My name is Eileen Kai Hing Kwan, I graduated from Middlesex University with a First Class Honours in BA Illustration and since then I’ve been working as a London-based Freelance Illustrator. Alongside Illustration, I also part-time lecture at Middlesex University and have designed and produced two books with other creatives. I also enjoy collecting ribbon, eating Italian food and potatoes.I primarily illustrate in pencil, where I (almost obsessively) create delicately detailed dream-like drawings of pretty girls in patterned smocks and smartly dressed animals in three-piece-suits and hats. I draw inspiration from intricateness, whimsical thoughts and all things Victoriana and dapper; as well as my cultural background. My artistic inspirations include Golden Age Illustrator, Kay Nielsen, Fashion Illustrator, Laura Laine and Japanese Illustrator, Aya Kato; I truly admire their detail and peculiar forms in their works, they’re so exquisite. I have also recently started exploring colour in my work with gouache, being able to see my characters in colour is such a delight after only working in black and white for so long – I’m looking forward to doing more.
I have had the pleasure of having my work showcased in several exhibitions in London and Europe. One of the most memorable shows was my first exhibition after graduating, called ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’, with The Drawn Chorus Collective, which celebrated Lewis Carroll’s 181st birthday. From this show, one of my pieces, ‘The Queen of Hearts’ went on to be Shortlisted in The AOI Illustration Awards 2013 Books Category. I have always adored Fairy Tales and traditional stories, particularly Lewis Carroll’s, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ which has been a continual inspiration throughout my art; so that moment felt amazing.
I hope now to turn my focus more on Children’s Book Illustration, as illustrating narrative was something I thoroughly enjoyed doing during my degree – I hope to enchant and captivate children and adults alike with my illustrations of charming individuals in book form!