I came across this illustrator today and had to share. LUV her stuff, amazing use of vibrant colours and patterns. Very inspiring, would love to revamp my blog with a look similar to this!! Better get my felt tip pens out :o) Check out more of Nikki Farquharson‘s work here.
Nikki also set up another interesting website called Random Got Beautiful in March 2007. It’s open for public participation.
The concept is to take photos containing dominant colours out of their original context and place them together to create a new one. Some really beautiful visuals, love the simplicity of it.
And here’s a few questions and answers with Nikki Farquharson herself….
How would you sum up your work?
My work tends to end up in a variety of outcomes because I like to showcase different ideas. They vary from being quite simple to massively detailed. A heavy focus randomly shifts between colour, pattern, typography and communicative concepts, which sometimes lead to books or photo projects.
How did you become a designer/illustrator?
I have always been very interested in visual messages and communication. I studied graphic design for a total of six years, completing my degree in the final two. My degree course focused heavily on conceptual ideas. This was really helpful and new, but simultaneously I wanted to be creative outside of graphic design so I started to draw for escapism. I found myself mostly drawing abstract shapes and patterns. I decided to take illustration more seriously after I graduated in 2008.
What is your mixed media work about?
Mixed Media Girls are experimental works combining found imagery with personal illustration. A Mixed Media Girl illustration is initially inspired by the original photograph. I alter the girl’s surroundings by including abstract details in bright colours and meticulous patterns. The final outcome is often playful and eclectic. I use the girl as either a prop to the pattern or just part of the canvas. I had always enjoyed creating abstract illustrations, but I decided to add girls to put the patterns into context. Sometimes it is viewed as the other way round but I don’t mind that. I approach mixed media work for clients a little differently. The illustration should be secondary to the real imagery. I want to enhance the photography, not drown it out.
Describe your other work in more detail?
I create books that are simple conceptual ideas referring to language and communication. I’m always interested in how we interact with one another and how different people have a mutual understanding on simple common things. I love type so I’m also in the process of creating a collection of typographic illustrations. Random Got Beautiful is an online public participatory site that I started while I was at university. I have a fascination with other people’s random spontaneous photographs, so I wanted to create an easy location for them to be viewed and decided that ‘colour’ was a nice easy incentive to get people involved. I’m trying to work more with photography too. I like creating photo sets based on simple ideas that I personally find interesting. My portfolio as a whole is quite random.
What materials do you work with?
I mostly work with pens and paper; they’re my favourite medium. I draw and colour by hand because I enjoy the process and prefer the results. I use pencils, fine liner pens and a lot of colour markers. Some mixed media works contain real imagery. The photography is either given to me or I find them in magazines. Most of the time I literally cut and paste them on, but other times I would add them on the computer as the last step.
How much time do you spend to complete an illustration?
If there is no deadline then too much time. Procrastination is my worst habit.
Who and what inspire you?
Almost everything. Things that I see, hear or randomly notice can trigger an idea for a another book or illustration. The passion displayed by other people in various design fields (art, sculpture, music videos etc.) also inspire me to work on what I do. However, the work by the following illustrators were my initial inspiration to choose illustration as my primary path: Pomme Chan, Container Plus, Naja Conrad-Hansen, Geraldine Georges, Cecilia Carlstedt, Audrey Kawasaki, Jasper Goodall and Jason Levesque. You can view what I currently love and what inspires me on my blog.
What advice would you share with someone who is entering the world of art and design?
I’d share advice that was given to me. “Be prolific.” Create a lot of work and then create more. Don’t stop experimenting or trying to improve. Creating an online portfolio site is very easy too. It’s a relevant and convenient way to share your work with a wide audience and is the perfect catalyst to get noticed. Send links of your work to magazines, brands, studios etc. and join online design communities just to get that initial ball rolling. It’s all about letting people know that you exist. If you’re passionate about it, you won’t give up on it.