Laura Gee is an illustrator based in London who worked with us here at Fred’s in 2009 – 2011, and is now one of our independent suppliers, sending us cards and cushion to sell. Laura has a playful and witty style, with designs that cheer you up through her irreverent take on feelings and greetings.
A few weeks ago we went to visit Illustrator Laura Gee at Hackney Downs Studios in London, which is a really inspiring place to walk around. We were greeted outside by a stream of bunting which leads you to the various studios and also an on site cafe called The Russet, which hosts a number of events, and showcases artwork on the walls. It was really great to see Laura’s studio, we even got a sneak peak at some of her new work! Laura sketches out her designs, and paints them with watercolours which are later scanned and printed in various ways including on cards and cushions. I have my eye on everything for home and gift ideas. We asked Laura a few questions about her work, which you can find the answers to below.
When did you know that you wanted to be an illustrator? Did it come as a surprise or have you always drawn?
I have always drawn since I was a child, it was a very natural way for me to communicate, to play. It was only when I was a lot older did I know about people being this thing ‘illustrators’.
Your illustrations seem to capture human emotions in a subtle but heartfelt way, often via animals, where do you get your inspiration from?
I have lots of tiny sketchbooks and I carry these with me, noting and drawing things I see, how I’m feeling, observing strangers,what I’ve read etc. This then all gets mixed together and combined with my interest in outsider art, folk art I produce images with a mixture of animals, text and always a dose of emotion
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Watercolour, gouache and now I have started to create ceramics, using clay is great!
Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators?
Don’t listen to other people’s advice, but if you were to listen to mine I would say…listen to your own voice and do what you want to do and what feels right, concentrate on creating work that has meaning to you,be honest and brave.
Do you have any exciting projects on the go at the moment that you could tell us about?
I am preparing for my first solo show in London, which will be at Lik and Neon, so I’m playing with ceramics and laser cutting, also I’m creating new work for an egyptian themed exhibition in London, and busy making new products which can be in great shops like Freds.
Thanks for showing us around Gee, we loved seeing you and what you’re creating!