Interview with illustrator ESTELLE MORRIS

Estelle Morris - illustrator

Estelle Morris is an illustrator based in Cambridge, I first came across her work, when she illustrated my belts for an article in Amelia's Magazine which I instantly fell in Love with.  Estelle's work is clean and minimally beautiful, she captures the essence of her subject, with simple line and soft colour.  This way of working creates dynamic and emotional pieces that inspire the mind. This serene and recognisable style is shown in my first example, a portrait of May, Estelle's Niece, this illustration was done exclusively for my loves blog and i think it captures a naughtiness and inquisitiveness of May.

May by Estelle Morris, drawn exclusively for My Loves fashion blog.
I asked Estelle to answer some interview questions and her infectious personality was very much obliging and we are happy to have her as our first interviewee. Estelle's passion is drawings, with a few other things thrown in 'I love to draw, watch trashy TV and bake cakes'. We think this is a winning combination! 

1) Tell me about yourself and your design back ground?
Hello! I'm Estelle, I live in Cambridge and love to draw, I'd draw all day if I didn't have to also work as a receptionist... I'm hoping to be a full time freelance illustrator as soon as I can. I graduated from University last year with a degree in illustration, having previously studied fashion and art at College. I've always loved drawing people and fashion design pushed me in that direction even more. My favourite things to draw are hands and knees.
Drawing of hands by Estelle Morris
2) How and why did you start ....
The only thing I was ever good at was drawing and I always asked for art stuff at birthdays and Christmas. I guess illustration can be pretty lonely sometimes but that never really bothered me. I honestly can't see myself being happy doing anything else, I do love making things and lots of areas of art, but the process of taking in an idea or piece of writing and coming up with an illustration is what drives me. 

3)whats your specalism, and what exciting projects have you got coming up?
I don't know what I'd say that is to be honest! I suppose I'm most confident in drawing people a lot of the time, but that's constantly changing and I've really gotten into repeating patterns lately. I think once I know I can do something it bores me and I like to try new things and see where it leads to.
The past few weeks have been really busy for me, I'm trying to build up my portfolio so have been doing lots of work for various blogs, websites and magazines - this included! I actually dread doing interviews but it's so overwhelming to think someone wants to hear my words. At the moment I'm working on my biggest illustration yet - a double page spread for Cellardoor Magazine and am just hoping I don't screw it up!

(Estelle's repeating patterns - male pattern, and illustration for Amelia's Magazine showing an Eye Of The World designs belt.)

4)How are you finding your feet in the industry? And what is your proudest achievement to date?
Since leaving University I've found it really difficult to get paid work, so I've decided to not worry about that at the moment and just to build up my portfolio with free work. I'm hoping this leads to a really varied body of illustrations which will help me secure future commissions. I send emails, update my own sites and check websites every single day; if you don't get out there then work doesn't come looking for you. I think choosing a freelance career is either briliant or possibly idiotic...
My proudest achievement in a creative context would probably be the fact that I've been shortlisted for a photography award in March next year. I'm so nervous about it but was thrilled as I would consider myself an illustrator rather than photographer, so to be recognised for that felt wonderful.

5) Tell me about the images you have supplied for e interview and your inspirations?

This is an illustration of my niece, May; I went to visit my sister in Eastbourne at the weekend and took so many photos of her, she's that perfect mix of cute and really naughty! The others are some illustrations I've been working on lately, most of them are fashion based which I've loved getting back into.

Fashion illustrations by Estelle Morris.

6) Have you had any exhibitions, tell us about them??
I've only had my degree show exhibition and New Designers in London which my class participated in. I enjoyed them, but I prefer my work to be seen in an editorial, almost 'throwaway' context; I like to illustrate something and then work on a new project straight after.
I've had photographs in a couple of smaller exhibitions over the past couple of months which was great. Me and my friends have been talking about a collective illustration exhibition for ages, but we just never seem to get around to organising one!
7)What inspires you most? 
Mundane things; I like to just watch a lot of the time and let things sink in. I write down phrases or ideas in my diary as otherwise I forget everything.
(above)Portrait by Estelle Morris.
8)Who are your main inspiration?
I don't really have one person or artist I aspire to be like, but I guess one of my 'idols' is Daniel Clowes. I have all his graphic novels and just adore the way he thinks and draws. 

9)If you could design for anyone or any company which would it be and why?
I'd love to design an album cover for a band like Bon Iver or Warpaint, or work on a campaign for Adidas and create some tshirt or sneaker designs. Regular illustrations for big fashion magazines would also be lovely..

10)what are your favourite/signature materials and why?HB pencil, collaged paper, screenprinting (when I have the opportunity!) I've been using photoshop a lot more recently due to quick jobs, but I prefer to make everything by hand. 

11)Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Ha, well where I would like to be is sitting in my studio in a lovely old house in a big city, working as a full time freelance illustrator or travelling around Europe with a sketchbook.

12)give me a blurb to promote yourself that i can edit for your introduction!
I love to draw, watch trashy TV and bake cakes.
I graduated with a degree in Illustration last year from Cambridge School of Art and have been living here since. My work is based on life and I like to take something ordinary or mundane and filter it through into my illustrations. Everything starts with pencil drawings and evolves from there. I like to work at my messy desk sitting under a shelf of old cameras with some good music on!
I would love to have my own screenpriting studio and spend all day drawing and creating work.

Estelle's Work can be seen here www.estellemorris.com

All copyright remains with the artists, please do not use any images without prior permission from Estelle.

1 comment:

  1. What a really nice fluid style. A nice change from the digital style so popular now.