Monday, 10 February 2014

Artist Feature: The Wonderful work of Holly Maguire

I hope you have your morning cup of coffee/tea at the ready and have 10 minutes to read about the beautiful work of Bristol based Illustrator Holly Maguire. 

1. How did your business come about (and when did you start)?

After graduating in 2010 I moved to Bristol and started working part time whilst developing my portfolio and taking on small commissions. After a year I went on to work full time as a designer/Illustrator for a greetings card and stationery company for nearly 2 years. I learned so much working there but it was getting increasingly hard to manage my workload of Illustration (there were quite a few late nights!) I made the decision to go full time freelance in October last year. Since then I have never looked back. Having the time to develop my work has led to more jobs and opportunities and much more sleep!

2. Can you give a quick insight into your working method? (ideas, techniques, etc.)

My working methods are mainly all by hand. I usually do a rough pencil sketch and then paint the colour over that using gouache. The line or 'dotty' drawn layer I add is made separately. I then scan both and put the layers together in photoshop. You can actually read about  my working process in more detail on ONEFOUNDSEVEN, a lifestyle blog I co-run.

3. What has been the hardest single obstacle to your life in design (apart from a shortage of time, which seems to be universal amongst creatives!)?

Ensuring constant work is a pretty big hurdle. Since going it alone I have had a steady flow but am always on the look out for the next thing. You can never rest or rely too much on speculative work that may not work out and can't always wait for work to find you. Especially when you're just starting out!

4. How do you stay motivated? What inspires you?

I'd say I'm motivated by my drive to continue to be freelance and to maintain creative control over my work. Illustration is the only thing that I have ever wanted to do and is a passion as much as a job.

I find to stay inspired I quite like to take little research breaks throughout the day. If I have drawn for a long time I like to take a little time out to look through a few books or blogs or go for a short walk.

5. What has been the icing on the cake for you as a artist/designer?

I'd have to say going it alone has been the most satisfying part of my career so far as an Illustrator. It's something a year ago (whilst I was working on my commissions late at night) that I wouldn't have
thought would be possible. I feel very lucky to be my own boss.

6. Who do you admire (other artists/designers; other people generally) and what/who are your biggest influences, past or present?

People whose work I really admire include Becca Stadtlander, Carson Ellis, Jon Klassen, Emily Sutton and Bjorn Rune Lie. I really love the way these Illustrators have such unique and playful styles.

I also take a lot of influence from vintage and modernist Illustration by the likes of Mirosev Slasek, Alain Gree, Mary Blair, Lizbeth Zwerger, William Morris and Judith Kerr. I also love looking at vintage typography and design for inspiration.

7. Describe your creative space

I actually moved into a studio this week so my creative space has changed quite dramatically recently! I am now in the Drawn in Bristol studio in Hamilton House which is shared by about 20 Illustrators and designers. I am already feeling incredibly inspired by the creative buzz around me and it's a great light space. The first thing I got out when I arrived was the biscuit tin!

8. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Never give up and never stop learning.

You can keep up to date with Holly's work here...

(all above images are © Holly Maguire)