The most famous artists are painters. Yet it is illustrators who have drawn a lot of the art that we are exposed to. Everyday things that we do not even think about artistically: food packaging, advertising, greeting cards and books, are all usually the domain of the humble illustrator. I grew up with Peter Blake’s pictorial accompaniments to Road Dahl’s books yet I am (embarrassingly) hard pressed to list the names of many other illustrators. Recently however, I had the pleasure to get to know Rosie Chomet, a young London based illustrator who’s images are colourful, fun and witty and has been commissioned by the likes of the European Cultural Learning Network, Gail’s Bakery and the Quarter Newspaper. Luckily for all my London readers who have not had the opportunity to see Rosie’s work, she is currently on display with the LCC Illustrators at Karamel Restaurant. I also got to interview Rosie here on Gallery Girl!
Gallery Girl: How did LCC Illustrators come together?
Rosie: I wanted to put on an exhibition at Karamel that showcased a diverse range of fresh new illustration. I thought the venue would be the right size for about four illustrators to exhibit, so that each would be able to display around ten pieces and show off a good range of their work. So I asked three other students from my course, whose work I thought would compliment each other’s and provide an interesting variety of styles, if they would like to exhibit with me.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by everything around me, even the seemingly mundane- there is always something of interest to pick out. Often I will just perceive the slightest oddity and my imagination runs away with itself! I am constantly inspired by the work of other artists too, whether it be on Instagram, from books or in galleries.
You recently did some work for Gail’s Bakery, are there any more food collaborations to look out for?
Yes, last summer I did the promotional illustrations for Gail’s Bakery’s Ice Cream Sandwiches, which was great! I am currently working on another food-themed collaboration but it has to be kept secret for now!
The exhibition is inside a vegan cafe and many of your images contain a lot of food imagery, are you hoping the exhibition space will help people get involved with your artwork?
I actually had a piece called ‘Meat Heads’, the same concept as ‘Cake Heads,’ but I didn’t think it would be appropriate to exhibit inside a Vegan cafe! Yes, I hope the exhibition will lead to more exposure for my work and connections with people who might be interested in using me as an illustrator or graphic designer.
What are your plans after University and what do you hope to achieve with your art in the future?
I still have another year left before I complete my degree, so I haven’t decided exactly what I will do afterwards – I may do a Masters or just go straight into work as a graphic designer and illustrator. In the future my aims will, as they have always been, to achieve clear visual communication whilst still being playful and pushing the boundaries. Through my work, I want to make people think, to see things in a different way, to stretch their imagination just a little bit more.
When I think about illustrations, the first thing I think about are children’s books. Your artwork proves that illustration is not limited to literature, however, would you ever consider working on books and if so, what would be your dream book to contribute artwork for?
I would love to do children’s book illustrations. I feel that words and images can have such a magical pairing and that illustrations can truly bring a story to life. I think much of my future work will definitely involve both words and images. Ideally, I would like to write and illustrate my own books and create my own stories and characters. My dream book to contribute artwork for would have to be Illustration Now! It is the most incredible series and has been one of my biggest sources of inspiration.
You have an impressive range of products in your online shop, what is your personal favourite?
My personal favourite would have to be ‘Crazy Heads’, although I like ‘Falling in Love’ as a throw pillow design- and you can never have enough throw pillows!
What are your favourite things to illustrate?
People, people interacting, faces, long hair, animals (particularly cute ones), food and interesting objects like light bulbs.
Any illustrators that we should know about?
Oh an infinite number! A few that come to mind though are Barbara Wurszt, Yumi Sakugawa and Beatrice Alemagna.
I personally think many of your prints would make amazing fabric – would you ever consider selling fabric or making clothes from your art?
I would like to explore that possibility more, definitely. In my online shop, many of my designs are already available on throw pillows, tote bags and t-shirts. I would like to expand my designs not only on fabrics but also across things such as stationary, notebook covers, pencil cases, bowls etc. The possibilities are endless!
The LCC Illustrators are on display at Karamel Restaurant until 6 March