Computer Arts: What's the story behind Five Husbands?
Tilly: This was a self-initiated project based on a story I read about a woman looking back and trying to explain the theme of her life, and how she'd ended up with five husbands and three cats. The story was somber and full of regret; once a beautiful lady, now old and alone. Cheery stuff!
CA: How did you put the piece together?
T: I always start scamping up ideas and sketching the characters on A4 paper, and once I believe in them, I'll ink and colour parts with colouring pencils and create some hand-made textures. Then I'll scan them in, finish colouring and composing the final illustration in Photoshop. The most challenging part was that the story was so long, talking about the different stages of her life. I had so many ideas, but I'd strictly set myself two days to complete the project. This helped me to focus and try and decide how to depict the feel of the story as a whole.
CA: How did you get into illustration?
T: I studied illustration at the University of the West of England, and then went to Brighton University, graduating in 2006 with an MA in sequential design and illustration. After that, I went into a design agency to learn the ropes, which was invaluable, then I became a full-time freelance illustrator 18 months later.
CA: How would you describe your style, and who or what are your influences?
T: My illustrations are, predominately but not solely, character-based, with an emphasis on humour. I draw inspiration from the everyday and the odd. Visiting new countries always helps spark off new ideas. I recently visited Tokyo and have been obsessed with drawing their incredible buildings and fashion styles since I came back home. I'm currently working on a large, self-initiated piece of work on Tokyo, which I'm really excited about and will be finished soon.