Freelance Illustrator Isobel Woodcock

A graduate of Falmouth University, Isobel Woodcock is now a freelance illustrator working from her home county of Cornwall.

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‘After finishing college I went on to study a foundation Arts course at Tregye, which really confirmed my desire to work in illustration! After Tregye I went on to study illustration at Falmouth University. Studying at Falmouth university has been fantastic, the course covers such a broad spectrum of styles and really prepares you for the practical working life of an illustrator.

I have been very lucky during my education to stay in my home county of Cornwall. Cornwall is such a beautiful and inspiring place, so whenever I get artists block, I rush down to the beach for a cheeky surf or a walk up around the cliffs which always blows the cobwebs away and get the ideas flowing again!’

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‘I mainly work with watercolour and pencil to produce my illustrations whilst using a combination of kitchen roll and photoshop to clean up any paint slips!

I find biscuits often help me with the inspiration process, and therefore are an essential part of my illustrators kit, apart from when my three legged cat demands her share of the treats (she has cat biscuits, whereas I prefer chocolate) which slows down work further until I have attended to her demands!

I draw influence from much of the world around me, from the nautical and maritime history of cornwall, with its fishing industry and tales of smugglers and wreckers, to the stunning countryside of stark cliffs and sweet hidden little lanes that wind away to secluded places. I love to illustrate scenes which spark the imagination, or amuse the viewer. From a young age I have always loved the work of jill barklem and her Brambly Hedge series, with her adorable characters and beautiful attention to detail, as well as the work of Arthur Rackham with his stunning paintings and silhouettes. Whilst the influences of my childhood have stayed with me, today my influences vary from the sketchbooks of Guillermo Del Toro to the designer Tord Boontje, I have quite an eclectic mix of tastes which constantly inspires me to create new work.’

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‘I recently finished a character study for a book about a family of mice, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and has cemented my interest in narrative illustration.

I am currently working on a watercolour piece for The Coffee Art Project entitled “a coffee daydream” so my head has been filled with fantastical images of sailing ships and hot air balloons! Alongside this project have been working on a short swahili fairytale, about a deceptive Hare who gets his comeuppance at the hands of a hunters wife. The tale is quite entertaining, so I am trying to convey that humor in my illustrations which has been good fun!’

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