Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
Hello! I’m Fiona and I’m a recent illustration graduate from Winchester School of Art, now living back in Bristol. Winchester was a beautiful place to study, but I am loving being back in Bristol, especially spending more time around by the docks and in the centre. I am currently involved in a number of creative projects for various arts organisations, charities and for myself! I make, what I would best describe as digital collages, and the majority of my illustrations are created using textured papers that I have created using printing inks.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I get my creative genes from my Dad. I used to get up early with him before school, he would draw me a picture before he left for work and I would spend my hour before school colouring it in. Since then I have always been interested in all things crafty and arty, and it’s a fabulous memory that I’ve always held on to. I take inspiration from the everyday things and objects around me. I enjoy making work that has a personal element to it and that I create a personal connection to. I love static objects, textures and contrasting colours. I have recently been creating a series based on objects from 1950s/1960s, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Old objects have such character, history and beauty that may have been forgotten by many. I reinterpret these qualities through the illustrations I produce. I also love using photography in creating personal work but also as starting points for many of my projects. I enjoy capturing a moment in time, a chance meeting or something I may have stumbled across that may not be there tomorrow.
Describe your studio or workspace? What do you love/hate about it?
I am currently working from home, spreading my work and materials throughout the whole house! I miss my university studio space and giant desk I had in my student house! Ideally I would love to have a dedicated space to work in, to increase productivity and focus, and to separate my working and social life.
What is a typical work day for you? Night owl or early bird?
I wouldn’t class myself as an early bird, but I do try and drag myself up as early as possible to start working. I like to try and get the most I can out of each day and to achieve as much as possible. I am currently juggling various projects and jobs and enjoy keeping variety in my work. Food also forms an integral part of my working day! It signals to me when it’s time for a break, to enjoy a change of scenery and just to eat - a
big pleasure of mine!
What do you love most about what you do?
I just enjoy making stuff! I’m sure that’s what every creative individual would say, but it’s true. I love using my hands to create something new and beautiful. I love seeing the final result, the fruits of my labour. The method I use to create imagines can sometimes feel quite slow, but seeing the final outcome for the first time always makes it worth it. I am also enjoying the situation I am currently in; where everyday I am doing something different and meeting new creative people.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Eric Carle. He illustrated The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and his work is simply delicious! I’ve visited his website many times, and he has a photo gallery on there with photos of his studio in which are huge draws filled with huge sheets of textured papers! Heaven!
Tell us your current loves:
* Shop - A recent find that I currently love is the two pound book shop on Park Street! It has such a great variety of stock, and I always leave with many more books than I was planning on buying!
* Restaurant / Café - The Chief Trading Post in Oldland Common, Bristol. Is the weirdest and most wonderful garden centre café I have ever come across! Sells the best cheese toasties I’ve ever had in the most bizarre of surroundings!
* Blog - Young Arnolfini Blog – I am a little biased, as I am a member of Young Arnolfini, but it is a great blog to read for a variety of opinions on a wide range of topics surrounding the arts.
* Magazine – I rarely read magazines actually – But I am definitely a leaflet fan and hoarder!
* Designer / maker / artist - Sara Fanelli, I love the simplicity, playful and tactile nature of her illustrations. I look at her beautiful work and it really inspires me to want to make make and make more work!
If you were lucky enough to receive an enormous windfall from a kindly benefactor (sorry- not us!) what would be the first thing you would buy/do to make your work easier?
This is a tricky one, as my practice isn’t very material expensive. I’d love to be able to afford my own studio space as mentioned above, and an up to date version of the Adobe Suite wouldn’t go a miss!
Thank you Fiona! Such gorgeous collages and illustrations, we especially love the Bush Radio - a radio is a must when working from home.