Ashley Le Quere creates colourful artwork with a twist, often accompanied by her beautiful typography, learnt from a master calligraphist in Australia. Here she shares her lovely ‘peeping cat’ colouring book artwork and tells us more about her design practice.
How would you describe your style and what art materials can you not live without?
I always find it so hard to describe my style, but I would say it is hand drawn, as it looks natural and flowing. My favourite material would have to be my black Winsor and Newton ink, which I use for every project! I hand draw everything with my ink and my favourite paintbrush, which is now very old so I probably need a new one.
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
If I’m really stuck for inspiration I tend to have a look though a magazine and pick out a few of my favorite books like Paris Kitchens, and if all else fails I go take a walk in the park. While I’m walking I tend to look for bits and bobs to collect, like really big leaves, petals or flowers that I find interesting and sometimes I make a collage of them!
What do you find so special about the screen printing process?
I love to screen print really because it is such a quick process; you can have an idea and by the end of the day (if all goes to plan) you will have a beautiful print or product.
How did a peeping cat inspire your colouring book pages?
I drew the peeping cat in my sketchbook first off and it was playing on my mind… I wanted to take it further but I didn’t know how. That’s when I saw your open brief and thought it would be amazing opportunity to make more out of my peeping cat sketch.
What did you learn at Ella Doran?
Working in Ella Doran’s studio was such a great experience but I think my favourite time was while I was helping her set up for the Home show in 2012. I think the main lesson I took from her was to keep calm under pressure and when working to tight deadlines… keep working through it and it will all work out eventually.
How did your time in Australia inform your work?
I think the time that most influenced my work while I was in Australia was while I was living near Byron Bay working on a coffee farm. I was in the middle of this tropical, beautiful country side and alone with my thoughts and all the flora and fauna for most of the day: I think that was the calmest time of my life.
You were chosen as one of the featured artists for the East End Prints Valentines exhibition, what inspired that artwork?
I illustrated a quote from one my favourite books for the True Romance Valentines Exhibition, which is Wuthering Heights. I love a good romantic period drama! (read more about Ashley’s artwork here)
How did you come to work with a suitcase company and what has been the best part of the project so far?
They approached me to create designs for their ‘Artist Create’ range. I think the best part of the project was that they trusted me and let me create whatever I wanted. I left very relaxed and enjoyed creating the designs: I think that it shows through in your work when you have fun doing it.
Your typography is beautiful, how did you learn this art?
Thank you, I have been playing with typography and lettering for years now but it was when I was in Melbourne that I really fell in love with it. I had a studio space in an converted warehouse where I met an amazing calligraphist called Maria Montes, so when she started to do workshops I couldn’t say no. I joined up and learnt so much from her: now I can’t stop!
How exciting that you are taking part in the Crafty Fox Market for LDF. Can you tell us anymore about your products?
Yes, I’m working on creating cushions and some tableware textiles. My Gran (who I called Nanina) was a huge inspiration to me; she was an amazing women who I spent a lot of my child hood with. She died a couple of years ago and since then I have found myself drawn to the things she was passionate about or things she loved, like Ferns! So this project has been a very personal project, full of love.
There are many more interviews with Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion artists to come, so stay tuned.
- An interview with Ewelina Skowronska: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.
- An interview with Harriet Plaskitt: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.
- An interview with Súa Agapé: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.
- An interview with María Andrea Miranda Serna: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.
- An interview with Suzie Scott: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.