at that and have a one off piece but most of the time I scan my work in to PhotoShop and edit it lightly to make it into a repeatable print. I love PhotoShop, it took at long time to get my head around how everything worked but its actually quite simple, well for my simple edits anyway.
Because I also make handmade wallpaper I work alot with screen printing, perfect for repeating images and again alot of freedom with inks and papers but a lot more work to produce.
4. How would you describe your style of artwork?
Organised chaos and unpredictable, I never know what I’m going to do next it just happens. When I started to create my wallpaper I really wanted to create patterns and floral print that would just slip into the market (that was the startup nerves telling me to do something normal and sensible) but it didn’t take long to realise that that wasn’t me, everytime I tried to do a elegant design it turn out a little twisted, a little messy.
There’s always something a little messy in the design, nothing is perfect but it always has a structure to it holding the chaos together.
5. Do you do any initial sketching or planning before starting a new piece?
No, it doesn’t work for me.If I plan it first then that plan is stuck in my head and if it don’t turn out exactly like the plan I feel somethings wrong, when in fact it not. Its my style coming out, that unpredictable bleeding of materials and colours.
The most planning I do is occasionally sketching a very loose outline in a book if I’m out and about and need to put the idea quickly down because I don’t understand my own writing when it’s done in a rush.
6. Which illustrator/designer/artist most inspires you?
I am a massive fan of Stina Persson. I love her watercolour work and her use of colours. I’m also an admirer of Tado, just fun illustration and Vault49 when I was at university because I was so jealous of their technical ability, its my favorite computer work.
Its a bit of a collective taste but if you only like and look at things like your own then how do you grow and learn new techniques?
7. How do you deal with the business inside of being an illustrator/artist?
As a start up business I haven’t had a lot of experience of dealing with the business side of things although I’m learning fast to keep everything up to date as I go a long. It is the boring part of it all for me but because of how important it is to surviving I have to suck it up and sort it out.
8. What words of advice would you give to any aspiring artists out there?
It’s hard so find outlets and people that will help you, it may not be direct help for your business but more help for you to deal with it all as it comes along. I have only just launched my business but I thought it would have happened 6 months ago, I didn’t realise how long things take to get right and how much goes into just getting all your work together and to get it all to gel.
You can go from being really confident about your work to massive self doubt very quickly and I think this is normal, just stick with it, work hard and have faith in yourself when you really need it.
You can view and buy Laura Taylor’s work at her website: Laura Jayne Design