For Lucy Sherston, one of the most exciting things about being an illustrator is the constant learning and development. “I see illustration as being like a walk through a dense, overgrown forest” she tells It’s Nice That. “Each job allows me to cut through the overgrowth and see my direction more clearly, but the path is never completely clear, which can be frustrating but ultimately exciting.”
The Brighton-based illustrator predominantly works within the editorial sphere, most recently for the likes of Tablet Mag and Scouting magazine. With a seamless ability to marry two contrasting aesthetics together, Lucy’s illustrations balance between the figurative and the abstract. Over the years, she’s developed a style which couples hand drawn lines with painterly marks and graphic shapes. “I’ve created a process of building up one image and then looking at the parts I can take away which gives my work more balance, and I hope this allows the viewer to fill in the gaps,” adds Lucy on her making process.
If her years of experience as an illustrator has taught her anything, it’s that leaving out parts of a composition is as important as the elements she chooses to keep in. “Ironically,” she says on the matter, “using an iPad has made me feel more in touch with drawing, and I think this really comes through in my recent work.” The device allows her to quickly add and remove visual elements of her work in an experimental fashion. We’ve all encountered moments where we wished we could undo a mistake and digital drawing allows for this as well.
As a part time designer at a surface pattern design studio, Lucy manages to juggle her freelance work in between the studio work. “I’m learning to appreciate the down time when I don’t have as much freelance work coming in,” she explains on managing her work load. And when her schedule gets really busy and Lucy feels the frustration of not being able to spend more time on personal projects, she tries to get her ideas down on paper at least and jots down initial sketches to “get any ideas out of [her] head,” which she will hopefully be able to return to at a later date.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.