Laura Schofield has contributed a wonderfully vibrant artwork inspired by a love of pattern and texture. The Arts University Bournemouth graduate talks about her love of microcellular biology, how to spread the concept of sustainability and possibilities for the future. Find her work in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion now.
You clearly love to use colour, what inspired the colour palette for your double page spread in my book?
Colour palettes and complimenting combinations have always intrigued me. I take inspiration from a wide variety of objects but mostly from the colourful, unique items I have collected on my travels. I am also interested in the possibilities of mismatched arrangements and enjoy the elective feel they can bring to my work. For the colour palette in this piece, I was admiring the vibrancy in exotic fruits and also took inspiration from a patterned hair scrunchie I found on the little Greek island of Skiathos!
Where did you find reference material to create your illustration?
If possible, I always try to find real-life references and like to keep my sketchbooks to hand from all the previous inspiring locations I have been lucky enough to visit so far. Therefore, for the plant shapes and textures in this particular piece, I used my visual research collected from Kew Gardens Greenhouse a few months back. And with regard to the monkeys and apes, I enjoyed another trip to my local zoo where I often spend hours enjoying their fascinating company.
When did you first start drawing and when did you realise you wanted to make a career as an artist?
When I was young, my Dad always encouraged my drawing and took my brother and I to draw horses in the local fields near my hometown. We would also take many enjoyable trips to sketch the spectacular views of the South Devon countryside and coastline. Drawing and exploring nature became a passion of mine that I didn’t want to let go of and although I still have quite a few other academic interests, I decided pursuing Illustration would make me happiest and hopefully also bring such joy to others.
I first found your work at the AUB graduation show this summer, what was the best thing about getting your work out there at the end of your course?
It was great to finish university off with a bang in July with The Observatory AUB graduation show. I was heavily involved with the organisation and coordination of this exhibition, which was a fantastic experience in itself. But, being from Bournemouth and managing to get our work up in London, for it to be seen by the creative eyes wandering about Brick Lane, was very exciting for all of us and has opened up many opportunities since.
What inspired your beautiful installation at the show?
I am allured to the mystery and depth within the jungle environment and so I based my installation on the beautiful yet peculiar shapes and colours found within such exotic climates. Being interested in the potential of working with both 2D and 3D surfaces, I also explored the placement of my designs on textiles and ceramics and enjoyed a very positive reaction to these.
Why are you so fascinated by microscopic cell biology?
As nature has always been the main inspiration for my work, of course Biology has always appealed to me; I love learning about how natural things work the way they do. Though, I am particularly intrigued by microscopic cell biology because of the intricate detail and complexity inside something almost unimaginably small. I also find the fact that while all living things are made up of cells, there is such immense diversity between each type of cell. And when observing them under the microscope, I find the patterns and textures they unintentionally create absolutely incredible.
How do you incorporate or promote sustainability into your work?
Being passionate about sustainable and eco-friendly living, I see my overall role as an Illustrator to use my creativity to help influence people’s views and actions to make the world a more sustainable and harmonious place. Yet, as there seems to be a current abundance of fear-evoking campaigns, I try to counteract this by creating positive, colourful and energetic designs, in the hope to gain an optimistic and more productive outcome. Most recently, I have submitted designs to Paignton Zoo’s The Great Big Rhino Project, in conjunction with Wild in Art. I hope to gain the chance to promote rhino conservation with Save the Rhino International and give these critically endangered, beautiful but shy-natured creatures, a voice.
Can you tell us more about your bespoke gift service L-E?
A fellow illustrator and myself created L-E in our second year at AUB as part of the Young Enterprise Start-up Scheme. It was a trial business, only lasting for the duration of a year but in that time we managed to set-up and run an illustrative gift service, hand-making products to order, such as personalised cushions, cards and mugs. I find the prospect of turning my illustrations into products that the public can purchase very exciting and it is something that I may likely pick up again in the future.
What are you drawing tribal masks for?
After visiting the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford earlier this year and researching into the backgrounds of their vast collection of indigenous folk art, I found such masks and artefacts highly inspirational. A lot of these fascinating and skilful creations have been delicately made in cultures with isolated environments; with natural surroundings being their predominant influence. I think this is something to be celebrated. I hope one day that I will get the opportunity to see the making of such art firsthand and am eager to learn even more about the purpose and uses of such exquisite items.
What do you hope to do with your designs in the future?
In the future, I would like to see my designs spread across a variety of different platforms. My work can be easily adaptable and applicable to a wide array of concepts and I see it fitting well within packaging and advertising design. Yet I am also eager to explore textiles and the many products this medium can produce. There are a lot of possibilities and I am very excited to have the opportunity to be flexible in the way I work. I can’t wait to see my designs in action!
What is your favourite way to relax after a hard day’s drawing?
Preferably I would be on a beach, overlooking the Ionian Sea and watching the sun go down, but I suppose a few drinks in good company will do!
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