• Ls_theywerelikebears
  • Ls_bathers
  • Ls_devendra
  • Ls_kansas
  • Ls_new_blue
  • Ls_newbluedetail
  • Ls_noland
  • Ls_wewerelikedeer
  • Ls_giantbear
Illustration

Graduates 2009: Lizzy Stewart

Posted by Alex Bec,

Lizzy’s work stood out to us for it’s wonderful composition and charm. Originally having studied Fine Art and transferred to illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, we think she made a good choice. Her works stems from her ‘need to tell stories’ and a strong narrative is there for all to see.

A varied range of inspirations including folk culture (predominantly eastern European), architecture that looks like it shouldn’t exist, Elaborate Russian Orthodox churches, wooden towers and peculiar follies her images are purposefully ambiguous but easily interpreted into whatever narrative you want to give them.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A love affair with ‘Dinosaurs’ magazine (the one where you built a glow in the dark t-rex skeleton) left me wanting to be an archaeologist for quite a while, followed by a brief stint dreaming of optometry (yes) and then at about ten I settled on being an artist. I didn’t really know what that entailed for a long while but I remember thinking of garretts and easels and being incredibly romantic and tempestuous. I’m so glad that being an illustrator comes with (slightly) fewer cliches.

In reflection, how bad was your work in the first year?

In my first year at Edinburgh I chose to study painting not illustration. Some of it was OK I guess. I wanted to be Robert Rauschenburg I think but never really pulled that off. There are four years of study at ECA so my first year of illustration was my second year at college. My work was a bit all over the place. I knew the work I wanted to make but it never quite happened. I toyed with digital collage, a more cartoon style and folky folk art but failed at all three I think. Thankfully I eventually found the things that I enjoyed drawing and now I’m at last feeling more content with my stuff. Not totally happy but that’s good I think. I don’t want to get complacent!

If you could show a piece of your folio to one person, what piece would you choose, and who would you show it to?

I guess it would be cool to show Chad VanGaalen the zine I made based on his song ‘Molten Light’. He’s also an artist/animator though so it might be a bit intimidating. I would also love to take my book based on ‘Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee’ to Chronicle Books and have them in raptures and scrambling to publish it. Please.

If you had your own business, who would you employ and why?

I’d like to have someone in my studio (ok first I would like to have a studio) to read stories to me. Like a live-in audiobook. It’s only in recent months that I’ve rediscovered how wonderful it is to hear stories while you work. I am so terrible for overplaying albums while I draw and getting tired of them, so listening but listening to books or shows like This American Life or Radiolab means I get sucked in and I keep my concentration better. So yeah, someone to read to me would be awesome. Someone with an interesting reading voice. Maybe someone different every day? To mix it up. Week one would be the children’s laureate Michael Rosen, Yoni Wolf from Why?, American writer Ryan Boudinot, Woody Allen and if possible the late Richard Burton. Eclectic.

If you’ve got any left, what will you spend the last of your student loan on?

Ha! My student loan is long gone on such glorious items as clear perspex books ends, portfolio sleeves and seemingly limitless printing costs. If I had any left it would be going towards a break I think. I’ve been craving a trip back to Stockholm ever since I visited for the first time last summer.

Where will we find you in 12 months?

I don’t know. I’m staying in Edinburgh for the next year with the plan that after that maybe I’ll go somewhere new. I guess it all depends how my first year freelancing goes. Hopefully I’ll be sat atop a vast independent publishing empire, I’m co releasing (as Sing Statistics) two books over the summer, one of which is the follow up to ‘I Am The Friction’ which was put out last summer. It’s bigger and better this time. So much better. I have a couple of dangerously exciting potential collaborations coming up too so maybe in 12 months you’ll see the fruits of those too.

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. List

    The London-based French illustrator Malika Favre has had another big year, adding even more breadth to her already impressive portfolio of work. In the summer she was invited to Tenerife by a Spanish design collective called 28ymedio to take part in its Illustrated Journey project, which aims to “help fight the economic crisis in Spain by promoting the Canary Islands and bringing a new stream of tourism.”

  2. Main2

    You can do a lot in a year, I’m told, and proof if any was needed comes in the form of Cynthia Kittler. Just last year we listed her as one of our Students of the Month for her “kind, quiet illustration,” and checking by her website again this year I found that not only is she no longer a student, but she’s being regularly commissioned by the likes of The New York Times and Die Zeit magazine for editorial illustration which is not only as quiet and kind as it was last time we checked in, but also incredibly resonant now.

