As a recent graduate, Lotte Cassidy found herself facing a very different graduate life to most. Having studied illustration and animation in Bournemouth, she spent the first lockdown in the seaside town with her friends at uni. But when the second and third wave hit, it was a very different story. Now based back in North London where she grew up, “being home again has given me a different perspective,” she tells us. She started taking in all the things around her – the diversity and eclectic cultural influences – and began documenting them on paper.
In her signature style of hand rendered textures and colourful, confident line work, Lotte’s latest series on lockdown illustrates the changing of the seasons and the musings of a very different year to say the least. But instead of focusing on the negatives (which is easily done when it comes to anything pandemic-related) Lotte highlights the everyday joys around her, from the blooming cultural diversity to her daily walks with her dog in Clissold Park.
She illustrates the cultural influences intertwined with daily life. Turkish kebabs, off licenses, bagel houses and parks all appear in her work. Drawing with energy and vibrance, Lotte invites us to observe the ins and outs of her lockdown experience. Prior to this series, we first met Lotte as part of Grads where she provided bags of laughs with her charming animations. In Strange Seaside, she encapsulates the quirks of the British seaside in a two-and-a-half animation. Transporting us to a day by the seaside, the cheery animation is a creative pick-me-up if you’re ever in need of one.
Her other graduate film Fancy A Cuppa has been featured in numerous festivals including the Glasgow Film Festival and Sunday Shorts Film Festival. The film features her grandma, who talks about her childhood memories over a cup of tea. Lotte says of the evocative film: “forgetfulness is a normal part of ageing. Memories come and go in no particular order.” Texture is a constant throughout Lotte’s practice. Whether she’s working digitally or by hand, she is drawn towards texture to create a sense of energy in between the lines. “I like switching between both media as I like being tactile, quick, scribbly and playful,” she adds.
Constructing vast illustrations full of tiny and different details, Lotte tells a story full of atmosphere through her wobbly works. When she isn’t drawing, she likes to collect things and takes photos of her surroundings which later informs her practice. Scrolling through her camera roll, you can find anything from signage, people in puffer jackets, foliage, graffiti, dogs, chimneys, fish and chips, and more. “I like exploring the everyday,” she says, “documenting a space.”
An observation of these strange times lensed through the illustrator’s unique gaze, these illustrations show all the things Lotte knows and loves. “I want people to be able to relate to my work by showing everyday moments in lockdown, reflecting on what has now become the focus of peoples’ lives.” All in all, her work is an artistic breath of fresh air, taking us for a gusty walk in the park to a home workout with yoga stretches. As for the future, we hope to see much more from Lotte as she embarks on a master’s degree at London’s Royal College of Art, making more animations and drawings to boot.
GalleryCopyright © Lotte Cassidy, 2021
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.