Q&A with... Georgie Bennett
Our latest Q&A is with illustrator Georgie Bennett. I had the pleasure of meeting Georgie through work and seeing first hand her amazing talent. Below we found out about her journey to becoming an illustrator, what inspires here and her hopes for the future.
F&A: Tell us a bit about yourself and the type of illustrations you create.
GB: I graduated in 2014 from Norwich University of the Arts and I currently freelance as an illustrator. I work with watercolour, pen and pencil and my practice is very much inspired by landscape. Since graduating I have been commissioned to illustrate ‘The Grasmere Journal’ by Dorothy Wordsworth for The Folio Society and I am continuing to pursue and develop personal work.
F&A: What inspired you to become an illustrator?
GB: My Grandad was an illustrator and my Dad always draws so I learned to love art from seeing their work. I chose to become an illustrator because I am interested in storytelling. I also like illustration because it exists in a sort of grey area between graphic design and fine art and can cross over into many different areas of the art industry.
F&A: Do you have a day job? How do you balance your work alongside being creative?
GB: I do have a day job. I work as a visitor service assistant with English Heritage and at Tunbridge Wells Museum and I am also a casual theatre usher. I am still trying to find a good balance between work and creativity. But I like working collaboratively with others and I find that my work life often feeds into and inspires my freelance practice. I am also trying a new ‘sketch a day’ challenge for 2017. This helps me to keep my sketchbook work going and improves my observational drawing skills.
F&A: What is creativity to you?
GB: Creativity to me means expression and discovery. There are many different forms of creativity and it is a difficult concept to pin down. However, I see creativity as a way of communicating ideas and thoughts visually.
F&A: What was the last book you read?
GB: The last good book I read was ‘Deathless’ by Catherynne M. Valente. It is a fantastic story that combines Russian folklore with the historical events of the Russian Revolution. I am currently reading ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt, which I am also enjoying.
F&A: Who or what inspires you the most?
GB: Travelling and exploring inspires me the most. A lot of my art practice is inspired by landscape. I am probably most proud of my sketchbook work which is created on location. To me these drawings hold a memory and an authenticity that could not be replicated in a studio. I also get inspired by visiting galleries, exhibitions and talking about art with friends and family. One of my favourite galleries to visit is the House of Illustration as they always create unique and interesting shows with both traditional and contemporary illustration.
F&A: Describe your perfect day off?
GB: My perfect day off would definitely involve some sort of holiday or mini adventure. I enjoy going to heritage sites, the beach and exhibitions with friends and family. I also love going to plays and musicals in London.
F&A: What are your hopes for the future?
GB: I would like to complete a Masters in Illustration. I hope to evolve my illustration practice further and become more entrepreneurial and confident with my work. Beyond that I am not sure. I am interested in the idea of tutoring and getting involved with artist residency programmes, whilst continuing to create personal projects.