“Maybe Tomorrow” was, I guess without knowing it at the time, a response to the Covid 19 lockdown.
I had a rare couple of hours to work on something for myself and rather than my usual practice of building on my portfolio, or working on new prints, I decided to create an illustration without the end goal in mind. It was a day where everything had felt intense and the longevity of the crisis felt like it may never end, so I started thinking of what I missed about free movement. Thinking of happier times prior to the dreaded corona ruining so much of our normal lives. It made me remember fondly my favourite place; being amongst nature and swimming in rivers on a hot summers day. Spending time with loved ones, picnics and laughter.
So I created this piece. It’s bright and uplifting, welcoming the future where I can be with people I love and enjoy a carefree day in the sun. After I finished the piece there was a sense of contentment. I felt connected to the work, but also the cathartic process and play involved.
With my work, I love to balance colours. Bright and contrasting colours excite me and sometimes the colour can be the starting blocks to an idea. I love to create colour palettes and build on them over time; creating cohesive visual stories across social media platforms. This isn’t always possible for client work to sit within my own colour palette but I will still start projects with colour in mind and an integral part of my process.
Briefs from clients are exciting by their very nature; something new to dig my teeth into, the ideas come easily for those. Personal work and development can sometimes be harder. Finding inspiration for my work isn’t necessarily the hard part (as there are always ideas that can come from day to day life, cultural or social dynamics or just things I love) but I find my biggest creative block is the pressure I place on myself to create. If time is limited to develop something self-led then that can often cause me to over think or over work pieces. The best personal work comes organically and not when I force it, usually ideas formulate when I haven’t the capacity to capture them at the time – either when I am just drifting off to sleep, just waking up, or when I am out somewhere / busy doing something else. I have taken to using a notes app on my phone which, when an idea comes up in my head, I jot it down to remind me later. I also use scraps of paper if I need to capture something. The back of a receipt, napkin or old envelope. I’ve tried keeping a small sketchbook with me, but firstly I’m not organised enough to remember it everytime and the perfectionist in me can’t cope with having a physical book that isn’t as refined and polished as I would like. So instead I scribble on a scrap of paper and once I get round to working up the idea on my iPad or computer I just bin the scrap. Unless it goes through the washing machine first – which has happened more than once.
Stress or excessive pressure isn’t often very fruitful. Over the years I have come to realise what works best for me and what gives me the best creative outcome. However, the creative brain is an odd, ever evolving thing and I’m still learning everyday who I am as an illustrator and designer.