From fierce females to jungle cats, Lucy Kirk’s portfolio is bursting with playful ink drawings and ceramics. We talk to the Illustrator & Ceramicist about her ‘messy’ process, the artists that inspire her, and collaborating with McQueen.
How did you get started in the creative industry?
I went down the generic educational route, college and A-Levels to Art Foundation which then led to studying Illustration at Brighton University. I graduated in 2012 (which I had to google to work out), it seems like a lifetime ago! Since then I’ve juggled illustration and ceramic work.
‘I use Pinterest loads and have 1000s of pins of inspiration of all kinds of different things.’
You’re an illustrator and ceramist, what is your creative process? how do you get started on a brief or personal project?
My creative process is messy! I usually always start my best work (be it either a brief or personal work) by doing some loose ink drawings in my sketchbook. I use Pinterest loads and have 1000s of pins of inspiration of all kinds of different things. That really helps with ideas. After sketching I do editing and colour work on an iPad. If I’m feeling organised (which is rare) I’ll do some ceramic work from drawings I’ve made too, but often it will start with just the clay and an idea.
‘it’s actually really great to get out of your comfort zone and work in new ways that you probably wouldn’t have approached otherwise.’
From Snapchat to McQueen you’ve worked on some pretty exciting projects, do you have any advice for other creatives when it comes to working with brands?
One thing I continually have to keep reminding myself when working with a client is the need to let go and not be so precious with my work. I do a lot of personal work so sometimes it’s hard when you don’t feel in total control of your images. Although I’ve been pleasantly surprised by lots of client work I’ve made, and it’s actually really great to get out your comfort zone and work in new ways that you probably wouldn’t have approached otherwise.
Your work often features empowering quotes and feisty looking women (one of our favourites is the girl gang series) can you tell us a little bit more about these recurring themes?
I made this one girl gang drawing back in 2014 which started the never-ending series. There were a few years after university where I was mainly doing ceramic work and I couldn’t really work out how I wanted my illustration work to grow. I spent some time doing lots of ideas in a sketchbook and from that came the first girl gang drawing. It was a turning point and made me excited to start drawing again and from then I still keep dipping back into the theme when I’m working through ideas or personal work.
What has been your most enjoyable project so far?
I loved and still love the work I did for Alexander McQueen. They were great to work with and gave me a lot of freedom to draw what I wanted. The project themes were exactly what I was drawing a lot of in my personal work at the time so it really was a dream collaboration.
If you could collaborate with any artist (living or dead) who would it be, and why?
Ouch, hard question! I love work of Elijah Pierce who was an amazing wood carver throughout the 1990s. His work is a constant inspiration to me, such a great storyteller. I’d loved to have met him and maybe have a lesson in wood carving.
What are you currently working on? Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline?
I’ve recently started to slowly get back into ceramics after taking a year or so break. It’s early days but it’s nice to be making them again so hopefully the new year will also bring new ceramic work. I’ve also newly signed to Snyder New York so it’s fun to be working with those ladies on new illustration collaborations and excited to see what new things lead from that.
It’s easy to get lost in the Instagram echo chamber, and we’re always on the hunt for new inspiration, give us three underrated accounts we should be following:
Which creative should we focus on next?
because his new body of personal paintings are so great, makes me want to get out a paintbrush and if you haven’t already brought one of his jewellery pieces you’re mad.
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And finally…you can only have one, digital or analogue?
One thing about you that might surprise us?
I’ve still got some baby teeth.
Cats or dogs?
dogs dogs dogs
You’re stranded on a desert island, you can have 3 luxury items, what are they?
Ecoline inks, sketchbook, my dog Eddie