Every once in a while, I'll stumble across a drawing or illustrator on the internet and then am suddenly baffled about how I was completely unfamiliar with them until 10 seconds before. I tend to take an immediate liking to certain types of illustration, usually more minimal designs done with graphite and block shapes. Sometimes even a bit macabre and creepy. So it's almost a bit upsetting when I realize I've gone so long without being able to enjoy someone's work who fits that description. Naomi Elliott's work is the latest example of this. Looking through all of her work on her blog and portfolio, I can't find a single piece that I don't absolutely love. I knew immediately that I had to interview her for our blog and Naomi was sweet enough to answer a few questions about her inspirations and upcoming projects.
You can find more of Naomi's work on her website and you can follow her on Tumblr for updates about her work. She has an online shop in the works and we'll let everyone know when it's up!
Your drawings mimic both the every day and fantastical elements. Can you tell us a little bit about how your process and sources of inspiration differ from capturing still life objects (like in the Déjeuner du Matin / morning breakfast series) to creating make believe worlds (Come to the Circus)?
I tend to get a lot of inspiration from my dreams and nightmares. For the past year I've been having incredibly vivid dreams so I keep a little diary beside my bed and try and write down as much of the details as soon as I wake up. I guess this is why a lot of my work does flit between the real and the imaginary.
I've always been very enchanted by old sea shanties and wanted to make a book out of one that I really loved. There's something so magical about that world that exists at sea and the songs that were sang where no-one else could hear them. It's very much a work in progress at the minute but I'm just giving myself time to get through it and focus on making it the best that it can be. I've also started making a little book about a haunted house I used to live in and I'm also in the process of setting up an online shop which should exist very soon. I'll be sure to let you know when it's ready!
What are your dream collaborations or projects, however ridiculous or unlikely they may be?
My dream project would be to illustrate a cookbook! If I wasn't an illustrator I think I'd like to be a chef.
It would also be a total dream come true to collaborate with Woody Allen on..anything really. He seems like such an interesting person so I reckon we could come up with something a bit crazy.
Any advice to anyone just getting into illustration and drawing on how to develop their own personal style?
Keep creating! I think it's important not to get too caught up in comparing yourself to other people or trying to copy other illustrators styles. The more you draw and practice the more you'll see what you're comfortable with and you'll see your own style emerge. At times, I really struggle with the internet in the respect that you are constantly bombarded with really awesome work and it can leave you feeling really inadequate but you just have to work through it and find your own voice.