This year I have been focusing on improving my design skills, and have found reaching out to artists for advice to be very helpful. Lorna Leigh Harrington is an artist and designer whose client base includes Dr Martens, Aardman, Oh Comely and Urban Outfitters. She very kindly agreed to answer my questions.
How did you start your career as an illustrator and designer?
I always knew that I wanted my career to take an artistic direction, it has always felt very natural for me to create. At school art was one of the only subjects I would fully immerse in, and was actually good at. I studied illustration at The University of Portsmouth. Once I graduated I tried to gain as much experience and exposure for my work as I possibly could. A lot of the time working for free and interning at various companies so as to build up my portfolio. I used to use a quote by Tina Fey as my mantra "Say yes and you'll figure it out afterwards".
Is it better to focus on defining your own art style, or making sure you’re versatile and can fit in almost anywhere?
I think defining your own style is key, but ultimately you need to be able to tailor your work to a brief. This isn't about changing your style, there needs to be some kind of stamp on the art work to make it you.
Can you talk me through your design process. How do you go from a client brief to a finished piece of work?
Normally I will speak to the client and ask them for a selection of styles/images they like as a start for inspiration. I will then tailor this to suit my illustrative style. Time wise it depends on how large the project is, but I always make a conscious effort to meet a deadline.