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Work / Illustration

Steph Hughes on how her illustrated posters grew from being in a band

Illustrator Steph Hughes began her career through poster designs, an apt medium which allows her stylistic traits to sing. “I’ve drawn since forever,” she tells It’s Nice That. “But the whole poster-making thing was instigated early on because the bands I was in needed posters!”

The act of designing and illustrating posters continues to excite the illustrator, a temperament that elevates her work. “It’s still true to this day, and I’ve never been un-excited by the prospect of making a gig poster. I also collect and stash away a lot of local posters and flyers – I’m a fan in general.” Beginning her creative career in a lo-fi medium has allowed her work to develop, “it’s rolled on to diverse working with lots of different organisations in different places, which is lovely,” Steph explains.

In terms of process, the illustrator explains that each day begins “with a jumbo-sized coffee – then I look up and the day is totally gone, and I have a jumbo coffee headache, which is a nice way to loose the day”. Working by hand, initially Steph draws her first ideas in pen and pencil, building up the linework before adding colour digitally. “It’s a process I’ve fallen into that works and that I’ve honed and learned more about as I’ve gone along.” Explaining that “I’m pretty much interested in drawing the same things I was when I was eight,” Steph’s illustrations include maps, cities, cars and heads, gravitating towards objects that can create “quite busy lines”.

More recently, Steph has been working her way towards creating lino cut images, ahead of a an exhibition of her works later this year. “It’s a printmaking medium I’ve fallen in love with and has added a layer of process that fits with what I make. I’ve only accidentally stabbed myself five times (!), but having my first exhibition is an exciting and nerve-wracking thing and I’m glad to working towards it.”

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