Sophie grew up in the South West of England, with easy access to interesting and historical sites such as Avebury and Glastonbury which are steeped in mystery and folklore – she thinks this may have been the beginnings to her interest in stories and the supernatural. As a child she loved making things and drawing, and watched a lot of cartoons and anime. She says not a lot has changed since then, she still watches anime with her friends, and still knits animal characters from time to time.
She did her BA in Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, and is now a freelance illustrator living in Glasgow.
To find out a little more about her work, we asked Sophie the following questions:
What inspires your work?
I am inspired by all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff. You never know when you’re going to come across something unexpected and think wow! That’s a good idea for how to make a drawing more interesting. The other day I was in a charity shop and I found a really old book on American folk art for a couple of quid and it was packed with really interesting photos of textiles and strange folk designs of animals and characters. That kind of thing I find really exciting and that inspires me a lot. But what I find myself coming back to again and again are creepy and often strange stories like myths and folktales about monsters, battles, the supernatural and nature and I always find inspiration in museums. I love combining fantasy and the supernatural with real life and nature and people in the past were really good at creating art and stories that blur those lines of reality and fiction.
Tell us a bit about your process….
My process starts off with making lots of loose quick sketches, I like to capture the energy you can achieve in a quick drawing. I tend to sketch in a loose-leaf sketch book, my favorite is the Fabriano sketchbook with the yellow and brown cover, the paper is lovely quality and its pretty cheap too which is always a plus. I then scan in my sketches and tidy them up on Photoshop. I love texture and organic lines so I use Kyle Webster’s rough pencils to keep the image looking organic rather than too digital and clean.
When it comes to colour I am influenced in my thinking from my many hours in university screen printing, where the colours have to be in separate layers and can overlap and blend to create new colours or interesting effects. I still use this thinking of having separate layers for colours when I’m not printmaking, choosing often to use a limited colour palette and changing the opacity of coloured layers on Photoshop seeing how colours look blended together. Keeping the colour palette simple I find is also effective in not making the work look too busy or over worked which can sometimes be an issue. Breaks are also important to give your drawing hand a rest, I find sometimes dancing round the studio a good way to achieve this.