Monday, December 16, 2013

Delphine Cubitt

How did you become an artist?
Art is all I ever wanted to do. I drew and doodled my childhood away, quite happily. Although this wasn’t always positive, as my Mum would tell you. One particularly ‘creative’ afternoon as a four year old, I decided that my Mums walls were a bit bare, to cheer the walls up a bit I proceeded to work my way up the stairs, along the corridor and around my Mums bedroom with a rubber stamp and bright blue ink pad!
Did you go to Art School?
I left School at 16 to go to Art College. I spent the first 2 years on a multi-disciplinary Art and Design Course, then went on to do another 2 years in Surface Pattern Design. At the tender age of 20 I got my first job in the Design Studio of a large Greeting Card company. I spent 8 happy years doing this before I decided to go Freelance and work from home.
Was there anyone who influenced you in becoming an artist?Mr Leyland, my art teacher at school was the person who was my biggest influence in becoming an artist. As a youngster I didn’t know anybody who worked in the art business, I didn’t know what kind of jobs you could get as an artist. My Mum was also very worried and tried to persuade me to become a nurse or policewoman. But I just knew I had to do what I loved. Luckily Mr Leyland managed to persuade my Mum that sending me to Art College would be a good idea.
Is there one or more artists whose work is an influence?There are many artists and designers who influence me, but a turning point for me was when I visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on a College trip. Wow! I really had my breath taken away by Van Gogh’s beautiful vibrant colours and depth of paint. So different to the flat, bland photos that you see in all the art books or on prints.

Another experience like this was the Matisse Gallery in Nice, again I fell in love with his bright vibrant colours and rich painterly syle.I could go on all day, but I must also mention Gustav Klimt, love, love, love. Klimt’s patterns and colours and flowing lines and all that gold, Sigh!
What inspires you?
I am fascinated by patterns, colours and details. Wherever I go I have my sketch book and camera phone. I have files and files of photos of bits of pattern on buildings, ironwork railings, biscuit tins, vintage fabrics, wallpapers absolutely everything! I am a bit like a magpie, something shiny catches my eye and I have to take a photo quick or sketch it!
Would you like to share your work process?
When I start on a new piece of work I begin by clearing my desk, making a nice mug of Coffee and a pile of magazines and my scrap books. I have a Christmas Scrap Book and a general scrap book. (I collect bits all year around and stick them in to my scrap book ready for when I am in need of inspiration.) Then when I get a little spark of an idea, I begin to sketch and doodle. I do this until I am really happy with an idea. I then start to paint. In the past I have always painted a whole design, like a piece of art. But companies want your work to be in ‘Layers’ more and more these days, so now I paint up lots of different sections separately, scan them in and then bring the design together in Photoshop.
Are there links where more of your art can be seen?
You can see more of my work on the Henry Glass website:
My Facebook page:
My website:
What type of markets do you create for?
Over the years my work has been licensed on many different products such as Jigsaws, Gift boxes, flags and floor mats. But in last year or two I have been concentrating more on fabrics and Greeting cards. The fabric collections keep me busy because I get to design the whole group, I love the process of building a collection. I am very excited because we have plans to manufacture our own greetings cards  in 2014. For more information on this join my Facebook page for updates.
Do you pursue other creative interests like writing or music?
Another creative interest that I do have is felting and sewing. Not sewing in the traditional sense, but drawing with my embroidery sewing macine. I have done quite a few commissions of pictures of peoples houses using this method. I hoard lots of bits of fabrics and buttons and kind of patchwork them all together to make a picture and sew it all together.
The felting was a hobby that I got interested in when my 3 boys were little. I had a career break to be with them but the creative bug was bursting to get out, so I found that I could create all kinds of things like handbags, teacosies, and flowers out of wool whilst still looking after the boys, as they got a bit bigger they would help out, they loved the process of rolling up their sleeves and getting all messy with soap, rubbing the wool to felt it. Once the boys all started school I got back in to my studio and started to paint again, I can’t do this with distractions, it has to be just me and my radio.
Where can your art be seen?

