It could be said that the world is split into two groups: people who like cats and those who don't. Living in East London with her cat and regularly updating her Drawing Claws blog, Laura might be one of the former.
With a new book coming out soon and a range of greetings cards just hitting the shops, her clients include Meadowside Books, the Oxford University Press and American Greetings. We spoke to Laura about her latest ideas, sources of inspiration and her new studio.
What's been on your mind recently?
I like to be busy so I’ve usually got several projects on the go at the same time. At the moment I’m working on a range of cards and finishing off a picture book called ‘Mine’ which is due to hit the shops in 2013. I’m also working on my own project where I draw a cat everyday – it’s mainly an exploration of character ideas that might work their way into stories at a later date but I thought it would be good to document them together in one place. I’m uploading them all to a tumblr and you can see them here: http://drawingclaws.tumblr.com/
Do you keep you style consistent or is it something that is always developing?
My style is constantly evolving; I love trying new techniques and finding better ways to make marks on paper. I think it’s more important to get the work right for the brief and the audience rather than getting hung up on 'style', I find that too restrictive. On a given day I might be working on very young children’s books but also creating painted scenes for a mature audience that have a more fine art feel. I never get bored with what I do and everyday is a challenge.
Where do you take inspiration from, beyond the work of other artists and illustrators?
Nature programes are a great source for animal character ideas. I also love those little random animal stories that you get in the free papers where an owl and a crocodile or something similar have become unexpected friends. Location drawing is always great for ideas and inspiration and I try to visit new places on a regular basis. I'm lucky enough to live in East London and I think you would have to be pretty much dead to not be inspired by what's going on around here at the moment!
Can you describe your working environment?
I recently moved into a studio in Hackney downs (pictured). It’s my first studio and I love it so much! My studio-mates are fine artists – mainly painters but there’s a film maker too. It’s great to work alongside visual creators who have a very different process and approach to me; it's good to expose yourself to different ways of working and to try and challenge the notion of what illustrators are 'supposed to do'.
My walls are covered in drawings and little bits of inspiration relating to each of my current projects. I've also got boxes of paper scraps and found ephemera on the floor under my desk – I keep everything I find. And my breakfast, coffee and tea too! Very important.