You might have heard Stacey mentioned in countless posts on my blog including this one where I carried a mini version of her around London at New Designers. She is one of my very best friends who I've only known about 18 months since she joined my uni course and she also happens to be a seriously talented, unique illustrator.
1. Who are you?
I’m Stacey Jacqueline! I'm nearly 24 & I live in the middle of nowhere!
2. Describe your illustration style.
I have a mixture of styles, If I'm sketching, it tends to be quick small doodles.. And then because I do machine embroidery I draw with my machine, which because it’s freehand it’s still quite sketchy looking because of the way I illustrate. I am quite simple!
3. What materials do you use/ what is your working process?
To draw I use mechanical pencils, black fine liners and my trusty Windsor & newton watercolours. For sewing I use the brother FS100 machine. My working process, I tend to illustrate roughly every day if I'm not working. Sitting around my house I tend to have random sketchbooks lying around, and if I have something in my mind, I just sketch. For actual proper work I just sit at my table get all my papers out, set up my machine and all that jazz. And just draw out designs, get those juices flowing you know? original designs I just sketch out pretty quickly just using mechanical pencils, then I watercolour over the top and depending on if they're going to be sewn or not I use fine liners over the top of the watercolours if I'm not sewing, I think it just depends on the artwork itself. I tend to always use watercolour paper because it’s quite strong, I always machine embroidery on watercolour paper. Sometimes I collage pieces of work as well by adding papers before I start sewing. All my artwork tends to be original, I don’t deal much with the digital aspect side of illustration, as it’s not my style!
4. What 3 things could you not work without?
Well that’s a difficult question! I’m going to give you two big answers. For drawing it would have to be my mechanical pencils, I love my watercolours so that’s an obvious answer, and probably my fine liners as they not only make my work look amazing but they make my handwriting look stunning! For sewing, cannot forget my sewing machine, such an important piece of my life, threads, because what else would I use and finally papers, I am obsessed with papers. From newspapers to brown papers to patterned papers. It’s all good.
5. Why did you start illustrating? Who inspired you?
To be honest I started doodling, I’ve never been a born natural, at drawing, let’s be honest about this. It all began at school when I got bored, which was basically every lesson, so I’d doodle on folders, exercise books and that’s how it started really. You name it I doodled on it, even when I started working I doodled on plain pieces of papers and plastic bags! I honestly couldn’t draw, I think the first things I started to doodle were angels in wedding dresses! How random is that? From there, that’s when I started to get into fashion illustration. My first illustration book was – Fashion illustration by Anna Kiper. No one’s really inspired me to be honest, I kind of just got into it. My first person I looked at was David Downton – He’s absolutely ace!
6. How did you find being an illustration student?
I loved it! I never even thought I’d be an illustrator or a good one at that! But to see the work I produce now, even I shock myself sometimes. It’s crazy. It’s like I grew a little talent over night! I had great help throughout university, the tutors changed my style in a matter of weeks, and showed me what I’m actually capable of. Every bit criticism and advice they gave me I took and I worked hard. And lastly I met some amazing people that I call my besties. One of the best times in my life. I’m glad I did it.
7. How did you find New Designers?
UUUMMMM WELL, my work went down to London but personally I wasn’t there! I’m still gutted about it. But there was someone who did go and she had a whale of a time! That little person was mini stace! Bless her, she did a great job standing in for me, that’s all that matters right?
8. What have you been working on since you finished university?
Tough question! I had to get a full time job! So my illustration side of things have been on the slow go! Doesn’t mean that’s the end though. Mainly I’ve just kept on drawing and experimenting with my skills to get them to an even better standard. Practice makes perfect! I just produce work for myself really, as I have a lot of changes happening this year and because I’m not setting up as a freelancer I’m not selling work and to be honest I’m not in that ‘right time, right place’ to sell stuff. I’ll keep working on what I want to do, and see where it takes me, if not I give up!! Kidding!!!!! One thing I do work on is my website, which I’m working on at the minute, I’ve got big plans for it this year, and also making little videos of me working which I’ll keep posting on Instagram!
