Wednesday, 9 July 2014

GET TO KNOW.... ILLUSTRATOR ROWENA

Rowena grew up in London and moved down to Falmouth in Cornwall to pursue her passion for drawing... she talks to us about cats, the sea and her work...

Tell us about your illustration style 
Fluid line drawings documenting people doing everyday things.
'Chatting by the Shore'
You seem to have a real interest in people and interaction between people, what attracts you to someone you want to draw? 
Normally I notice a small gesture or expression, like a tilt of a head as they turn the page of a book. My drawings are very much linked to a sense of place capturing little narratives and idiosyncrasies of people’s behaviour.
'New Mother'
You decided to move out of London to move to Cornwall, how has being out of the city affected your drawing style? 
When I was living and working in London I could never focus on one subject or environment I wanted to draw as I was constantly stimulated with lots of different ideas. I worked as a set dresser for film and theatre spending most of my time running around sourcing props. Being far from the stimulus of the city has forced me to slow down and take time to reflect. Living by the sea and having a ‘local beach’ is something I could never have imagined and as with many artists based in Cornwall I find myself inspired by the lifestyle. I draw best when I’m relaxed and I think the slower pace of life, natural environment and strong sense of community has helped me trust in my own style. I’ve recently moved to a lovely grade 2 listed Cottage in a small harbour town which has so much history, a creative community and a print studio just across the road which I’m looking forward to working in regularly.
Who are your personal favourite illustrators or artists? 
I always look to the drawings of Matisse as art works in their own right; I love how a simple bold curve of his line can perfectly describe a subtle expression. During my MA I discovered Franciscka Themerson whose views on abstract drawing I found very inspiring. I love stories and the graphic novels by Bastien Vives are beautiful and intriguing.
Henri Matisse- Thèmes et Variations 1941
Franciszka Themerson- Atrakcia 1961
Bastien Vives- Polina
And what inspires what you choose to wear? 
For me it’s all about comfort; feeling natural and easy with womanly shapes like high waist jeans and loose tops tucked in. I was a grungie teen and really into recycling old clothes. I can be quite nostalgic with style and love wearing accessories or clothing that I’ve been given by someone special.
Tell us about your outfit. 
We went for a quick morning swim at a beautiful local beach so I threw on some casual fit jeans and loose vest top. I love sea/sky colours so blue denim, blue trainers and fun blue and white striped top, must be something about living by the sea. My favourite earrings - beautiful light hoops on a chain, from my mum from 70s Bali. 

Who's your girl crush at the moment? 
Eva Green – sexy curves, smoky eyes and geeky smile, and Erykah Badu... always so cool!
Eva Green rocking menswear
Erykah Badu for Givenchy
Shoes or trainers? 
Trainers. I do lots of walking, currently blue New Balance, super comfy for coastal paths. 
This summer, you'll be…  
pottering around my walled garden or hanging on a beach.  

With.... mymble (my cat!) and friends 

Drinking.... homemade elderflower cordial drinks.

Listening to.... chilled jazz on hazy summer evenings. 

And talking about.... I’ve got a couple of exhibitions lined up for the summer so most likely drawing and what beach we should go to today! 

Check out my website and if you happen to be in Falmouth pop down for my exhibition on Saturday!!