Alice Potter is an illustrator with a passion for pattern and colour. She tells us of her inspirations, how she divides her time living in two different cities, and her aspirations for the future.
1. What’s the first piece of art you can remember making?
I have strange distinct memories of making a brown clay lidded box, with a cross handle and dog on top. It was very rustic. I’m sure my mum loved it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still stored away somewhere.
2. Which book illustrations have stayed with you from childhood/influenced you?
Reading was a big part of my upbringing. I would get through a lot of books as a child, and as a young child I read a lot of Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter. Quentin Blake’s illustrations are erratic and capture the life of the stories so well. Other illustrators that have stuck with me are J.R.R.Tolkein’s. I first read The Hobbit when I was 10 and a few years later started The Lord of the Rings. I adore the world he created.
3. You’re self taught, with no formal illustration training. Tell us more about your journey, do you think studying your chosen career choice is really necessary?
My degree is in in Textile Design where I graduated in 2008 from Chelsea College of Art and Design specialising in Digital Print. I still love making patterns, but back then, I was very lost and didn’t know what to do. It took another 2 years after graduating for me to realise that illustration might be for me. I took a short course and I never looked back.
4. What music do you listen to while you work?
I listen to music only if I’m not catching up with TV on my iPad. It can range from blues and folk to electronic music. As long as it’s familiar enough for me to not get distracted. I love Depeche Mode, Emily Barker, Dire Straits and Dr Feelgood, but this is only a small percentage of music I have and love. As a general rule, I avoid new music.
5. What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
I want to make people who look at my work feel happy. Simple as that. Nature subjects are my favourite and I love to design for kids and create collections that will make them smile. Details, pattern and bright colours are key to my work.
6. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.
I happen to live in both London and Paris. I am a fully-fledged Eurostar commuter, and it’s been like this since January 2015. I tend to do 3-4 weeks in each city. I just have to make sure I buy my tickets well in advance!
7. Which artists/designers are inspiring you right now?
Last year I took the Make Art That Sells course and finished the courses this year. I adore the community spirit gained from taking these courses. It’s pretty virtual, but so invaluable. I also like artists and illustrators like Lisa Congdon. As well as being extremely talented, she is honest, and encourages and inspires with her words and actions.
8. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The last film I saw was Mad Max in a Paris cinema, but as I write this I have just booked tickets to see Jurassic World (finally!)
9. What 5 things can’t you live without?
My iPad, laptop, Wacom tablet, and a pencil and sketchbook.
10. Your illustrations have been applied to lots of different mediums, from books and stationery, to homeware and accessories. What’s next for you and who would be your dream client?
I am looking to get my work licensed for cards and other products with the help of my agent. I would also love to do some more things in the publishing world. Children’s books and maybe a colouring book. I would love to see my work on the high-street in card shops and maybe on kid’s clothes. Licensing art is a long game so I need to be very patient.