I create my illustrations by drawing each individual element, scanning the outline drawings and then using them to 'stamp' out shapes from scanned rollered textures to build up the final illustration in layers. So the end result is digital, but with the aim of keeping the feel of more traditional printmaking.
In the final year of my MA studies, I concentrated on learning how to make books… an ideal combination of graphic design, illustration and printmaking. I really enjoy the process of making books – exploring different formats, illustration techniques and traditional skills. I am interested in documenting collections, often related to the natural world.
Collage is one of my favourite ways of working - I never quite know how the illustration is going to turn out when I start… I find it's more spontaneous to 'draw' with a scalpel, and I enjoy the limitations of a restricted colour palette of papers.
I became hooked on printmaking after a summer course in 2006, and have had inky fingers ever since. As part of my MA studies I tried out various kinds of techniques, but I gravitated towards relief printing. The scalpel is definitely my tool of choice - cutting and carving lino, wood, rubber and cardboard. A great low-tech antidote to hours sat in front of a computer screen.
Pattern and colour are at the heart of all my illustrations and I create patterns in my sketchbook and preparatory work that often ends up as part of a final piece of work. Since starting to make books, I've also enjoyed making up patterns for endpapers, which I try to relate to the subject of the book.
I have loved drawing as far back as I can remember, and it's the starting point for all my work. So I always have a sketchbook on the go… plants, birds and buildings are all favourite subject matter. And my dog, Otto - when he lies still for long enough.