Harriet Plaskitt contributes a fabulous tableaux featuring food for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, inspired by her own travails. She tells us more about this, and gaining a brilliant commission for the Stereophonics thanks to Instagram.
I believe your are most interested in 3 areas of illustration, what are these and why do they interest you the most?
Yes, I tend to draw three main areas, buildings and maps, food and recipes, and hand drawn typography. I enjoy travelling, and like to capture the places I have been by drawing the buildings there. And not just the ornate landmarks, but the ordinary terraces and high streets. Having been recently diagnosed with IBS, I enjoy exploring what meals I can make with the limited and unusual list of foods I can eat. When I was researching this I realised there was a gap in the market for illustrated IBS friendly recipes. Hand drawn typography has always been something that I’ve enjoyed doing, I like creating my own fonts and experimenting with what can and cannot work.
What is your preferred way to work?
I like to work at my desk, so that I have all my materials and laptop and printer readily available. I work mainly with a set of Rotring Isograph pens with black ink. I usually draw all the components of my illustrations separately, and then scan them in and compile them on photoshop. If I colour them I either do it with colouring pencils, or on photoshop.
What was the best part of your course at the University of Gloucestershire?
I really enjoyed the independence of being at university. We did a module about promotion and I liked creating a brand for myself, and making promotional items, making sure everything you do looks like it is done by you.
In what way has your personal life inspired your artwork for my colouring book?
Due to being on a restrictive and unusual diet called FODMAP, I have to be creative and inventive with that I eat. The two pages for the colouring book show what I can eat on one side, and what I can’t eat on the other.
How did you get your first commission from the Stereophonics and what was it for?
The wife of the lead singer found my instagram page and commissioned me to do a house portrait. She then showed her husband Kelly my website and he liked my work, so they contacted me to design their logo and do drawings which they used for the album cover and inside the album booklet. It was all very lucky and an amazing experience.
How have you become skilled in hand lettering?
I spend a lot of time practicing and experimenting, with different fonts, different materials and different subjects. I also really like discovering other people who do hand drawn typography, and often look through Instagram for inspiration.
What project have you recently done using the Adana Eight Five printing press?
I recently created a range of hand printed letterpress greetings cards. These are now all in my Etsy shop and include birthday cards, thank you cards and various hello cards. I’ve used colours that you can’t print with digitally, like gold and copper.
How do you motivate yourself to work on personal projects and why are these important to you?
When I get stuck on a commissioned project, I like to do something personal to reinspire me. I think it is really important to keep going with what you want to do, not only because it expands your portfolio, but because you can develop and experiment with your style.
What quotes from pop songs are you likely to illustrate, and in what context?
I liked the idea of creating a series of ‘motivational’ quotes, that when initially looked at appear to be the normal “live laugh love” etc which are popular at the moment, but instead are quotes from cheesy pop songs, for example S Club 7. I’ve got some ongoing commissions at the moment so this has been put on hold, but I look forward to getting back to it!
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