Exploring The Notion of Play
Lottie Hughes is a uk based illustrator, who explores the realm of illustrator creating playful/colourful illustrations rich in character
Who influences you graphically?
I’m influenced by everyday life and surroundings. My work is based around interior settings and architectural forms. My illustrations come from things I see that inspire me from a simple chair in a cafe to the face of a building combined with sketches I make from my head. I’m inspired by modernist architecture and furniture design, designers such as Charles and Ray Eames and Marcel Breuer from the Bauhaus movement strongly influence my work.
What power does colour hold?
Colour is extremely important, it is the tool that I use to depict a certain atmosphere or emotion within my interiors. Along with drawing, both observational and fictional, colour is the most important part of my work. I tend to not stick to one colour palette, I like to combine fluorescents with more pastel colours, which helps make the objects and furniture that I draw come to life.
What dictates the choice of colour palette for each illustration?
A lot of my work is based around the notion of play, I like my illustrations to have a playful and characterful side to them, I tend to use colours that are vibrant and enhanced with texture and repeated patterns. I work in RGB and print my work using a Giclée technique; this allows the colours I use to be as rich and bright as possible, often set against a background made of more muted and quiet tones.
What is your work process? (hand drawing, photoshop, bamboo tablet?) and what is your preferred tool?
I always start with an initial sketch, using a lot of different coloured pencils and ink. I then scan my sketches to my computer, taking elements that I like the most and re-draw them using Adobe Illustrator. I like the simplicity and tangibility of vector drawing, I try not to be too neat and precise with lines so that the illustrations that I create have the same sense of free hand drawing style that I do in my sketch book. Using Illustrator and working in RGB gives me the freedom to test different colours and compositions, The pattern tool and repeated shapes features heavily in my work mixed in with more simple lines and block colours.
Most of your image feature a brick texture as background, what is the effect and purpose of this?
The brick texture came from the idea of wanting my interior spaces to look both indoor and outdoor, to have the notion of a cosy living space mixed in with a more industrial feel. I like how the tiled effects adds an almost clinical feel to what is usually a warm and inviting interior with foliage and home comforts. I have always loved open brick walls in rooms, it gives a lot of character, I hope one day to live in a house where every wall is exposed bricks and tiles!
What defines the way you chose to structure an image?
Spontaneity, I like to work freely and use illustrator as a tool for moving things around, I often play around a lot before I get the final composition and placement of various objects and motifs.
How influential is the environment of London in how you chose to represent space?
Very, I grew up in London so it is a city that has shaped the way I see and interpret things. I have always been very creative, I like to think I see angles and textures and hidden meaning everywhere and London is a great place to explore. London is vast and there are many different cultural aspects to the city, often I look into the window of a house where something in the room has captured my eye, somewhere along the line that room appears in my drawings wether it is intentional or not. Saying that, I have always been in a city, which is often grey and overwhelming, hence why in all of my illustrations there are exotic plants, sun grown fruit and colourful Mediterranean pots; I have a longing for these things so they appear constantly.