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Featured Maker – Lucy Reynolds

We’re starting a ‘Meet the Maker’ series to get to know the Craft Kiln traders a bit better and first up is illustrator Lucy Reynolds…

Day 1) Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you make?

Hi, I’m Lucy from Lucy Reynolds Illustration. I’m based in Lostwithiel and I design greeting cards and other illustrated goods. I studied illustration at University College Falmouth and graduated in 2010. Since then I’ve gradually built up my product range and I sell my work online and through shops like The Craft Kiln. I particularly like to work with watercolours and my work is usually full of colour and quirky animal characters such as my ‘Sneaky Seagulls’ and ‘Smiley Sprouts’.

Day 2) Can you tell us about your product range – what do you sell at The Craft Kiln?

I sell a range of illustrated goods from my shelf in The Craft Kiln – greeting cards, art prints, notebooks postcards, wrapping paper and tea towels printed with my illustrations.

Later in the year I’ll also have Christmas card packs and individual Christmas cards for sale, and I’ll be bringing in more wrapping paper for the winter season.

I’ve got a wide range of designs to choose from and I have quite a few cards that are blank inside so they can suit a range of occasions.

One popular series in Cornwall has been my tick-box cards – these include a thank-you card for pet-sitters where you get to tick off what you’ve been off doing (sailing the high seas, scoffing pasties etc.) while they were looking after your pet (tarantula, dog, dragon etc.).

Day 3) How do you create you work and what materials are involved?

I generally use traditional media – sketching pencils (Derwent or Faber Castell) for rough drawings and ink pen and watercolour (Windsor & Newton) for final artwork. My favourite brushes are Windsor & Newton’s Kolinsky Series 7 – they’re pricey, but they hold their shape really well and hold a fine point for painting detail.

Generally I start with sketchy ideas and then gradually change things around and tidy up the composition until I’m happy with the rough draft. After that I use a lightbox with the rough draft underneath to sketch out the final version onto heavyweight watercolour paper. I tend to do this in pencil first, then ink it up using a waterproof pen. Then it’s onto adding colour with watercolour paints and when it’s all finished I scan it in and create a print-ready file from it for the printers.

I am also learning to paint digitally and I’m using my Huion stylus more and more for sketching out ideas – it’s just so much easier to make changes than it is using pencils and a lightbox, so it really speeds up the process of testing out ideas and gives me the confidence to try things out.

Day 4) What inspires your work?

Ideas can come from anywhere – it can come from wordplay like with my ‘Animal Collectives’ series, a one-off idea like my ‘Rainbow Bees’, or a series that develops over time like my ‘Smiley Sprouts’, which get up to new antics each year. Sometimes I’m thinking ahead about what would be of interest to customers – that’s how I developed my Cornwall pet-sitter cards – and other times I’m just playing with ideas and something weird pops out – that’s what happened with my ‘Venus Cake-Trap’ design.

I also think it helps to step away from the desk sometimes. Taking some time to re-charge my batteries, getting out into nature and clearing my head can help with inspiration.

I’ve picked a photo I took of Lantic Bay to share for this topic to symbolise getting away from the desk and getting out to the coast – it’s a lovely secluded beach on the south coast of Cornwall.

Day 5) What’s your favourite piece?

I’m rubbish at picking favourites, but I’m going with this piece, entitled ‘The Invading Hordes’! I originally designed it for my aunt’s 70th Birthday. My Mum wanted to send her something on the theme of gardening and I came up with a veg patch being over-run by podgy slugs and snails. Since then it’s found its way onto an increasing number of products – I now stock Invading Hordes tea towels, notebooks and bookmarks, along with prints and cards.