"The Daily Illustrator", today, is fellow LOFT collective member, Louise Younger. Louise has been working under the moniker Liffy Designs for the last few years now. If you don't know the drill, we're essentially giving you a little insight into illustrator's work, from inspirations and ideas to process and even favourite music to work to. Click on through to check out the store from this Belfast based illustrator here and read on below for a little more about her work.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST START ILLUSTRATING AND KNOW WAS IT SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO DO AS A PROFESSION?
I never really knew this is what I would end up doing. I’m perhaps a bit different than other “illustrators” in that I’ve stumbled upon this path, rather than following it on from formal study. I’ve been a bit fickle about my career choices over the years and it was only during a residency within the art college that I fell in love with illustrating again, as an actual craft rather than just using drawing as an experimental tool throughout my BA. I’ve always loved drawing but I think my “illustrating” began when I was in my teens and I would draw up tattoo ideas for people when they asked. Now my style has very much developed on from that and I think that my studies in sculpture have informed the work I create today, where I am able question the pencil as a medium and the use of it in modern design.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
Hipster as it sounds; I take a lot of my inspiration from vintage illustrations, like old postcards or greetings cards from the 1920’s - 50’s. I love the handmade feel of the drawings where you can see the pencil marks or brush strokes. There’s something very honest about that sort of work and that honesty excites me.
HOW DO YOU GET THE IDEAS FOR YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS?
A multitude of things really! I could see something through an Instagram or Pinterest creeping session and think “That’s cool, but what if I did it like this…” and therefore appropriate ideas from that. Or I could see an object, or a photograph or even just talking to someone could give me inspiration for a new project. I do a lot of client based work too so obviously their ideas would influence the sort of work I create as well. I do like to push a client’s imagination though and add a bit of original thought to the work I produce. Innovation is paramount to keep your integrity as an artist. Other times I just let the work take me where it wants to go itself and play with it until I feel its successful.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM TO WORK WITH?
For the past few years I’ve mainly worked with pencil, both graphite and coloured. I also have been experimenting with digitising the drawings I produce, which can be seen in the “Blackboard series” that I’ve been working on of late. I’m not really a one trick pony though and love working with textiles and making crafts. The other half has also just bought me a pyrography machine so I’m just waiting for an opportune moment to start playing with it. I did a huge portrait mural in collage for last years Culture Night so I really want to get back into making more 3D relief pieces too.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I’m currently building my website and blog where I will be posting tutorials, tips and tricks and in turn hopefully inspire people to get creative at home. We need to encourage and cultivate creativity, especially in this country. As well as this I’m developing a range of wedding stationery, offering a bespoke service to brides and grooms who want something a bit more special rather than just pearl paper and a Lucida Handwriting font. I’m also in the midst of illustrating a series of grown up colouring books (a bit of an exclusive there for you Badge), which I’m really excited by. I used to make and design a lot of books in my degree, and it is actually how Liffy Designs came to be, so I’m happy to be going back into publishing where it all began!
CURRENT WORK PLAYLIST?
I don’t have a specific playlist I listen to daily. It really just depends on the work I’m making or how I’m feeling that day. If it was an 8 hour stretch on a mammoth pet portrait I’d probably listen to some lounge music or Spotify also has this cracker piano playlist which makes great background music too. If I was just on my computer it could be anything from Noughties pop, to Semisonic, to Cancer Bats to Fleetwood Mac, to Death from Above, to the Biebs. It’s all relative! When all else fails, I usually just stick on BBC Radio 6 or something of the sort.
ARE THERE ANY ILLUSTRATORS THAT YOU ARE A FAN OF THAT DESERVE SOME EXPOSURE?
Liz Clements creates badass portraits. Her blend of hand drawn and digital skills is phenomenal. Paula Bonet too is another masterful portrait artist and illustrator. T.S Abe’s animated portrait series is mindblowing and I’ve also been really inspired recently by the collage work of Terry Braunstein.