Artist interview #14 - Lorna Scobie

Artist interview #14 - Lorna Scobie

Lorna is an illustrator and printmaker based in London. Her work focuses on the animal kingdom which she finds an endless source of inspiration. She loves to portray the myriad of characters in her head through vibrant use of colour, bold mark making and textures. In the past few years she has illustrated for a wide range of exciting clients, including Stella McCartney Kids, Frances Lincoln, Wimbledon Tennis, Waitrose and Tesco.

Can you describe how you make images?

I'm constantly filling sketchbooks, post it notes and various apps on my iPad with drawings of the multitude of creatures I have knocking round my brain. Then occasionally I will draw something that I like enough to turn into a proper piece of colour work. I try to mess with an original drawing as little as possible as I like to keep my work as close to the spontaneous initial idea as I can. Often I blow up a tiny drawing and then work into that, rather than redrawing an image over and over again.

Most of my finished work is screenprinted, so because of this I tend to make my artwork in separate layers. I love printmaking because I'm never totally sure how the layers will come together and how piece will look, instead there is always an element of surprise (or horror!). I tend to avoid the computer when creating work for prints, and so any mistakes are incorporated into the design.

What is your ideal working environment?

I know it's VERY bad for my posture but I really like working on the floor! When I'm working on a final piece, I like spreading all my materials out and working on large sheets of paper, and I've never met a desk which is big enough for my needs! I like to listen to Radio 4 when I work as I find music distracts me. I also like having a supply of cake nearby so I have an excuse to take a break! I work much better when I'm away from my studio which is intensely irritating... I don't know why this is. Although perhaps it's because there are less cake related distractions!

Apart from illustration what do you do?

I am a Junior Designer at Campbell books, the pre-school imprint at Macmillan. It's absolutely fantastic to work with such interesting, creative and lovely people every day, and it has allowed me to see into the world of publishing from the other side. Obviously I'm a massive illustration fan, so it's great to be able to work with amazing illustrators, and not just stare at my own work all day! Working in a creative job and in a studio environment inspires my freelance work, and I love the balance it gives me.

What does 2014 hold for you?

I'm working on a few picture books at the moment which I'm super excited about. They are still in the early stages and I am enjoying thinking of crazy ideas and character names. I plan to make a new series of animal screenprints in the next few months, and also have a trip to Paris booked so I can do some drawing on location there! I really enjoy working outside in new cities because, there is always a freshness to the work I create on location which is impossible to replicate when I'm sat inside in my studio! Maybe I just need to knock a few of the outside walls down so I'm closer to the outside... maybe not though.