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Freelance Artist & Illustrator Jessica Courtney-Tickle

Jessica Courtney-Tickle is an illustrator based in rural Cambridgeshire surrounded by lots of green and very few shops. She is currently working as a freelance artist but also sells her own work via her own Etsy shop.

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‘I am attempting to fill this with things day by day! If I had to describe my work in three words I think bright, bold and detailed just about sums it up. I also tend to gravitate toward nature in my work, even if it’s a city scene there has to be a flower stall or a few trees. I think I also just have an ingrained love of the colour green!

I graduated from the Illustration & Animation course at Kingston University in July 2014. This course was where I realised I loved working with narrative and found myself drawn towards picture books and characters, so much so that I would often spend the very little extra money I had on second hand books! I would wholly recommend that course to anyone who is considering illustration or even those who aren’t entirely sure which direction to take within the creative fields. Some of my classmates ended up doing photography, product design, film or sculpture. It’s definitely not all about drawing but a good place to figure out what it is you want to do.’

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‘My process of working is a weird one (I think). I don’t always plan, even though a lot of the time I really should. Most of my favourite work comes out of happy mistakes and experiments. Of course if it’s a book, I have to plan as otherwise the story would go nowhere. But when it’s a one off piece often I will just get an urge to paint something and there is no stopping it! I find that planning too much takes away the surprise. I work primarily in gouache but almost always use the computer to retouch, jiggle bits and pieces around and adjust the colours.

If I’m feeling uninspired I know I need to go for a walk and realise life doesn’t stop at my desk, but I also like to look at vintage artwork. Books by Alice and Martin Provensen, Roger Duvoisin and Edward Ardizzone always make me motivated to draw and paint. I’ve also always been a big fan of paper craft, primarily paper theatres. I’m hoping to work on a few of these in the future! Currently I’m attempting to get a portfolio together to visit some publishers with (eek) so that I can accomplish my goal & publish a picture book!’

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Website | @jesscotickle | Shop