I was asked by an indie brand to create an illustration showing some of their products, and I instantly fell in love with their tsunami-printed flares – which became the key inspiration for this piece. This illustration is very meaningful to me as it was the first opportunity I had been given to collaborate with a real-life brand, a huge milestone for me as a smaller illustrator!
So much of my inspiration comes from editorial fashion. I studied editorial photography in sixth form and playing with layering textures, dramatic makeup, fake flowers, and ‘strange’ composition was SO exciting to me. Although these days I don’t have much time for photography I still take bits and pieces I enjoyed from it and apply them to my digital illustrations – e.g. I love layering shape and colour, exploring composition, and referencing 90s/2000s trends where I can.
Floral details often complete my illustrations. I think flowers are such a lovely way to add subtle detail, researching different types and their symbolic meanings and then using them as additional layers to my illustrations is something I really enjoy. English wildflowers are my favourites, inspired by Cicely Mary Barker’s books.
I often find inspiration for my colour palettes in unexpected places – a pretty pink bookshop in a corner of town, clouds during a particularly nice sunset, an outfit a friend was wearing that day. I’ve always enjoyed creating mood-boards and scrapbooks, and I think that has really helped me to fine-tune my personal aesthetic. As a teenager I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Tumblr collecting pretty images, and now I tend to echo those inspirations in my art. Getting lost in working on a drawing is very therapeutic for me, so I really love to create pieces that are quite soft and calming.
Some advice for those struggling with inspiration: take photos! keep a little sketchbook to gather ideas! take part in Instagram prompt challenges! Inspiration is truly all around you.