We're so excited to introduce you all to our new illustrator, Ocean Hughes! Find out more about her here:
Where do you live/work?
I live in a little old town in the South of Wales. I have my studio set up in my bedroom which I have covered in plants. My house looks out onto a forest so I am able to look out at the trees from my desk and watch the birds and the squirrels play as I work.
What do you like about working there?
I love having my own little space in the world where I can go to be creative, I have filled my studio with the things I love most. I work best when I’m surrounded by greenery and good music.
What do you love most about being an illustrator?
I love being a creator of worlds and characters. It’s so exciting to bring an idea to life. More than anything I love that I able to turn my passion for art into a job!
How do you work – what are your techniques?
I have a mixture of techniques which I apply depending on what works best for the illustration. I love mixing traditional and digital art with collage. My favourite mediums to work with are gouache, coloured pencil, collage and photoshop.
Do you have a favourite illustrator?
I have lots of favourite illustrators! Rebecca Green, Julia Sardà, Karl James Mountford and Luke Pearson, just to name a few.
What is your favourite thing to draw and why?
I find the natural world to be the most inspiring art form. There’s so many organic textures, patterns and colour palettes to take inspiration from. My idea of a perfect day would be one where I am alone in nature with my sketchbook and no time restraints, it’s so peaceful to draw from life.
What or who are you most inspired by?
I am so inspired by the charm of stop motion animation and the look of anything hand made. I think that’s probably where my love of collage has come from. The stop motion animation in ‘The Little Prince’ is gorgeous!
How did you get into illustration?
It’s a funny story actually, I was on the path to becoming a vet until the very last minute. I dropped art as a subject so that I could focus on getting good grades in my other subjects, and that made me realise how much I needed to be creative. So, I quickly turned everything around and went to uni to study illustration. I’ve never once looked back. I think it’s so important to follow you heart, if that’s what you’re meant to do then do it!
What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not illustrating?
When I’m not illustrating I love going for woodland walks or walking along the coast. I watch all of the meteor showers in my area when I can. I also like to play the piano and tend to all my plants.
Do you have a particular favourite character that you’ve illustrated?
I have a little personal connection with each character I create, but my favourite characters are probably Nuli and Freck. A little girl and a magical chinchilla, who was of course based off my chinchilla Pablo. I would love to write a story for them one day!
1: Keep yourself busy, keep creating. Even if it’s just a little doodle each day, it’s surprising how those little doodles often become your best ideas. And even if they don’t, you’ll see a huge improvement in your work!
2: Don’t worry about what other illustrators are doing. I know we are all guilty of this, a little bit of competition is healthy but constantly comparing your work to others isn’t. Keep a positive mindset and positive things will happen!
3: Enter competitions! They’re great for your portfolio and who knows, you might even win something!
What were your favourite books when you were younger?
I loved books about fantasy and adventure, and to be honest I still do. I have read the Harry Potter series about 4 times! I also loved the Percy Jackson series. Any sort of story with a sense of adventure and wonder is guaranteed to entice me.
What was the last book you read? What did you think?
The last book I read was actually ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll. I remember reading it when I was younger and wanted to re-read it. It’s a timeless story.
What are your aspirations for the rest of the year?
I want to keep on improving and becoming a better illustrator each day. I’d love to work on a few exciting projects and perhaps even write some more stories! I’ve recently opened my own little online store, it’s pretty bare right now. But it would be sweet if I am able to build that up too!
What’s your ultimate dream?
Ooft! That’s a big one… my dreams are always adapting. But I think if I had to summarise it into one, I’d want my work to have a positive and memorable impact on peoples childhoods. How cool would it be if a child chooses to dress up as one of my characters on world book day?
Welcome to the family, Ocean!