Introducing Laura Williams - The Edinburgh Based Nature-Focused illustrator
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
I’m a Scottish Freelance Illustrator living in Edinburgh with a fascination for the natural world. I grew up in North Berwick, a wee seaside town on the East Coast of Scotland with a love for collecting and drawing small natural curiosities. This interest in nature has always provided me with ample inspiration for my artwork and it’s from this that my business blossomed.
My focus is exploring through-line, dot and pattern, highlighting the complexity of organic forms and the beauty behind the simple, no matter how small, damaged or old. For me, everything has a role to play and a purpose in this world and it is important to recognise this. My work centres on highlighting the smaller things in life, those that are perhaps cast aside or forgotten.
Over the past number of years, my work has explored conservation through endangered species, in particular insects. I created a collection called ‘Insectarium’ which captured the plight of our local insects and how much their numbers have declined in the UK. This series of work sparked me to make my first line of prints to sell online and so I opened an Etsy Shop called LauraWilliamsArtwork. Since then, my business has grown steadily, and I’ve continued to expand my product range featuring everything from pinecones, pebbles, leaves and birds.
How did you keep going and stay motivated during the Covid 19 lockdowns?
Although I live in Edinburgh, I was incredibly fortunate to spend a few lockdowns back home by the sea. Having this beautiful landscape on my doorstep was a lifeline for keeping myself motivated. I started collecting shells, driftwood, feathers, bones and seaweed and once I had a nice selection of items, I dived into the drawing. It provided me with much-needed escapism and a sense of calm from the stress that this pandemic brought. I was very lucky.
What inspires you?
Growing up by the beach has always inspired me. I love the ever-changing landscapes, the beautiful wildlife, and the drama of the sea, it’s one of my happy places. Woodlands and grasslands are another big inspiration. They are treasure troves full of interesting curiosities waiting to be discovered with endless possibilities! In addition to this, my drawing style has been heavily inspired by scientific illustrations such as those found in natural history books and field guides. Everything from geology, entomology, and botanical resources.
What does your art mean to you?
My art offers me a way of connecting with the world around me. It gives me an outlet to express and explore my creativity and inner potential, much like a second language. It is an extension of my mind and how I interpret my environment. Overall, it provides me with a rich vein of joy and sense of purpose, I would not be me without it.
What materials and techniques do you predominantly use in making your designs?
I mainly work with fine liners as they are perfect for capturing details and intricacies. One of the main techniques I have adopted is the art of stippling which involves a lengthy process of mark-making using dots. This method helps me achieve great depth and tone, building up layers and contrast resulting in a very graphic style of drawing. On occasion, I do like to dabble in coloured pencil, promarkers, gouache and watercolours when I want to inject colour into my work.
What has been your favourite artistic experience over the last 12 months? Recently I attended my first ever market which was a wonderful experience. Up until now, I have operated online through my shop and promoting myself through social media. Being able to meet customers in person and have interesting conversations about my art and nature gave me a massive boost in confidence. It was a great success.
What is your favourite product you’ve had from Doodle Bag?
I love the contrast shopping bags! They have been a big hit with my customers and offer a more sophisticated look to your traditional tote bag. They are of great quality and work perfectly with my black and white designs.
What are your future plans?
I hope to continue to build my business through Etsy and other platforms and reach a wider audience over time. I have a number of markets lined up which will help add to this growth. As well as this, I’d love to hold more exhibitions and get my work in shops.
What advice would you give new artists starting out now?
Don’t give up! I always tell myself if it’s hard to do it’s probably worth doing and I have found this has rung true on many occasions. Choosing this path isn’t easy and brings many challenges with it but if it brings you joy and a sense of purpose then stick with it, life is too short not to chase your passions.
Why did you choose Doodle Bag?
When I was researching suppliers for tote bags, I was delighted to see how ethical and eco-friendly Doodle Bag was in its production process. Reducing my impact on the plant is becoming incredibly important to me so finding good suppliers associated with good labour practices, fair trade and an ethos towards a greener future was perfect for my business.
If you are interested in Laura’s work you can find her here.
Facebook: Laura Williams Illustration
Etsy Shop: LauraWilliamsArtwork
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