This month we spoke to Jenny Lloyd who told us how Pinterest and music contribute to her illustrations…
Please tell us about how you create your artwork. What is the process and what tools do you use?
With commissioned work, I normally spend a few hours researching the subject of the illustration online, and go through my image libraries to see if I have collected anything interesting I can use for inspiration. Once I get a feel for how the illustration might look, I’ll start sketching separate elements by hand and then put them together to create a composition, drawing with a tablet into Photoshop. Once roughs/sketches have been approved by the client, I’ll start working with shape, colour and texture over the top until I’m happy with the finished image.
What are your main sources of inspiration?
I think my greatest inspiration these days is the natural world. I’m completely obsessed with the infinite variety of beautiful shapes and colours found in flora, fauna and landscapes, and often use details from feathers, leaves, petals etc. in my work. I also love browsing online for new colour combinations and ideas, and often use Pinterest like a scrapbook to save anything visual that catches my eye so that I can refer to it later. I’m obsessed with music and often find it influences the ‘mood’ of what I’m working on (and my mood too!) which can be really useful.
I often wake up in the middle of the night with ideas, which I’ll save as notes on my phone! Although I only get enough time to return to a few of them, it’s great to know they’re there when I have time to create something just for myself.
How did you get into illustration?
I loved to draw and create as a kid, and have always been obsessed with visual culture, from picture books when very young, to album covers, fashion and advertising in my teens. But what I also enjoy is telling a story, as well as creating my own interpretations of the stories of others. I guess, for me, illustration is the perfect combination of creation and communication to keep me happy!
What are you currently working on?
I’m between personal projects at the moment – I have lots of ideas and I’m not sure where to go next. But in the meantime, I’m still working on labels and branding for an organic/ethical skincare brand called Akamuti; I’ve been working with them for several years and they’re a wonderful client. It also makes me very happy to create images for a family business so committed to ethical business practices and handcrafted products made from fairly traded ingredients – they have a real belief in responsibility and sustainability.
What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators?
Something I’ve learned is that it’s great to experiment with lots of different materials and working methods outside your normal creative process whenever you have the opportunity. It’s obviously vital to perfect a unique style, to do what you do as well as you can, but what really helps your work change and grow over time is experimentation and not being afraid to make mistakes. No-one is a machine; I think your personal style should evolve over time, as you do. My greatest flaw when it comes to illustration is wanting everything to be clean and perfect and consistent, and I have to force myself to think outside the box – it’s the only way really to develop and stay committed and inspired.
See Jenny’s full portfolio HERE.