Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Illustrator of the Week 15: Andrea Joseph - Interview Part 1

A while ago I posted a few sketches by Derbyshire-based illustrator, Andrea Joseph. I was impressed by the amazing level of detail in her work, especially considering many sketches were doing using everyday biros.

Here she has kindly answered a few questions about her inspirations. Be sure to check back later in the week for the next part of the interview!

What are your daily inspirations?
Music. Definitely music. I am obsessive about it. As obsessive as I am about drawing. I think if I had any musical talent then this would have been my preferred creative route, but as I’m tone deaf I just became a fan instead. A fanatic. I can listen to the same album or artist over and over again for weeks on end. I’ve had Paul Weller phases that have lasted around three months.

When I look at a drawing I can immediately remember what I was listening to at the time. I see the albums and the songs in the lines.

A few months ago I was listening to Aeriel by Kate Bush a lot. There are about 4 or 5 drawings that came out of that period.

When I look at this washing machine drawing I can hear the songs. They are embedded in the lines, textures and colours. I love that. Inexplicably, there’s also a drawing of an armchair that always makes me think of Edith Piaf.

I love that about art. How all the things around you become entwined in your work. And, of course, it’s not just music or any one thing. I was listening to Neil Young talk about the song writing process. When he was asked about what inspires him to write he said “whatever was happening in the world, what I’d just done, what I wanted to do next, who I was living with, who my friends were, what the weather was….” It’s all those things. I’m inspired by all those things. And, by Neil Young.

Thanks Andrea!


  1. Wow that is so true what you say about music and art! I always hear the songs that I was playing whenever I look at my work, even if it was done years ago, it's weird how the 2 become conjoined. Sometimes looking at different parts of the same pic even conjures up different songs and artists. Lovely work by the way!

  2. Sven, I agree, I too can see the different songs and artists. Especially in a long drawing.

    I must add that Edith Piaf isn't in my record collection. I was watching a documentary about her whilst drawing the chair. Still, I'll alwasy hear her when looking at that drawing!

    Thank you, and thanks Laura.

  3. I can so relate to what you say about remembering the music that was playing as you were drawing - I have drawings from about 20 years ago that I can still remember what was on TV in the background as I drew them. Maybe I should have doodled more in university - might have made it easier to remember the contents of the lectures!

  4. So, so cool. I love how you can remember the music being played in the background while you draw. I think this is the beauty of taking the time to do it...you encapsulate so much more than what is apparent on the page...

    Just this morning I spent nearly two hours drawing the Mini dealership showroom as I waited on my car to be serviced. After I finished I questioned why I took so much time with the scene when a photo could capture it more "accurately" in a fraction of the time. However, during the time I was drawing I overheard many conversations and struck up others with onlookers. These will forever be engrained in my memory as a result of the drawing. I think this is special.

    Andrea---again, an amazing interview!

    Sincerely...your adoring fan :)

  5. It's funny Suzanne, I was thinking just the same thing when I was drawing the £5 note, the other day.

    What is the point? I was trying to recreate all the folds and creases of the note. Trying to get them spot on. I thought why wouldn't a photo do? But, as you said about the Mini showroom, by the time I had finished, I had imagine all sorts of storis about who had owned the £5 before me, how and why they had folded it into little pieces etc etc.

    I still don't know the answers to why we do these things, but I'[m glad I do.


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