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Meet the Illustrators

As we spend so much time talking about our unique illustrations, we thought it would be fun for you to meet the illustrators. They’re so passionate about their designs it would be rude not to! Maria Taylor has been in the illustrating industry since leaving college. Working first with traditional methods Maria has honed her skill of transferring these natural designs over to graphics, perfect for our products!

How did you get into drawing?
It was in secondary school that I started taking art and design seriously. My career goal initially was to become a poet, I then started creating illustrations to go with the poems. It was a teacher at school that influenced my illustration, somebody saying I was good at something made me focus on my art career path. I enjoy words and narrative and this is evident in my drawing. 

You’re from Nottingham originally, how is it living in Cornwall?
At first I was homesick, but I never think about Nottingham any more. I moved to Plymouth first in 2008 and worked at the Plymouth College of Art. I now live in Truro which is in an ideal location for both city and seaside life.

How would you describe your style?
I have created a number of styles throughout the years, this has helped me gain more freelance work. As a freelancer you need to keep looking at the current trends and adapt and grow, it has certainly broadened my skills in terms of digital media. I would say I am quite detailed in my approach to image making and like to use mixed media. My work has mainly been on children’s imagery and pattern, so I have adapted my style to fit the brief. I would call myself a commercial illustrator/artist. 

How do you get your inspiration?
I am very influenced by current pattern and homeware trends, it influences the type of media I might experiment with. In terms of my more narrative illustration, I love to people watch, listen to their conversations and use life experiences to communicate visually. Going for long walks or hitting the gym helps me create ideas to develop further. 

What’s your method?
My favourite way of working is creating narrative illustration using my sketchbook, I like to rework the drawings. I enjoy using ink and watercolour and then I use digital media to consider placement of objects or characters. 

Has your creative approach changed over the years?
It certainly has, to begin with I worked traditionally. I used paint, ink and pens, and then my work become more digital. My first style after leaving university was quite collage based, using patterned papers with drawing. I was aware of how competitive the illustration world was and continually developed my skills. I now use the standard Adobe software and incorporate traditional drawing techniques. 

What’s your favourite style of illustration?
I love naive folk style illustration that is very simple and colourful, with a sense of childishness. I love the work of Lowry in terms of capturing real life and narrative. 

What’s your favourite design that you’ve done for Rebel?
The simple black and white nature inspired pattern. Created using ink and a paintbrush.

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