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Lizzy Stewart Illustration and drawings from a life to zines !

July 18, 2014

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Lizzy Stewart  took a B.A. in Illustration in Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 and an M.A. in Communication Design- Central St Martins, 2013.

I admire how she talks openly on her blog about her feelings regarding her last two years.

” I finished my M.A. and, in truth, I am incredibly glad that its all over. It is difficult to process how I’ve felt about the whole experience; often frustrating and anger-inducing, sometimes bewildering, occasionally inspiring. It has been a long and complicated two years and I think it’ll take me a while to work out what, exactly, they meant to me. And now. Now. Hmm…. People keep asking me what I’m ‘going to do now‘ and quite frankly I have no idea. It is as though ‘now’  is a whole new world, a precipice I am teetering on the edge of and what comes next should be big, bold, a dramatic change. Except it won’t be. It’ll be exactly the same, at least outwardly.  I will keep freelancing and continue to make books and prints and do a bit of teaching here and there. I will carry on taking too many coffee-shop breaks. It is only inwardly that there has been a change, of course there has. Two years of thinking about your work, about what you do and why you do it will undoubtedly change things for you. There are times when I think all that academic navel-gazing has caused permanent damage, other times I think its allowed me to really get to grips with what is important to me, creatively. Either way its been exhausting and now I find myself…. no, actually, I don’t know where I find myself. I think my work has been, and will continue, changing. I paint more and draw less, I write a lot more than I ever used to, I struggle with client work in a way I didn’t in the past. The only thing that seems fixed is that stories are at the very heart of what I do and what I want to do. It is the story that matters most to be. I like telling them, I like reading them and hearing them and I like how sharing a story with another person can create wonder.”

These beautiful book covers certainly create wonder about the stories held within.

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Lizzy has a whole stash of sketchbooks which she has worked in since being a young girl. She sells her prints and zines here over at her BigCartel site.

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You can easily see how her sketchbook work translates into more detailed illustrations.

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Lizzy also sketches when away from home, in fact I think she pretty much sketches everywhere.

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I like these somewhat contemplative studies.

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She now works in London and commutes from her home

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Lizzy talks on her blog about drawing.

” On a few occasions I have been asked why it is that I draw, as though the career I am in the process of crafting for myself has been rationally reasoned and considered. It is a question that, for a long time, I have not taken seriously. I glossed over it with a flippant remark- ‘its the only skill I’ve got’ or something about really wanting to cultivate my terrible posture and poor eyesight. Recently however this question has begun to demand a more considered response. Larger musings, admittedly self-indulgent ones, on who I am at this quarter-century stage of my life have brought me round to thinking through what I do, this thing that has, and will continue, to define much of my life. 

Finally then, I draw because I want, in some way, to be known. Not in any genuinely intimate way, I’m not angling for romance or hoping to draw myself a soulmate. Rather I draw for the same reasons that, I believe, anyone makes anythings. It feels like people are huge, enormous in fact and so many are frustrated by the limits of their physical selves that they feel fit to burst; filled with vast swathes of thought and feeling, joys and sadnesses. Every single person is so much bigger and I suppose we fear that the rest of us, the parts not represented by body or speech, will be lost. I draw, then, for this part of me, the majority of me I suppose; because that way it might outlive ‘me’. If drawing is the best way of establishing what is important to us visually then it must go some way towards recording what it important to us internally. “

These paintings have such a lovely feeling to them. Happy, content and peaceful somehow.

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The story teller in Lizzy keeps eeking out. She reflects, in an interview here on 1granary, about her thoughts on her childhood.

” I was cautious and shy, traits I’m still trying to shake off at twenty-five. I drew a lot and I liked making up stories, I suppose I was the same kind of child that most illustrators were- if you’re introspective and awkward from a young age that probably drives you to spend more and more time in your head making things up and scribbling them frantically down in crayon. I don’t think I ever shook the urge to tell stories and that is something my work still relies on. “

The lovely ‘Fossil’ illustration below, backs that up beautifully.

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Again Lizzy talks about inspiration.

” I go through periods of obsession, things that I get fixated on drawing over and over. For a long while it was big, bleak landscapes but at the moment its people. I’ve spent the last few years looking to other places and cultures for inspiration but recently I’ve tried to focus in on something much smaller. People, ordinary people, are a mine of quirks and intricacies and immeasurable wonder. I think. I visit the British Museum to draw a lot. Whilst it rarely leads to finished pieces its an inspiring place to hang out for a while. I find that a day drawing in there helps me to stop thinking and warm-up for new work a bit. When I come back to my desk I feel refreshed. “

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I really like these aerial views below. Keep up the wonderful work Lizzy and your beautifully honest blog too. Great to ‘meet’ such a warm and open soul.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2014 1:46 pm

    What a talented artist!! (She’s not alone in her feelings about school…I wonder if it stifles the imagination sometimes, especially for creatives?) Her illustrations bring back so many happy memories for me, time living in Edinburgh, looking at fossils my daughter. I am heading over to her website to see more! 🙂

    • July 18, 2014 3:08 pm

      Thanks for your comments, it’s so lovely when another person’s work really makes a connection. Thanks for sharing your thoughts : )

  2. Wendy Connolly permalink
    July 18, 2014 4:11 pm

    this is the best ever! so good that i sent an e-mail to Lizzy, telling her how wonderful she is. wendy

    • July 18, 2014 6:05 pm

      Thanks Wendy for your enthusiastic comments, I’m sure Lizzy will be delighted with your gesture too.

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