• Zulu-hero

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

Illustration

Introducing...The ultra-bold African supergraphics of illustrator Lynnie Zulu

Posted by James Cartwright,

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…

  • Zulu-desk

    Introducing… The desk of Lynnie Zulu

  • Zulu-1

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

  • Zulu-7

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

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!

  • Zulu-9

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

  • Zulu-10

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

  • Zulu-8

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

  • Zulu-2

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

  • Zulu-3

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

  • Zulu-4

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

  • Zulu-11

    Introducing… Lynnie Zulu

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. List-176-holidays

    Jean-Jacques Sempé has something of a varied CV. Having been expelled from school, he went on to become a door-to-door tooth powder salesman, a soldier and a comic book artist, before going on to creating some rather iconic covers for The New Yorker and cartoons for Paris Match.

  2. New-list

    If our interview with Brown Cardigan as part of our feature on to digital publishing has taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a GIF. Introducing then Japanese illustrator Nimura Daisuke, who has perfected the art with some of the sweetest, rudest moving images we’ve ever seen. How could you not fall for a shot of a woman flashing at a grumpy man as he looks the other way, or an unfortunate schoolboy leaning over and having the full conents of his rucksack crashing to the floor?

  3. List-14592817705_06714ea8ff_k

    Kevin McNamee-Tweed by name, twee by nature, I’d assumed, casting an eye over these sweetly, naively sketched wee pictures of books. Then I read the titles. One contained the word “shart.” Another proclaims, “It’s Only Your Fault: How to Help Yourself”, while a more philosophical tome proffers the question “who is….BIRD HUMAN?”

  4. List

    Jean Jullien is many things. Artist. Illustrator. French. Recent emigre to New York. It’s Nice That favourite. So hot right now. He’s also the final artist to have a show at Kemistry Gallery’s current east London home before it closes its doors early next year (although as has been reported it has some excitingly ambitious plans).

  5. List-2

    A couple of weeks back a parcel containing the newest issue of The Pendulum made its way through our door, leading us haphazardly but happily to the website of its creator, Liana Jegers. Chicago-based artist Liana is an illustrator as well as a co-ordinator of printed imagery, and her Tumblr is full of snippets of sketches in progress which stand up admirably on their own.

  6. List

    Last week the third issue of Danielle Pender’s Riposte magazine was launched and after she and designer Shaz Madani set such a high bar with the first two issues, we were interested to see how they’d followed up their previous success. The early indications are very good. Although we haven’t seen a copy in the flesh we have had a sneak peek at some of the content and once again the title’s smart curatorial approach is very much in evidence.

  7. List

    German illustrator Nadine Redlich just keeps going from strength to strength, her catalogue of exuberant characters growing day by day. Though there’s no doubt at all that Nadine’s masterful at creating truly cheerful chappies, there’s a growing number of creatures in her portfolio who look like they’re ready to hibernate for winter, staring out at you blankly as though they wish they’d been left to sleep. Of course there’s also the belligerent mountain, the cherry at the end of its tether and that creepy fellow with the giant aubergine who I can’t help but find menacing, resulting in an altogether impressive cast of characters in a portfolio we can’t get enough of. If you want even more, Nadine’s got a comic out with Rotopol Press that you can get your hands on here. Now, back to enjoying that dog on the chair…

  8. List-tatiana-bruni_-the-drunkard_-costume-design-for-%e2%80%98the-bolt%e2%80%99_-1931_-courtesy-grad-and-st-petersburg-museum-of-theatre-and-music

    We’re no ballet aficionados, but we wouldn’t usually associate drunkards, typists and factory workers with the grace and poise of the discipline. However, as these beautiful gouache painting by Tatiana Bruni show, there’s much more to ballet than tutus and swan lake, with her angular figures, bold colours and sometimes grotesquely postured characters. The paintings show costume designs for Dmitri Shostakovich’s 1931 ballet The Bolt, and are going on show at London’s Gallery for Russian Arts and Design alongside a series of period photographs. The ballet itself was bold and striking in its use of real hammers, machine-inspired choreography, aerobics and acrobatics, and the costume images are equally as dynamic, inspired by “the aesthetics of agit-theatre and artist-designed propaganda posters”, according to the gallery. The sense of movement is palpable, whether in the graceful billowing dresses or the staggering legs of our brightly-coloured drunkard, working against the geometric rigidity of the style to beautiful effect.

  9. List

    Josh Cochran is one of those illustrators who, even though he’s been around for ages, still manages to keep his work endlessly fresh. His fantastically atmospheric, often surreal illustrations, keep going from strength to strength, building in textural complexity and narrative devices. Perhaps that’s the result of his nomadic lifestyle moving between Taiwan, Los Angeles and New York. Or perhaps he’s just got an endlessly inventive mind and creative spirit. Either way, he’s a talented dude.

  10. List

    A cute little one-eyed book reading a cute little two-eyed book greets us on the site of designer and illustrator Julia Boehme, offering an irresistible invitation to delve into her portfolio, which perhaps unsurprisingly, leans toward all things bookish. The wee anthropomorphised tomes also star alongside pretty girls reading books in some great work for Hungarian University of Fine Arts, for which she’s produced a small brochure explaining the four arts libraries in Budapest. Cuteness is very much the order of the day throughout her work, but she manages to stay just the right side of sickly. We love the simple, tongue-in-cheek Wes Anderson aesthetic of the Year Book project from 2011, which acts as another excuse for us to post some ludicrous, large-specs-based portrait photography.

  11. Main1

    Art and music go together like warm Yorkshire puddings and gravy, everyone knows that! But it’s even more delicious when the artist and musician love each other so much that they collaborate again, and again, and again. Such is the nature of Norwegian duo DJ Todd Terje and artist Bendik Kaltenborn. Bendik’s been cracking out spectacular designs, posters, comics and illustrations for years and has spent his time of late designing album artwork for the wonderful Todd. Now I’m not saying no one would listen to Todd’s music without such appealing album artwork (if you’ve ever seen him live, you get the feeling that a lot of people love his music a LOT) but with sleeve artwork as good as this, how can people not buy it? Here’s to two good friends who are making a living by feeding off each other’s talent (Todd recently made special songs to accompany Bendik’s book!) and long may they continue.

  12. List

    One of the best things about working here at It’s Nice That is when one of our colleagues tips us off to a creative superstar we hadn’t previously heard of. It was yesterday that our art director Jamie McIntyre casually dropped the name 44flavours into conversation and when I got round to checking out their work today it’s fair to say my flabber was ghasted.

  13. List-14210867127_06c7643fbd_b

    There’s an endearingly open, experimental feel to the work of Barcelona-based illustrator and designer Joan Casaramona. Across his online platforms he’s more than willing to share every step of his process, showing sketchbooks filled with his dabblings in paint, collage, print and animation, offering a charming insight into his strange and multifarious inspirations. We were especially drawn to his works looking at wee Napoleon, rendered at times as a rather hirsute figure; at others like a little devil. For us his work is most effective when in primary colours that remind us of Fredun Shapur’s little characters, but one monochrome work really stood out – the great little GIF below where a woman joyfully strips off, baring all before taking her little black dress and wrapping herself up in it to form a tiny black ball.