My art can mainly be found on patchwork fabrics for Henry Glass, greetings cards for Pictura and CCA Occasions, Jigsaws for Ravensburger. I have also a Garden Flag that has just been licensed out for summer 2014 which I am very excited about, I used to do a lot of flags before I had my career break so it’s great to be back in the flag market. In England we don’t have anything like this, so I can’t wait to be the first to have one in my Garden.
What do you love best about what you do?
For me, the best part of my job is when I am working on something, and I really like it, and it’s going really well. You kind of find yourself in this ‘Happy Place’. It is very difficult to draw yourself away when it’s like this. When you do have to leave it, you can’t wait to get back to it. It’s a happy, warm, fuzzy place to be.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hazel Mitchell

How did you become an illustrator?
I think I've always been an artist. At least, I can't ever remember thinking, 'I want to be an artist', I just was. I was making and creating and drawing from an early age. I was interested in the arts and all things creative. Except for also being interested in everything to do with horses! When I was 18 I was forced into the decision of horse school or art school. I wanted horse school. My art teacher convinced me I should go to art school. It was a long and drawn out path with many tangents to be what I now feel I really, truely am - a creator of children's illustrations.

Did you go to art school?
I DID go to art school. I promised my art teacher (my main influence) I would, and went to art foundation course in York, England. But it didn't go well. I guess my heart was with the horses at that time. I loved being outdoors and with animals. I found it hard to spend all day in a studio. Sure, I loved creating, but I didn't see how I could make a career of it. After foundation course I started a BA in, of all things, glass blowing and ceramics. Given that I am not good at 3d work it wasn't the best place to be. I feel I was let down by art school. No one told me I could change courses .. no one recognized the illustrative style I worked in (after I left school that is), and I had no idea how one become an illustrator. It was fine art or the high road (or graphics). So I dropped out, joined the Royal Navy and actually became a graphic artist! See I told you I went off on tangents.
Was there anyone that influenced you in becoming an artist?
When I was at art school I loved all things Victorian, pre-raphealite, impressionistic, fauvist.  As for illustration (and especially children's illustration), it's not until the last five years that I've really begun to educate myself. My love of all things victorian, or post-victorian, is deep. Arthur Rackham, E H Shepherd, Edward Ardizzone, Pauline Baynes, Edward Lear, Kate Greenaway. And later Quentin Blake, Ronald Searle, Edward Gorey, Raymond Briggs, Emily Gravett, David Small, Matt Phelan. My roots are mostly in the old country, as you can see. 
What inspires you now?
I am inspired very much by the great work of other illustrators and artists - by hard-working friends- by the countryside and by animals, by music and stories and great writing and cinema. Oh and by getting out and about with my camera. So many things!
Would you like to share your work process?
I work by hand and digitally. Most of my illustrative work is hand drawn and then scanned in. I also paint the backgrounds to some of my illustrations in watercolour and then scan and colour in photoshop. I have been known to use collage and I love dipping pen. In my work I am using several techniques all at once. You see, I have a very low boredom threshold!
What types of markets do you create art for?
Right now I'm working mainly in children's illustration for trade books and educational books. But I would like to do some editorial work and maybe get back to some fine art too.
Do you pursue other creative interests like writing or teaching?
I used to teach summer school art to children and adults, but haven't taught for a while. Not ruling it out in future though! It's good to get inspiration from students.
I'm writing ... children's picture books and middle grade novels. So maybe you will see 'author' next to my name at some point. I do hope so! I play the tin whistle (a bit), love to sing and have a clarinet in a box I keep threatening to learn. And as I said before, I love to take photographs.
Where can your art be seen?
My art is mostly in children's books.
What do you love best about what you do?
I love the variety of my work. You never know what the next day will bring. I love that I can organize my own time and work when I want to, and sometimes, where I want to. I love bringing pleasure to children with my work.
Are there links where more of your work can be seen?