9. Do you have any advice for creative industry students or illustrators starting up as freelance?
Take everything with a pinch of salt – I learnt that the hard way! Don’t expect to be successful straight away, unless you’re one of those lucky ones! But just work up the career ladder! Do work that’s your style! Don’t try and work in a style you’re not comfortable with. Always believe in yourself, you are good enough! As for social – first a platform that suits you! Don’t be afraid to say NO! Don’t take things to heart! Don’t take life too seriously / personally! Don’t give up if you’re work is rejected, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s not you it’s them! And finally be confident in yourself!
10. What is your greatest achievement?
Being able to draw! Trust me when I say that! I got told I should never be an artist because I was basically crap at it. But screw you, look at me now! I got told one of my greatest talents was being imaginatively creative, which I know. Super proud of that! Also another greatest achievement was making my illustration tutor cry for the first time! – For very good reasons! Oh and my website, I’m super proud of that!
11. When you're not illustrating what are you doing?
Working probably! Simple answer there, when I get home, I put on ma pjs, make a cuppa and eat chocolate, have a nap, go to bed, then wake up for work!! Same routine every day! That’s my life. Love it.
12. If you didn't become an illustrator what do you think you would have done?
I was going into fabric and textile design, but I screwed that up, wasn’t my thing. Before I went into textiles I did photography, I probably would be still doing that, I’m extremely good at selfies! But before all the artistic skills, I loved performing, a part of me wishes I still carried on with that but I lost all my confidence when I went to high school. I loved doing plays, dressing up as a character, learning lines and basically being in the zone, I was passionate when I did do it at junior school. Miss those times.
13. How do you keep yourself motivated and busy?
I have no idea, I’m like a walking smiling zombie! I just drink a lot of coffee to keep myself awake and then I take a lot of motivational naps! I need to rest my brain from all that hard thinking. Most of the time I’m in my own bubble, so I just chillax, get me sketchbook out and doodle, when I have the time obviously. I think if you wake up positive, you’re in a positive mood. This is the best answer I could possibly provide you, I ain’t gonna lie people! I’m full of great advice!
14. Have you got any work for the new year? What?
HA! Let me get back to you on that one, no seriously, let me get back to you!!!! Um but no not really, I’m not selling myself very well here! Just have to see what the New Year brings me!! I know what I have got coming up, but it’s a secret! That is all. I think I’ll just be working hard and keep on working hard! It’s not the end.
15. What do you hope to achieve in 2016?
Just to be in a happier place, I am happy now but I’m stuck in the same routine every day. And to be able to break that and to go and experience something completely different would make me super proud that I can achieve so much more whilst I’m nearly 24. On the right career path would be nice, at least I know I’ll be heading in the right direction. That’s all I can ask of myself to be honest. Maybe get famous! That’d be lovely!
16. Have you got any NYE resolutions? If so what?
Not really, I don’t really make one. They’re rubbish, who does them now? But I’ll just keep plodding on! Life’s life and whatever happens, happens.
17. If you had to invite 3 people (famous or otherwise) to a dinner party who would it be and why?
NO BRAINER! GREG BLOODY JAMES! You knew that already, like he’s just a babe, my soulmate for real though! His stewie griffin impression gets me every time. Sends shivers up my spine! Now I’m just being a creep! Alexander McQueen, My ultimate fashion hero, like I’d bring my handbag to this dinner party just so he knows! Sheridan smith – She’s just a babe, she’s like the Scarlett Johansson of Britain. Not going to lie, I think this is the best party to ever happen.
18. If your life was made into a film who would play you?
Hands down Scarlett Johansson, hello have you seen us. TWINS! Both fricking stunning.
19. What was the last photo you took?
My last photo taken was a screen shot of a song called don’t go running – the six
20. If you were on desert island discs what 8 albums would you take?
1. Justin Timberlake – sexyback
2. Nelly Furtado – loose
3. from the roots up – Delilah
4. timbaland – presents shockwave
5. Banks – goddess
6. Halsey – Badlands
7. Georgia – Georgia / come in
8. The weeknd – all albums – I CAN’T DECIDE!
I’ll just take my phone and ipod’s SORTED!
Thank you so much to Stace for taking part in my guest post this month! If you're interested in a guest post on the blog please don't hesitate to contact me via the contact page or via email firstname.lastname@example.org