October 12, 2016

Lorna Harrington is a freelance illustrator and designer who has exhibited her work all over the UK. She speaks to us about her love of traditional techniques and her brightly painted customised shoes.

UO: What is your first memory of being creative?

This was when I was really young. My Grandfather, who I affectionately called Pops, used to buy me weekly colouring books and crayons to scribble with. He was a fantastic artist, and had an amazing sketchbook of his work that he used to catch me flicking through. He had a real talent for drawing portraits, they looked almost photographic. He sat me down one day and taught me how to shade with pencil. I think this is why I have always loved drawing faces.

UO: What is your favourite medium to work in?

It varies. At university I got really into collage at one point, from then I played around with a few digital techniques, but for me I think nothing beats pen and paper. I find sketching and colouring really therapeutic, I tend to be more productive if I am a bit stressed.

UO: Your work often references popular culture; where is the main place that you find inspiration?

I get inspired by a lot of things; it constantly changes. But when I feel like I want to sketch, but have no real ideas I usually turn to a photographic book. Usually one that includes nature or portraits. I tend to sketch animals as general doodles, and sometimes they develop into a completed piece of work.

UO: Which has been your favourite project to work on to date?

My DIY Docs for Dr Martens. The response I received from them was pretty overwhelming. I’ve just managed to get through my order list!

UO: What is the most important lesson you have learnt whilst being a freelance illustrator?

To trust your gut instinct, and take criticism under the chin and do what you enjoy.

UO: What is your go-to playlist when you are working on an illustration?

My itunes playlists are usually quite weird…It varies from Culture Club to Drake! At the moment I have been listening to Nick Cave’s latest album, Skeleton Tree. It’s really beautiful.

UO: How did you find and refine your drawing style?

It’s changed quite a bit over the years. But it happened quite organically. A combination of being inspired by other artists and also just completely letting go and doodling without thinking about it.

UO: Describe your work in three words.

Cute, funny and a bit weird.

UO: What is the one stationery item that you cannot live without?

A good tablet eraser! I rarely draw anything correctly first time…and a thick ballpoint black pen. My sketches don’t feel complete unless they have a strong outline.

UO: Can you tell us about any future projects that you have planned?

I have a few illustrations featured in some print publications out this month. One is a really cool magazine called Dog, as an animal lover this was so much fun! I also have a few projects on the horizon with a couple of clothing companies, but that’s all I can say…WATCH THIS SPACE!