Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lovely Ink Artist: Lizzie MacKay Interview

This month's Lovely Ink, by the amazing illustrator and surface designer Lizzie MacKay, is a gentle whisper, as soft as a bunny and as uplifting as a birdsong. Dream a Little Dream. Don't be afraid. Just start with something small and sweet that tugs at your heart. Give it air. Give it light. Nourish those little dreams and let them grow this Spring.

To get a free desktop wallpaper and 8x10"printable of this piece, sign up for Lovely Ink.

I was so delighted to be able to interview Lizzie Mackay and hear the story behind her artwork. Enjoy!

Lizzie MacKay beaming :)
Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
I always start by doodling in pen, then I love to play around in Illustrator with texture and colour and seeing where it takes me. My favorite way of working is to sort of digitally collage and play with no big idea in mind. I like a surprise! Having said that, I knew I wanted to do something that would fit just as well as a desktop wallpaper or a bedroom wall.

Lizzie starts doodling in pen and then adds color and texture digitally
What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?
I’m a big believer of having dreams, little or big, and never giving up on them. They inspire you, drive you forward and keep you positive. Good things start with a little dream. Plus, I love the song of the same name too, I sang it to my children when they were tiny. "‘Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.’" Perfect. 

Anything IS possible. Even Elephants can fly.
Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things? 
I can’t remember not drawing. I’d draw all sorts, little worlds for mice and fashion designs. My dad was a graphic design lecturer and when I was little, I’d go up to the university with him and sit with his students and draw all day. I loved it. I loved the fashion department too but I sadly realized I’m not patient enough for precision sewing! 

Lizzie's shelf of inspiration and cuteness

Where in your life do you find the most inspiration for your art?

Anywhere and anything. It can be the tiniest thing… a leaf in the garden, the pattern on an old plate or interiors in a magazine. On a larger scale, the colours, patterns and shapes of nature and animals inspire me the most. We live in a beautiful world.

Doodles from nature evolve into graphic cuteness

What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?

I’ve had some really dream projects lately that I’ve been so lucky to work on, with some wonderful clients. Really, a year ago, they were on my wish list so I’ve been so lucky. Great direction but lots of freedom, that’s a dream brief. Secretly, in another life, I’d love to style kids bedrooms…. I just love combining bits together… vintage patterns, designs and colour….a pop of neon. That would be amazing, Or... move to the states and work for Rifle Paper Co. I’d love that! 

From Lizzie's colorful bookshelf
Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?
I’m not sure. I like little parts about lots of peoples depending on what I’m into that week. A few favourites include Dahlov Ipcar’s book illustrations. Colourist Leslie Shrewring and Stylist Selina Lake. Libby Mcmullin is an all time favourite. Rosie Harbottle.. I love her drawings. And Lovemae is one of my favorite surface pattern companies. 
Lizzie's sweet characters always seem so peaceful
What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?
I have many of them too! Some of my daily go-to’s are Bloesem kids, loveprintstudio, Mermag, Beebambi and Boheme Circus. They’re great for tea break inspiration.

Adorable spring-themed pattern by Lizzie MacKay

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