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Freelance Illustrator Kirsty Ellen Mottram

Kirsty Ellen Mottram sells her work via Etsy and has been developing her style since first graduating from the University of Leeds several years ago.

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‘2014 has been a big year for me as I have finally launched my Etsy store to sell my work, as well as taking on more freelance commissions. I also made my first foray into the word of surface design, making it into the top 100 of the Spoonflower Fabric8 contest.’

‘I’ve always been in love with drawing – I remember my art teacher exclaiming ‘you are a draw-er you are’ when I was 15 years old as I spent my break time sketching a dried sunflower in the art room. Ever since I was a teenager I’ve been interested in black outlines & bright colours but I’ve experimented with many different approaches throughout my education. I went to The University of Leeds to study Contemporary Art Practice & graduated with first class honours. Then I married the love of my life & we moved to Devon where I trained to be an art teacher. After my husband was offered a job in The Netherlands we moved out here too. Throughout all this time I kept making work, honing my skills and style.’

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‘Every piece I make starts out life as a black fine liner drawing which is then scanned into the computer and edited on Photoshop. I often print out the work and then collage it with others onto card. This is then rescanned and re-edited. It can be a long process, but it’s one that allows me to create the detail and textures I love.

So many things inspire my work: fashion, colour, 1950s prints, layering and textures. I love quirkiness and the kind of aesthetic you see in Wes Anderson’s films. At the same time I often draw from fashion images, but again like to include something offbeat. I’m a big fan of geekchic…it’s funny that the geek look is now quite in…my high school art teacher described my style as eccentric and now it seems kind of fashionable. Oxfam was and still is my favourite clothes shop but now that’s a ‘cool’ thing. I’m a huge Pinterest addict, which is where you can see many of my visual influences online.’

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‘I feel very blessed to call myself an illustrator and have been lucky to take on some great projects. I’m currently working on some private commissions for Christmas cards, business logos and branding. I plan to sell more of my personal work through my online store, as well as new projects as they come in. I’m sending out my first publicity mailers in the next few weeks too. This is all really exciting and also coincides with my greatest adventure to date: the birth of our little boy Arthur who is just 5 weeks old. One day I would love to illustrate a children’s book that I can read to him.’

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