When people ask me what hobbies I have, I always say writing and watersports. Truth be told, the only watersport I’ve been able to partake in since May 2017 is incredibly leisurely swimming. As much as I love sailing, I'm not quite ready to go back to it at the moment. In the meantime, I've developed a new-found passion for collecting various illustration pieces. Getting outside and exploring is always going to be something I love and crave, but I'm also a big fan of making my student room a cosy haven. My favourite way to do this is to adorn the walls with illustrations. What's better than supporting local artists and pouring your money into them, whilst also having some genuinely beautiful and unique art work at the same time? I don't know, but I really prefer it to buying mass produced prints from big companies!
My all-time favourite illustrator is Laura Hole. A University of Plymouth graduate, Laura achieved First Class Honours in BA (Hons) Illustration for her incredible style. From politically charged commissions for Shake Magazine to fantasy themed creations for her own series, Pumpkin Spice, Laura has a beautiful style with aesthetically pleasing colour palettes. I first came across her in INK Journal 2015, and it pushed me to contact her when I created my own magazine, Voile, in 2016. She submitted two beautiful illustrations and I’ve loved watching her style flourish and develop ever since. Laura has several items on her Etsy store (most of which I own), which you need to get your hands on - I wholly recommend her Pumpkin Spice series, along with her sticker packs. My laptop is covered in them! To be honest, she’s probably a bit fed up of me pestering her to stock her Etsy store, so I need as many people to get involved as possible.
Another illustrator who has experienced my Etsy related queries is Alex Brissenden (otherwise known as Illusbee), another University of Plymouth graduate. With a style drenched in ingenuity, Illusbee is incredible at creating new worlds and putting them down on paper. I’m obsessed with her block colouring and a huge fan of her strong running theme on females and nature. I ordered two prints from her, and she generously chucked in quite a few freebies for me, which are all incredible. This made my day and cheered me up quite a lot!
I can't emphasise how important it is for local artists to get your support, whether it be through buying their work, spreading their name online, or telling your friends and family about the art you've seen. The more you support them, the more art they can make. Not only do their creations make great household decorations, but they serve as wonderful presents too. Take a look and find out what you can get your hands on!