“I try to avoid the use of black as an outliner because I find it too heavy. Instead I like playing with other colours that give me different contrasts against the background. I also like using white as a highlighter and saturated colours for small details.”
Argentinian designer Juliana Pedemonte, colorblok.com
Lizzie Mary Cullen
“I think the key thing is to always have a concept in mind. It sounds so obvious, but drawing just to make something look pretty doesn’t really work for me. I love work that is rooted in a deeper meaning, which you can deconstruct and look at for hours.
“My work is about using tools of psychogeography – exploring places, towns, cities in an inventive way and recording what you feel, not only what you see. Discovering this working process really set my style free, and I know if I had set out to make just pretty drawings I wouldn’t still be working. Having a concept keeps your work alive, and always pushes you to evolve your style and keeps your work fresh.”
Illustrator and psychogeographist, lizziemarycullen.com
“Turning yourself into what you are drawing, while you are drawing, is my little secret. I don’t sit at home in a cat costume though – I only imagine it. Most of the time I work the old-fashioned way – using only pen or pencil and paper.
“I like the process of making things, that’s why I almost never use a computer in my personal work. I don’t have a studio and my desk prefers being covered with things other than my work. Therefore I work from wherever I am.”
London-based character designer, rinadonnersmarck.co.uk
“Create a back-story for your character; give that little guy some history and you can pull out some wonderful ideas. Our design work is based around characters and textures and we use this as the main focus when planning. We’re always looking to come up with new techniques and themes; we buy magazines and books, and spend hours trawling the web for inspiration.”
Character and apparel design duo, doodull.co.uk
“I always aim to be myself. I don’t want to look at what everyone else is doing today; it’s likely I’d end up following the pack rather than, hopefully, leading. I’ll look back into the past at art and design history, take inspiration from other art forms and mediums, and indulge my personal interests. Creating my own unique voice sets me apart from everyone else.”
Artist and Stig-hider, rodhunt.com
“I work on as many pieces simultaneously as my brain can cope with, it helps me enormously not to be staring at the same thing for more than a couple of hours.
“I also keep a file of half-finished pieces that have potential, and when I go back to them, sometimes weeks or months later, I can usually spot the flaws immediately that may not have been apparent before.”
Mixed-media artist, byroglyphics.com
“When working on a detailed piece on the computer, be it in Photoshop or Illustrator, don’t stay zoomed in too much on a tiny square of the image; you lose perspective on the piece as a whole and can find yourself working on the tiniest of details that no one will ever see.
“I’ve spent many hours working on an area in a design only to realise the details are so minute it looks like black mush. Alternatively just work with a real pen and paper; you never lose perspective that way.”
Illustrator, designer and screenprinter, dan-mumford.com
“I often use blurred effects with acrylic inks; it’s important to pick a set of colours carefully before starting inking. Using opposing colours is often effective to lead the viewer’s eye to a particular part of your work.
“Mixing warm or cold colours as a set is always good; using both together gives you similar effect to opposing colours. However if the contrast between the colours isn’t strong the effect won’t be as dramatic. Each colour has a slightly different permeability, so experiment and have fun.”
Tokyo-born artist living in London, natsukiotani.co.uk