  3. Dcgoblin-wrestle_905

    In Dayoung Cho’s illustrated world, it’s the Goblin Olympics and the bunny’s on top. Tumbling top-to-tail with the tiger, it’s cheered on by an amorphous cyclops whilst a duck-billed platypus and rhino await their turn in the ring.

  4. List

    We love Thomas Slater. We love how he manages to dollop a fat helping of fun to subjects from art school to financial advice, how he so accurately distils the defining characteristics of his subjects in one fell swoop, and how his work offers a universal joy which makes him appealing for near on every audience imaginable.

  5. Listemi_ueoka_readings1

    One of my teachers had a pet hate of adverbs and adjectives. “Cut the fluff!” he’d yell after reading our essays. Emi Ueoka’s delicate drawings illustrate his point perfectly; why use more lines when a few create so perfect a picture?

  6. List

    When it came to designing the second billboard for our ongoing partnership with London Graphic Centre, Jack Hudson seemed the obvious choice. Ever since we came across his work four years ago and swiftly swept him up into our Graduates class of 2010, we’ve watched with awe as Jack’s career has gone from strength to strength. He has a supreme ability to make communicative images still steeped in charm and personality, and so we knew he would rise to the challenge of our broad “back to school brief.”

  7. Main23

    It’s all well and good making art and illustration that focuses in on humdrum observations of our meagre existences, but wouldn’t you rather have a whole bunch of images that dip their toes in the sci-fi pool of chance and dance through the stars on pronged, mythical wildflowers? I know I would, which is why I’m particularly pleased with stumbling across the work of Singeon, a French illustrator whose horny, mythological drawings and paintings are like an ever-changing ecosystem, ranging from small watercolour doodles of food (standard) to double-headed medieval babes in outer space (not so standard). He’s part of team Flickr, so if you like what you see here I urge you to go and check out even more of his work over here on his page.

  8. Main

    Switzerland-based artist Pascale Keung makes delightfully diverse work which is inspired by her chosen country’s stunning natural landscape as often as it is by wild fantasies. This series Muttsee is an example of the former, a collection of images about “a very special place in the Alps of Switzerland” where she goes to fish with her friends from time to time.

  9. Joselistculto-charles-39

    The artist known as José Ja Ja Ja not only creates damnedly detailed drawings and works as Professor of Illustration at the European Design School in Madrid; he also brews beer. Unfortunately, as I have yet to sample SALVAJE, I’ll have to laud the brilliance of his illustrations instead.

  10. List

    If you’re concerned that your bookshelf is starting to look bit run-of-the-mill then allow us to present you with a new publication to blow the others out of the water. Eventually Everything Connects is a new publication by Loris Lora, published by Nobrow, illustrating the largely unknown but absolutely fascinating commonalities which joined many of the architects, designers, filmmakers and photographers working in southern California in the Modernist era.

  11. List

    I’m all for embracing new modes of experiencing literature, but when choosing to read novels on an iPad or tablet requires that you select a dull digital alternative cover – one with a hunk of Helvetica slapped thoughtlessly over a low-res image, or similar – I can’t help by find myself reaching for a paperback. Fortunately publishers like Frenchies Les Livres Mouvants are a step ahead of their game, commissioning beautiful books covers for their digital reads which will even out the playing field.

  12. Main1

    Say welcome, one and all, to Noam Weiner. This Israeli illustrator’s recently ramped up her editorial work, illustrating for several national newspapers and magazines, often with a political or satirical bite. In an illustration for an article on criticism, she cleverly combines a deal with the devil with a hearty dose of mutual back-scratching to make a point about the tangled relationships up the tower of power. We prefer her work at its most minimalistic, when she conveys maximum meaning. Of her older work, the simplicity of her comics version of the classic kids’ adventure book Hasamba is captivating.

  13. Main

    The work of Brian Edward Miller is a cross between the digital and the retro: his sketches could easily be found in the satchel of a 1950s art student, but when put into the computer and twiddled with they look just as at home in a high-tech animation for a company like Adobe. “My goal is to provide quality illustration and storytelling with the professional hard working ideals my family modelled to me and to chase down that elusive vintage aesthetic which played such a powerful role in my childhood,” Brian states on his site. Judging by the list of people who have commissioned this guy of late, it seems like we’re not the only ones to find his work impossible to look away from.