Oh hi there! Thanks for joining us again for another instalment of the Creative Q&A series – I’ve absolutely loved this project so far and have revelled in meeting all of these super talented makers and business owners.
This week we have had a chat to brilliant illustrator Laura Frances Heitzman, who’s work is undoubtedly colourful, honest and striking, often with a powerful message (even if that powerful message is about losing a hair piece in Aldi…true story!).
Her name may sound familiar if you’re a regular around here, as we featured her lush cards in the Galentines section of our Valentines round up (catch up here!)
So read on to hear all the goss!
JANEY: Hello Laura! Thanks for chatting! So please, what’s the story?
LAURA: I graduated from Leeds University in 2016 with a degree in fashion design. I then got a job designing prints and accessories which I did for 2 years before moving to Australia for a gap year. During this time I did a few commissions for friends and family, but it wasn’t until I left Australia to travel Asia that I started to take freelancing more seriously. I came back from Asia and decided to keep doing what I was doing, and now a year and a half later I’m still here doing what I love and I couldn’t be more thankful!
J: Ooh a fellow Aus traveller! We were there during 2019, and there is definitely so much creative inspiration to take in – it is such a diverse country with a multitude of landscapes, cultures and people. So do you tend to take inspo from what is happening around you?
L: I find inspiration in a lot of different ways. I’m a proper daydreamer so a lot of my ideas come to me when I’m just sat thinking. All of my best ideas seem to come to me when I’m either in the shower or when trying to get to sleep at night – I really should sleep with a notepad and pen next to me! Every month or so I like to sit down and take the time explore different ideas and write down everything I’ve been feeling, just letting my ideas flow, normally in a mind-map style. This is a great way for me to think of new ideas I might not have pulled from thin air. Pinterest is a major help for inspiration if I’m ever low on ideas. Sometimes I’ll see something in a photo that sets off a spark!
J: I have to agree there, I’m a real Pinterest fanatic, and you’re right – it is rare that you come away from a scroll without a brain brimming with new ideas! (Feel free to come and have a glimpse of what the inside of my head looks like here!)
So Laura, if I asked you to describe your illustrative style in 3 words, what do you reckon they would be?
L: I’d say empowering, fun and colourful!
J: Yep, smashed it! That colourful element of your work is definitely what drew me to you, and I’m completely in love with the bright and bold colour palette of your illustrations – what is your fave colour combo?
L: Thank you! I am leaning more towards pastels at the moment. I’d say pink and yellow or pink and red are my faves at the moment, although I do LOVE orange and pink too, it’s not a colour combo I’ve worked with a lot so I’ll be looking to incorporating it into some of my newer illustrations. Basically anything with pink is great haha!
J: Well I’m happy to see that we’re on the same page there, and that page is definitely a big, bright and beautiful shade of PINK!
D’ya know what else is proper big, bright and beautiful?! Your mural work! Please tell us more!
L: Ahhh my mural work! I don’t think there is anything more satisfying than painting a mural. The design process is so much fun! We first start off with sketches/concepts, then the digital design before moving onto applying the finished digital design to the wall. I was fortunate to complete my first Mural back in September before lockdown and it was honestly the best experience. I loved the fact that it was so hands on which is something I don’t usually get to do.
J: There is something so so delightful about a big, bold mural, and it must be mad to see your own work blown up to that scale That is quite an accomplishment to get it up there! What would you say is your biggest achievement as a business owner (so far!)?
L: To be honest, my biggest achievement was making it through the first year. Starting up your own small business and being a one woman band is much harder than you think and it takes a while to start earning a decent living wage. I know in the future I will look back on that first year and thank myself for sticking at it because I’m already reaping the rewards!
J: That is absolutely something to shout about! Its all about building those foundations, and not expecting too much immediate gain in the early days – if the hard work goes in and the passion is there, it is guaranteed to be worth it! And the fact that you have been going for a year, and achieved and produced what you have, is so wonderful and so well deserved!
Is it just me or do all of those gorge illustrations of fabulous women make you excited to ditch the loungewear and get the glad rags on?! Hand me a sequin jacket and a lippy and get me out of here!!
Thanks for joining us guys, and I hope you enjoyed reading!
You lucky things have got another Q&A coming your way next week, so do pop back again from Friday! Have a good one, and stay sassy!