Illustrator Charlotte Ager creates work that is both evocative and intriguing. She’s currently studying at Kingston and was first drawn to the breadth illustration has to offer as a discipline and “how it can tackle so many ideas an issues in so many different forms”.
“I love how instantly and thoughtfully it communicates with people. At school I had only ever painted things from photographs but on my foundation at Kingston, from the first time my tutor took us location drawing I was hooked,” say Charlotte. “It seems bizarre now because I draw everyday. It was like a light had been turned on – I feel a sense of excitement when I’m drawing.”
Charlotte describes her style as “messy”, yet this chaos translates itself into images that are full of energy, movement and atmosphere. “I’m very impatient so I get things down quickly. It’s also a lot about colour, when I was studying art at school I would spend hours copying famous artist’s painting like Matisse, Gauguin and Picasso, so I think now I’m often driven by putting colours together,” the illustrator explains.
The way Charlotte assembles her illustrations together and the speed she does this is integral to her creative process. She often doesn’t know how a drawing will look in the end but “the unexpectedness is what I enjoy”. Layers of mark making combine with a mix of darker shades and lighter hues giving her work a wonderful vibrancy.
People and places are the subjects of Charlotte illustrations and its the hubbub that surrounds them. “I love recording movement and things that are fleeting,” say Charlotte. “In my studio practice I like working with film, animations and drawings to communicate ideas that are hard to communicate verbally and tackling topics that are often quite hard to talk about or understand.”
With Charlotte just on the cusp of graduating this year, she’s already a prolific image-maker and working with her peers has been eyeopening for the illustrator. “I’ve been very lucky in my year at university surrounded by incredibly talented people who work in such different ways that challenge the way I think about my own work, which has been invaluable.”
About the Author
Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.