INTERVIEWED BY Michaela Stehr
Instagram is an awesome platform for finding new artists and talent, such as the amazing London-based illustrator Lorna Scobie. We decided to catch up with her after we couldn’t stop pining over her adorable illustrations online.
When did you first get into illustration?
I’ve always been obsessed with drawing. I grew up in a very rural part of England and loved drawing all the animals and nature around me. Even going to the hairdressers as a child was an excuse to be creative. I used to collect up all my discarded hair and take it home to make ‘hairy pictures’. Pretty gross, as it probably wasn’t just my hair! It wasn’t until I did my art foundation in London that I realised I could actually make a career out of drawing things (although maybe not out of making pictures with my own hair). I did an illustration and animation degree at Kingston University, which was fantastic. We had lots of visiting lecturers who were illustrators in the industry (with an invaluable wealth of knowledge). I also had a really inspirational year group who all created varied and stimulating work.
Which mediums do you use?
It varies, but at the moment I’m mostly using watercolour paints, coloured pencil crayons and fine-liner pens. I like using a variety of materials so that I can combine different textures and effects.
Which other illustrators inspire you?
There are so many brilliant illustrators, artists and designers out there who inspire me! I adore Pinterest for recording amazing illustrators I come across. At the moment I am loving the work of Emily Rand, Laura Carlin and Rob Hodgson, who all have a really lovely, honest way of drawing things. I like ‘naïve’ illustration, as it feels like it comes straight from the heart – you can see so much of the illustrator’s personality.
I’m also inspired by fine artists. I’m in awe of Matisse with his exceptional use of colour and composition. I love Lowry’s scenes and the way he portrays real life situations that we can all relate to, without needing to paint in a realistic way. Recently I’ve discovered the beautiful fabric designs of Vera Neumann and I’m hoping her ridiculously good use of colour will eventually rub off slightly on me!
Where do you get ideas for what you draw?
I just draw things that I love to draw (animals, birds, people and nature). This is often a spontaneous process and I don’t think about what I’m drawing before I start… it just comes out! Sometimes I get an idea for a larger piece of work like a print or story, but it’s quite unpredictable. I get good ideas when I’m on holiday. I think it’s because I’m away from all the distractions of daily life.
It’s going to sound annoying, but I don’t really ever get stuck for ideas on what to draw. Maybe it stems from when I was a young pain-in-the-neck child – I used to sit at the kitchen table, surrounded by my colouring pens and a pad of multi-coloured paper and ask my mum ‘What shall I draw?’ over and over again. Mum would always say ‘a rabbit,’ which used to make me so miffed, as I’d have to draw everything under the sun except ‘a rabbit’ just to prove a point. Now when I’m faced with an expanse of white paper and a blank head, I usually start off by drawing a rabbit.
What three words best describe your style?
Colourful. Playful. Spontaneous.
What are you working on at the moment?
Lots of dogs and cats! I’ve recently started selling pet portraits through my Etsy shop, which is going really well and is so much fun to work on because I’m absolutely animal mad. After ordering a portrait, people send me pictures of their pet and I draw it for them in my style. I’m still waiting for someone to order a portrait of a stick insect…
I’m also working on a couple of storybook concepts, as well as creating animations with my very good friend Amy Wolfe. Amy is an animator and magically brings my drawings to life. We enjoyed working together on a brief for Nylon magazine, so we decided to continue creating little animated shorts for ourselves. At the moment, we are working on a short series of Game of Thrones animations called ‘Game of Thrones What We’ve Learnt So Far’. I never really know what is around the corner, as I get contacted about such an interesting variety of briefs. That’s something I find really exciting.