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In an interview with Alice Kiteley

Written by Jessica Holden,
featuring illustrations and photographs by Alice Kiteley.

Alice Kiteley is an illustrator, originally from the West Midlands and a recent graduate from the Liverpool School of Art and Design. She has studied Graphic Design and Illustration, and works in many different mediums including screen printing, Photoshop and collage.

Jessica Holden: Hello Alice! What are your biggest inspirations?
Alice Kiteley: Inspiration for me comes in many different forms; I love history and nostalgia. Old photographs and films are something that I go back to time and time again. Narrative is also a big inspiration for me; stories have always interested me, being able to bring those stories to life is what I love to do.

JH: Who influences you as an artist?
AK: Illustrators like Ellen Surrey, Lizzy Stewart and Carson Ellis. I also love the work of screen printer Kate Gibb, and my favourite classical painters Vermeer and Mary Blair.

JH: When/How did your artistic path start?
AK: For as long as I can remember I have always made things. As a child I remember painting eggs at Easter, making Christmas decorations, and painting or drawing in my spare time. I would always have something creative on the go whether that was through some cross-stitch pieces while on holiday or colouring in books at my grandparents. I don’t think there is a definitive time when my artistic journey started because I think it has always been there.

JH: What advice would you give to people looking to start an illustration degree?
AK: Have fun! While on your degree you’ll have a chance to explore your work and basically mess around with materials and ideas. I would also suggest to just put your work out there, whether that be online or sending portfolios to possible clients.

JH: What are your favourite materials to use?
AK: The materials I use vary depending on what kind of way I see a project going but I always start with a pencil. I am naturally most drawn to pencil as a medium because of its texture and how versatile it can be. My favourite material to use at the moment has to be gouache; I’m slightly obsessed with some of the colours you can buy and how you are able to use it as a watercolour and a matte opaque paint.

JH: Which project has been your favourite and why?
AK: I find that my favourite projects are the ones that I’m working on at the time. Like at the moment I’m really enjoying recreating movie scenes using gouache. The research part is obviously great but I also enjoy practicing different angles and colours due to the way the film has been shot. I find that I look back on older projects and see what I could have done better or differently.

JH: What does your workspace look like?
AK: A mess -an organised mess. Most of the time anyway! I have about 3 or 4 plates on the go for mixing gouache colours, a huge jar of water and a piece of work taped down to my desk. Then I have all my other materials stored in multiple drawers around me which include different papers, collaging materials, old work and tests. That’s what my workspace usually looks like on a typical day painting.

JH: When your not creating, how do you unwind?
AK: I actually use painting and creating as a way to unwind from my full-time job at the moment. However when I’m not doing that, I like to visit stately homes, watch films and look at pictures of corgis on Instagram.

Photographs and a scan from a project book Alice created to illustrate the things she dislikes and hates. To see more, visit her website and Facebook page.

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