Artist Interview: Leeann Walker
The queen of Wraptious comedy, pun-obsessed and cheese loving Leeann Walker, spoke to us this week about life, the universe and everything illustrative.
Leeann is a freelance illustrator, graduating in 2013 with a BA Hons in Illustration from Blackpool and the Fylde, and is now based in Liverpool. She loves drawing cheesy puns and hopes they bring a smile to someone's face.
1) Hey Leeann, how's it going? Hello! Things are going very well at the minute!
2) What does it feel like to have graduated last summer? I can't believe how quickly time has flown, it feels like two minutes ago I was panicking over dissertations, final projects and end of year exhibitions! Graduation was an amazing yet slightly terrifying experience! I do kind of miss university life and being in the studio everyday, but it's great being out in the freelance world.
3) How's 2014 shaping up for you so far? So far 2014 has been great, getting involved with Wraptious has been amazing! Also having card designs of mine included at the recent Spring Fair in Birmingham was awesome.
4) What projects are you most excited about for this year? I've just submitted to a great project called 'Creatures from Outer Space' run by The Critter Shed. If they like my design then it will be on display at an exhibition at the Bluecoat in Liverpool. So fingers crossed! I enjoy experimenting with colour but my space themed design I submitted had to be limited to black and white, which was a nice challenge for me. There's also a couple of competition briefs to work on, and have been thinking of printing some birthday card designs and selling them online. Contributing whatever I can to Wraptious is also very exciting!
5) When did you first start getting into illustration? I've always loved art and studied it throughout school. It was my art teacher who persuaded me to do a Foundation art course. After that I applied to Blackpool & the Fylde to study illustration and it was the best decision I ever made! It was tough at first, I was trying to figure out my style and was quite homesick! It wasn't until my second year I realised I loved to doodle and since then I've become slightly obsessed with puns!
6) For each of our rubbish single puns, you manage to come up with 10! Where do you get your ideas from? I guess I just let my imagination run wild! I jot down a pun or a word and try to think of the different ways I can present it to the viewer. The internet can give me some inspiration whenever I get a bit of a mental block.
7) How do you develop your pieces? I draw everything in pencil at first and play around with shapes, lines..etc. Then once I'm happy with that I go over the pencil lines with a fine liner or a sharpie. I scan the design in and use Photoshop and Illustrator to experiment with colours and layout.
8) Tidy desk or messy desk?! My room is pretty small so I don't have the space for a desk. I tend to take over the dining table! But when I was at uni my desk in the studio used to get pretty messy, it had pen and ink stains all over it!
9) Whose work is particularly catching your eye at the moment? There are so many illustrators out there that just totally blow me away. Guys like Gemma Correll, Mr Bingo, Jamie Mitchell and Tuesday Bassen are the ones I'm loving at the minute. They're an inspiration to me as well, especially Gemma. She is the pun master!
10) Sorry to ask, but as the new Wraptious comic, know any good jokes?! As you know I do love a cheesy pun, so one of my favourite comics is Tim Vine. He's notorious for his one liners and cheesy jokes. So here's my favourite joke of his; 'I was reading this book today, 'The History of Glue' and I couldn't put it down'
Leeann's work is available on Wraptious via her profile page
Her work can also be found on Tumblr at leeannjwalker.tumblr.com