A graduate of Cambridge School of Art, Abi Stevens work currently takes a lot of inspiration from Greek mythology.
My education has been varied and informative. It took me until my foundation degree at Suffolk College to realise that I wanted to be an Illustrator, but after completing my degree in Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, I know this is where I what I want to spend my life doing. I am never happier than when I am creating something new. My previous studies in Fine Art, English, History and Psychology at sixth form have nurtured my curiosity and encouraged me to take interest in the world around me, which has altered the way I approach my work. Divergent interests and an open mind are essential in allowing me to create striking illustrations.
I devour science, history, music, film and of course, Illustration. My personal works reflect eclectic interests and obsessions of the moment. At present, space, Greek mythology and various legendary creatures are recurring themes. I love researching my work and will read up on the lesser know history of Greek goddesses, or the psychology of phantom limbs, if it helps to inform my work through understanding it’s subject. One of my goals is to have work featured in New Scientist, as I love their articles and how they relate scientific discovery to it’s practical applications in laymen’s terms.
I believe one of the most important skills for an illustrator is adaptability and I try to encourage this by challenging myself to add a new process or pattern to each piece of work I produce. This keeps my mind active and motivates me to search for new inspirations wherever I go. Influences on my working style include 60’s ads and posters, Egyptian sarcophagi and illuminated manuscripts. I love their striking and stylised figures and the use of bright colours and strong patterns, and this has informed the way I construct my own illustrations. Bright palettes, bold lines and layers of pattern and shadow are identifying characteristics of my work, although I also enjoy the simplicity of one colour line drawings.
Currently I am working on some ideas for bright and cheerful jewellery designs and a possible exhibition (which involves experimenting with more traditional media), as well as taking part in Ten Paces and Draw exchanges and various competitions, to mix up my work with new challenges and subjects. I also attend local networking events, as well as maintaining a portfolio website, a blog and a twitter account, as I have found these to be invaluable networking and inspirational tools.