EMILY PARKES meets Digital Artist and Graphic Designer, Laura Cartwright. Based in the North East, Laura creates digital illustrative work. She talks to Emily about her artistic background, style and how her work as a crafter has progressed.
What do you do and how did you start?
I am a graphic designer, artist and crafter. I studied for 4 years at college, for the last 2 years of my course I worked part time for a design studio. Once I finished my education, I went straight into work for various design companies. It was a natural progression into digital art with being in the creative industry.
What jobs did you have before this?
I have always worked in the creative industry, so that's really the only job I've ever had.
Describe your work setting.
My work setting changes all the time with currently working freelance but everyday I'm on the computer designing and illustrating. I work in an office environment with other digitally creative people whether it be animation, 3D, web or design. If I'm crafting and making cards, I do it from home where I can be as messy as possible.
What has been inspiring you lately?
I've really been inspired by the craft industry and creating designs around 3D elements. I worked briefly for a craft company and I took everything I learnt from that and used it in my crafting. Natural elements such as flowers and butterflies have been hugely inspiring to me; I'm busy creating a series of work based around 3 dimensional design to give my artwork depth and feel.
How did you find your style? Has it changed?
My style came about by complete accident from learning how to illustrate digitally. My style of illustration has progressed throughout the years from being very simple to quite intricate design, and it all depends on the series of work I'm creating. Sometimes, I want the work to look all most photo-real like my portraits and other times, I want it cartoony and fun like my Sweet Treats Collection. The one style that I keep throughout my work is that I want it to look vector, I create all my work in vector and I don't want to change the clean lines because I think it gives the work charm and it still relates to how I've created the work.
How do you get the word out about your work?
I do a lot to promote myself and try and get the word out. I am always networking within the creative industry, whether it's going to different companies for coffee or freelancing for them either it be for my design work or artwork. In time they get to know about my artwork and pass my details onto others. But I do a lot of art exhibitions where I show my work in various galleries, so that also promotes my work. I also curate group exhibitions where I promote other artists work and my own. Most recently, I have started to do market stalls where I sell my artwork and cards. I really love selling my work this way because I get to promote myself face to face with people who are interested in my work.
What is your main goal for the next 6 - 12 months?
My main goal is to create more products to sell from my artwork, I really want to design a range of products with my name on. I also want to design and hand make more cards, designing ranges to sell as packs or as individual cards. I really just want push my work forward and see how far I can go and what I can achieve.
What is the best part of what you do?
I get to be creative every day and work with some extremely talented people.
Did you always dream of being an artist/designer maker when you were growing up?
I have always been creative even through my childhood drawing, painting and making things. Art class in school was always my favourite lesson and probably the only thing I was good at! As soon as I went to college to study art, I knew within 2 weeks of being on the course that graphic design was what I wanted to do.