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Sarah Lippett is a freelance illustrator based in London. She created with fellow illustrator Duncan Barrett after they both graduated from the University of Brighton in 2006. Since then Sarah has had the opportunity to illustrate for numerous clients including Los Campesinos! Radio Times, The Guardian and Plan B magazine.

When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?

I think I decided that I wanted to become an illustrator when I was about 17 when I realised I could actually get paid to draw the way that I do as I knew I could never be a painter! I was an obsessive drawer from a very young age and used to draw comic strips with my brother, making fun of our sisters. However, I think the pivotal moment was when my tutor on my foundation course invited me to go and see some illustrators talk about their work at the V&A. Listening to Sara Fanelli and Korky Paul in particular was an inspiring experience and I never gave up hope from that point!

Who or what inspires you?

Music is very inspiring to me. I listen to a lot of music and radio when I am working on projects/commissions so its a massive part of my life. Most always Animal Collective are my favourites, you can find something new in their records everytime you listen and they're brilliant live. I also love Mark Kermodes film reviews on BBC 5live, hes an inspirational character. But generally speaking - inspiration is everywhere, I could list and list and list and still wouldn't be able to get down everything I find exciting that makes me want to keep on drawing.. Drawing is my way of getting it all out of my head and out into the world. Just overhearing a comment can get the creative juices going!

Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?

I graduated from the University of Brighton in 2006 and have been freelancing since then. Its a great University but I still feel like I'm constantly learning as every project/commission passes.

How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?

I think keeping updated within the industry as to what other illustrators are up to is important. Although I think even if no one liked my work anymore, I would still keep producing it, making my own magazines and hope that some folk still like what I'm up to.

What are some of your current projects?

I am currently working on a design for a medal for a gallery in Germany. Its a design to celebrate Handel the composer. I am also creating issue 2 of my crayonlegs magazine 'Tight Fit'. Its looking really great so far - I have the superb talent of Nora Krug, Jeff Lewis and Simon Wild so far.

Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?

I suppose I am most proud of my Los Campesinos! album cover for 'Hold on now, youngster...' It was such great fun to work on, and the double LP version has an etching on one of the vinyl of my characters running around, so you can only play one side. Its beautiful. The great thing about working with the band is that they gave me free reign on all the covers/merchandise/design, and rarely made me change anything. They're a lovely bunch too and good fun live.

Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?

I am interested in animation more and more, but its setting aside time to work on that side of things that's the trouble. I need to take some time out for a long period of time to focus on that element I think.

Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?

Get a website! I cant emphasise how important that is! And keep sending your work out - eventually they'll take note of you!

What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?

A successful piece of illustration works because it communicates. You may have the fanciest style going but if it doesn't communicate the point the illustrator has failed. Even when I worked on the Los Campesinos! project, I was communicating their style of music and if I had used dull colours and boring subject matter then it just wouldn't have worked. The artwork had to work hand in hand with the music.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?

It helps working with my fellow crayonleg Duncan Barrett. We run our website together, promote our work together and communicate our ideas with each other. When we go through a bad drawing patch or go through a quiet period, we can encourage one another to keep going. I also think it helps creating personal work alongside your commercial work. It keeps your ideas fresh and your mind ticking creatively over during the quiet times.

Finish this sentence. "If I weren't a designer/illustrator I would have been a..." lady. Ive always liked the idea of riding my bike around during the early hours when theres no one around and delivering letters to funny characters. But since reading Post Office by Charles Bukowski, I've been a little put off! So perhaps I would choose something a little more dog training!

And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?

Gosh, I rarely watch television these days, just re-runs of Patrick McGoohans 60s television series The Prisoner - I'm an avid fan. Do they still have Spongebob Squarepants on T.V? I love that cartoon!

1 comment:

Choper Nawers! said...

This is really amazing work..congrats and keep it out Sarah, love that kind of illustration.

Best, Choper Nawers!

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