Meet the Illustrator Behind Our Colouring Wall
This season we've given a wall in our Elizabeth Street pop-up a makeover. Inspired by the prints in our April collection and with the help of illustrator and hush employee, Alicia Gradon, we've created the Colour Me Calm wall. A space to encourage you to take a moment and get creative to be in with the chance of winning some hush treats!
If you're in the area, come along, pick up some chalk and colour in our wall to experience the destressing effect of taking five. Using the hashtag #hushColourMeCalm, you can upload pictures of your colouring to Instagram to win £200 of hush vouchers, with the winner being chosen by our founder and creative director, Mandy.
Within the space of a few hours, our amazing illustrator, Alicia, covered the wall with a floral design inspired by our new season vintage floral print, ready to be coloured in by you.
In between sketching we caught up with her to find out more about her work, illustrative style and where she finds inspiration...
When did you start illustrating?
From a very early age I wrote a lot, imaginary short stories and
poetry. After gaining a little confidence these were then translated into
drawings so I could visually share the worlds and characters I created. After
going to art school I then started to share them in a more public space
and it's kept growing ever since.
Describe your illustrative style in 3 words…
Imaginary, organic, narrative
What do you think of art as a way to switch off?
Creativity connects us to the present moment, to be aware of how
we are feeling and be mindful. Art as a medium gives us the chance to
communicate, exercise and flourish our internal voices into the outside. The
practice of colouring in shapes and patterns, are a wonderful example of free creation
where you can take a moment to focus in and exist in that time.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere! Most of the time I find ideas in what is around me,
outside in nature and in the books that I read. When I am lucky enough to
travel, a lot of those experiences have fed into my drawings too. There is so
much beauty in the world, it sometimes just takes an adjustment to refocus and
look closer into the detail. Then you empower the same wonder expressed towards
the fictitious into the everyday once more.
Who’s your favourite artist?
I would say Henry Darger or Charles Avery. Both very different
artists but equally the most influential that I have admired and
respected through my artistic journey.
Are you working on any personal projects?
I share my time currently between working as a teacher at an art
and wellbeing school called SketchBetter and creating new work, the latest of
which is inspired by the writing of Jules Verne.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think the greatest achievement of any creative is to keep going
and to have confidence in what you are doing. It's a hard journey with
infinite footfalls and challenges that can be hard to pick yourself up from. If
you are still creating and living in the true enjoyment of being able to create
in the first place, that to me is the ultimate achievement.
And what would you like to achieve next?
Ultimately I would love to finish the book I have been planning over the last decade. The idea started when I was very young and
has been growing ever since to a massive scale, the trouble is finding the time
to knit it all together! For now I would like to concentrate on creating some
larger scale drawings for an exhibition planned later in the year.
What are you reading/watching/listening to at the moment?
I'm watching the TV show Flowers, reading William Faulkner’s The
Sound and the Fury, listening to the album Bryter Layter by Nick Drake
What can’t you live without?
Never without my family and friends.
Follow Alicia on Instagram @aliciagradonart and visit her website here