Brittany Lakin’s illustration “By the Old Fountain” appeared on one of our December 2018 postcards. We asked her a few questions about her work.
What first got you interested in illustration as a career?
As with most illustrators, I’ve always been interested in art since I was young. My mother and grandmother used to organise little craft days for my sister and I. We would paint, or try origami, or even try and sew up our own sock monsters, and this is probably where a lot of my love for art has come from. Over the years it grew from a fun hobby to something I was more serious in pursuing. As I was taking my Fine Art A Level I looked at University courses and found that Illustration was much better suited to me.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I was always a book worm as a kid, I love to take elements from stories and illustrate them. My favourites tend to be interesting myths and folklore, or creepy horror stories. If my images tell a story even without words then I feel like I’ve done something right. I also like to draw upon nature, and to surround my self with the work of artists that I admire.
Tell us about your process and the tools you use:
First I sketch out my scene, and then ink it with pen. Next I add texture with pencil, trying to create a variety of patterns with mark marking or experimenting with the angle or type of pencil. Finally I add colour with colouring pencil and photoshop. I’m not averse to working completely digitally but I enjoy the texture I get from pencils much more.
Describe your illustration style in 3 words.
Texture, colour, detail.
What would be your dream commission, and who would it be for?
I don’t have any particular client in mind but it was always been a dream of mine to illustrate a picture book. It would be fantastic to walk into a book shop and see my work sitting on display.
What advice would you give to other illustrators and artists?
Keep practising and keep experimenting! Everyone goes through a stage of not knowing what their ‘style’ is but you really don’t have to rush it. I found that just experimenting let me work out what I liked most and things start to flow more naturally until you start to develop more of a style. Don’t worry about things not looking as good as you hoped, you just have to keep working at it. It’s better to try than not try at all.
What’s next for you?
I really want to expand on the materials and techniques I use by introducing things like ink and pastels into my work. I think there could be some interesting effects and I want to push my work further. Overall I want to work on bigger commissions and be able to make a living off of my work!