Lauren Veevers!! Delighted to be speaking to you over interview. Having just graduated from Kingston University (stupidly jealous of that fact), how have you found the ‘real’ world and the transition between education? You can also catch Lauren’s work on Instagram…
Bustin’ out into the real world has been way less scary than I anticipated. I loved uni a lot, and as well as being excited about what was ahead I also felt like finishing would be a thump on the head with a big brick of stress and seriousness. Instead of that though, the past year has been a really fun and exciting mix of projects and experiences that I’ve really loved and learnt a lot from. I sometimes would find it frustrating doing work for free or very little money – and it definitely isn’t something I agree with, but I have taken so many positives from everything I’ve done that I think the majority of the time it has ended up being worth it.
Explain your tools for producing an illustration and how you introduce movement within your projects.
When I draw, I tend to use a big fat inky brush or a posca pen or one of those waxy crayony things you can write on cds with because they create a really nice line but don’t smudge. Then, when it comes to making things move have a very long winded, hand ache inducing approach. I love creating things that look like they have been hand drawn – and I really steer away from all the clever animation tricks you can do to make things slick and smooth. I love to redraw what I’m animating in every single frame… And although it takes a lot longer (I’ve also had clients tell me my work looks too ‘wonky’) I feel that working in such a way really captures the essence of what animation is and has so much more character than something that is so perfect that it’s no different to what we see out of our eyes all the time anyway.
Talk us through your project for Jonas Karlsson’s novel, The Room. How did you decide to split the work and did you find it unique working alongside other students?
Especially on animation projects – we regularly worked in groups with other students so it didn’t feel particularly unique, but it is something that I really miss now. In terms of splitting the work; we just went with where everyones strengths lied, some of us did the main bulk of the drawing, some were in charge of recording sound… And then, with the nature of this particular animation there was a lot of just colouring in of silhouettes and backgrounds with pencil. I never mind doing stuff like that though as I feel like every line has a purpose and even if its just scratchy pencil markings, to watch it back and know that every frame was completely done by hand is really captivating.
What, for you, are you main inspirations; can be anything from a book that you’ve read to a person…
I recently spent a month travelling around Japan and I have never been somewhere that’s made my brain feel so exhausted. Everywhere I looked I would see things that I found beautiful, funny, interesting and even cute! I think being somewhere I was so visually amazed by 100% of the time has really, really made me want to make things more than ever. Everything would have a character… From the toilets to the train tickets to a loaf of bread. I could spend a whole day walking around a Japanese supermarket just looking at packaging – it really truly is the best.
Do you feel your degree in ‘Illustration’ was an important element in becoming a freelance illustrator?
Yes and no. I think an illustration degree does teach you loads, at Kingston we had a lot of very eye opening talks from people in the industry alongside project work, programme tutorials, lectures and drawing trips – but don’t think you necessarily need to do one to be successful. Personally for me though, taking the animation route, I would be one million years behind where I am now if I didn’t. I was taught how to use a number different programmes I probably wouldn’t even know existed if I hadn’t. I also think that the people I studied and lived with were always and still are very important element that has contributed and pushed my work, and without doing an illustration degree I never would have met any of them so for that reason the course was absolutely vital!
Talk us through a day in your shoes…
I’ve recently begun working for a film production company producing illustrations, animations and running workshops for them so my routine has suddenly changed from just working from home as I was before. After I’ve finished my day there though I head home and at the moment I have a lot of drawing on t-shirts to do! I’ve started making and selling hand painted t-shirts so my evenings are often a blur of painting on one sleeve then hair drying it then painting the other then ironing then washing then sewing in labels then spilling fabric ink on the carpet then doing it all again.
This or that round…
Marmite or peanut butter? Peanut butter hands down…
Concept or final piece? Final piece I think.
Reading or watching TV? Depends on what’s on screen or in the paper.
Walking or running? I walk everywhere!
People or places? People.