As an illustrator it must be pretty great to have a constant source of artistic inspiration. For some people it takes a lot of reading, watching and researching to find good material from which to make work, but for Lynnie Zulu that inspiration flows freely, from her family’s heritage in Tanzania and the cultural quirks that gave her access to. Growing up in the damp, dark Scottish borders you’d expect Lynnie’s work to be reflective of her dour childhood surroundings, but it’s quite the opposite – brimming with bold, spontaneous brushstrokes and vibrant, tribal hues; the antithesis to a drab, celtic colour palette.
Having graduated from Kingston University in 2010 Lynnie’s been busy making a name for herself as a freelancer, creating textile designs for the likes of Fanny and Jessy and Blood Is The New Black, consequently showing up in Vogue and Style Bubble (not bad at all for a recent graduate). To top it all off she’s just been signed by the Central Illustration Agency, so no longer has to tread the streets of London with her portfolio in hand.
With success flowing from her talented fingers we thought we’d better find out a little more…
Where do you work?
I work from home in Arnold Circus, Shoreditch. I’m lucky to live with my best bud Hattie Stewart who is also a freelance illustrator. It’s made home feel much more like a liberated studio environment. Working from home and to my own schedule is amazing and living with someone who is going through the same experience stops me from going crazy!
How does your working day start?
Squirm out of bed and flop onto my desk, drink a heap of caffeine and put on some really loud music to get my enthusiasm going – usually a bit of disco or Motown to get my brain bouncing! I check my emails and then it’s all pen to paper from there…
How do you work and how has that changed?
It’s changing all the time. My work used to be quite stripped back, pen to paper; no crazy embellishments or juxtaposing of materials. Now I feel I’ve grown into my work and by experimenting with photoshop I’ve found it to be hugely influential as to how I now approach a piece, taking layers and effects into greater consideration. Sketchbooks have always been a huge part of my work because my work is so spontaneous as it’s always a surprise to see how my illustrations evolve.
Where would we find you when you’re not at work?
Most probably bumbling around East with my partners in crime getting up to no good! Or if I get the chance I’ll be on a quad bike in the Scottish Borders pretending I’m James Bond!
Would you intern for yourself?
I think the way I work develops quite organically. Often I don’t have a predetermined idea of how I want a certain piece to look so I guess it would be very difficult to direct someone! In general I think I work best in solitude and although the intern would have a hoot I couldn’t give them much to do. However new projects are coming in, so maybe that will change in the near future!