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A conversation with illustrator Laura on her creative journey and illustration process

October 2021

2 min read

The Like Minded (TLM): Welcome Laura, as a way of introduction can you tell us about your journey into the creative industry and your role at The Like Minded? 

Laura: My role as an illustrator includes crafting storyboards and illustrations for a variety of different briefs. 

I did a degree in Illustration at Kingston School of Art. Initially I thought I would go down a more traditional route of illustration such as editorial or children’s book illustration. However, during this time, I began to explore moving image and animation and realised that by using voiceover and sound design I could enhance my illustration skills and communicate messages in a more impactful way. I enjoyed these kinds of projects the most and this led me to apply for jobs at animation studios after I graduated. Eventually I was offered a job at The Like Minded where I have continued to be able to work on interesting projects.

TLM: Please explain the process of designing a concept / illustration style and why it’s important for an animation campaign? 

Laura: Firstly, designing a concept requires a good brief! 

Key things to note down at this stage are the budget, the subject matter and tone of the animation, who the audience is, any existing brand guidelines that a client may have such as a colour pallet as well as any examples of animation / illustration that the client has referenced. 

This enables us to tailor design ideas to each brief in order to create a unique and appropriate result. 

If there is a draft script, I will use this as a starting point to identify key scenes before choosing one to draw up. 

I usually start with a few quick sketches to jot down my ideas before picking one and refining it- thinking about colour, composition, lighting, and character design in order to tell a story in the most effective way. 

After I am happy with a design, I will share it with colleagues to get their feedback before making any final tweaks before it is sent to a client for review. 

TLM: What is your favourite animation you have deigned a concept for? 

Laura: It’s hard to pick one! 

One concept I particularly enjoyed working on was a campaign for Bupa about medical misinformation and the importance of identifying reliable sources when looking for medical advice online. 

For this concept I had the idea of using a detective character inspecting information on an oversized smart phone. I wanted to get across the idea of people being inundated with information on the internet and chose to show information whizzing around him. This was enhanced by the scale of the smart phone compared to the character.

TLM: What is your favourite illustration style to work with?

Laura: It’s hard to pick one favourite style to work in as I enjoy variety and tailoring an illustration style to a specific subject matter and audienceHowever, one of my favourite parts of illustration is choosing colour and thinking about the effect this can have on an image.

TLM: What do you use as your source of inspiration?

Laura: I like to reference photography as well as the work of other artists. A good platform for this is Pinterest. I like to keep an eye on work that other studios are creating and thinking about what works well about it and how we can incorporate these fundamental concepts and ideas into our own projects. 

TLM: Have you ever struggled for inspiration? And what do you do in this situation?

Laura: Yes! The best thing to do in this situation is go back to the research stage. Also sometimes sketching out an idea you don’t really like helps to get it out of your system and gives your brain space to move on and come up with a new idea or make connections between multiple exiting ideas. Sometimes you just need to take a break or share your ideas with others. 

TLM: Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to pursue a career in the creative industry?

Laura: Persevere! Keep making the type of work that you would like to be paid to make and then share it with people you look up to and get feedback. 

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