Rachel Lillie’s refreshingly contemplative, wistful drawings and wood carvings are a welcome breather from our hectic, busy lives – and they have wonderful, enticing stories to tell.  

It seems that Rachel can find a worthy tale in any detail, even those most dismiss as dull – whether a rock found wandering Cairo’s dreamy, cluttered streets or a gravel pile in the wintry wilds of London’s Epping Forest., which she created for this year's Pick Me Up graphic art and illustration festival.

Or, indeed, remembered moments during the exciting opening of the House of Illustration in London, which Rachel observed and captured as the House’s first Illustrator in Residence. For Rachel, the residency was great in encouraging the public to draw – clearly a talent of the House, which is currently putting on workshops and talks at nearby St Pancras Station as part of a partnership (after getting Quentin Blake to draw a new version of The BFG).

Both Rachel’s work and conversation are best enjoyed when you take the time to appreciate them. So, we sat Rachel down in our offices opposite the British Library in London, got the camera rolling and chatted over her residency at the House of Illustration, how she develops her projects and her tips for this year’s graduates.