Fresh on the scene after graduating and landing a job commissioned by none other than the amazing George Ezra, there’s no wonder why illustrator, Sophie Deller caught our eye on Instagram. With an instantly recognisable style and creating fun characters that make you want to smile, we wanted to know more about Sophie and her work.
Based on Hayling Island – which is near Portsmouth. Sophie studied a BA Graphic Arts: Illustration at Winchester School of Art and we wanted to know why she choose to go down the illustration path:
“It’s a bit strange, I never really chose art I just ended up doing it! *my failed attempt at avoiding the quote – “it chose me.”* but it’s true, art has felt a very natural path to take. To cut a long story short, I graduated from Winchester School of Art in 2017 with a ﬁrst class honours in Illustration and ever since have been building my portfolio, experimenting with different mediums and exploring different styles and paths. What I have noticed is that I can’t stick to doing one thing, I could be working digitally one day and painting the next. I never want to feel trapped as an artist because it is so important to enjoy what you do. So yeah, lots of playing around since uni and just making sure I take the time to create whilst balancing working in a garment decoration company. I have been posting a lot more content to my instagram recently which has really helped me network with other creatives as well as accept great opportunities for my work. Going into 2019 I have plans to get back into screen-printing, draw more, participate in illustration fairs and hopefully get a few more commissions!”
Your work’s style is instantly recognisable, what really inspires it?
“Thanks! That’s pretty cool, I guess I don’t really see a particular or distinctive style myself nor do I try to make my work ﬂow in that respect, so it is nice to hear that. I get inspired by so many different things its hard to pinpoint exactly what it is. I do love a good colour combo, splash of humour and an interesting concept, so perhaps that!”
You describe yourself as a ‘blob maker’. Explain to our readers what you mean by this?
“‘blob’ came about in my ﬁnal year of uni after a whole summer of experimenting with different characters! I guess I just got a bit addicted to drawing him, it’s crazy how many variations you can make from a little grey face. Blob subsequently got used in a lot of my ﬁnal year work including my ﬁnal major project. Since graduating I have continued to draw and evolve the grey face. I have also collaborated with Johannes Hämeenniemi to make ‘oddlyblob’ which can be found on instagram.”
You recently done some work for George Ezra (go you!) How did such an amazing opportunity come around?
“Yes! I was commissioned to design the artwork for George’s show ‘George Ezra & Friends’ in aid of Mind, the charity for mental health. I designed the poster which was printed and sold at the show. The opportunity came around when I was contacted by George’s management, they explained how he was a fan of my work and really wanted me to be involved in the show’s second year. It was such an exciting project, everybody was so lovely and I hope to work with the team again in the future!”
It’s known to be very difﬁcult to make it as a full time illustrator, how do you go about marketing yourself and networking to ﬁnd jobs?
“Yes, it’s a hard industry to crack. I’d love to be able to do it full time. Over the past year I have put a lot of effort into marketing myself on instagram, posting regular content and networking with other creatives. I’m still a bit new to the game really but I have been loving the creative scene on Instagram so will continue to use it into 2019. I am also going to look into joining an illustration agency as well as take part in a few fairs as I believe these to be excellent for networking with other like-minded creatives!”
You have your own etsy store! What products are available?
“I do! Expect some additions in 2019. (I don’t currently have anything for sale!)”
What can we expect in 2019?
“Well, I will be getting back into screen-printing so you can expect prints galore once I work it all out. Other things you can expect from me include, a ton load of blobs in various forms, more colour and maybe some clay work.”
What would be your advice to anyone who is just about to start studying illustration?
“Eat your greens, swim regularly and don’t stress too much as it will all come together in the end!” – we love this piece of advice!
Make sure to check out Sophie Deller on Instagram: