September 7, 2016

Illustration graduate Manjit Thapp talks to us about the artists she loves and spotting her products on Instagram…

UO: Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?

I find inspiration from a lot of different places; from movies, fashion, tv, music. I like to keep a folder on my desktop full of images that inspire me. It’s nice to browse through those when I’m stuck for ideas.

UO: What is the most valuable lesson you learnt whilst studying illustration at university?

To be more versatile and push myself out of my comfort zone. I was able to explore different forms of illustration through the briefs such as animation, 3d, narrative work, etc. Not everything stuck, but some of it did, especially the narrative work. I never thought I’d make comics and enjoy it!

UO: What is your creative process; How do you get in the right frame of mind to draw?

This is something I struggle with frequently, especially if I don’t have any ideas. I find looking through images I’ve saved for inspiration is helpful and listening to music. I also like to look through rough sketches and doodles I’ve done recently. My current process is to draw everything by hand using pencils, I then scan and add colour digitally.

UO: Are there any artists that you are interested in right now?

So many! I love Gill Button’s paintings she creates such captivating portraits. Tessar Lo’s paintings are really great too. Charlotte Mei’s work is playful and bold and I admire how she translates this through so many different forms. Ryan Humphrey’s pencil work is also so inspiring to me.

UO: Is the recurrent female subject of your work a biographical depiction?

I like to create a narrative in my work but I wouldn’t say it’s biographical exactly, there is definitely a personal connection in an emotive way. Often it can be unintentional and other times I’ll add something in purposefully.

UO: You create a range of products from phone cases to sticker sheets. What has been your favourite project to work on so far?

I think the comics I’ve made, so much work goes into making them it’s really rewarding at the end to have it printed and in your hand! I also enjoyed working on the sticker sheets and I love seeing how customers are using them via instagram.

UO: Describe your style in three words.

Relaxed, minimal, comfortable.

UO: How has your drawing developed over the past few years?

My drawing style has definitely changed considerably. I would make a lot of purely digital work and over the past few years I’ve been incorporating traditional media a lot more. I love the texture of pencils and I like to retain that as much as possible.

UO: What is your No.1 tip for budding illustrators?

Try not to focus or worry too much on finding your drawing ‘style’ it’s not a definitive thing, it’s something that will always be evolving and changing.

UO: Now that you’ve graduated, what are your plans for the near future?

I’d love to do more commission and collaborative work. I also really enjoy running my online store so I’m looking forward to having more time to work on new products!

Follow @manjitthapp on Instagram.