Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Artist of The Month - Nina Cosford


We have been wanting to speak to the wonderfully talented Nina Cosford for a while now. When she got back to us and said she would answer some questions we were so excited!

As it is another new month (where is this year going!?) its time to look at another artist. We are so pleased to share this illustrator with you so we are just going to get straight on with it:

1. First of all we wanted to start by saying we absolutely love your illustrations of the amazing show that is Girls.  What inspired you to start the project?

Why thanks! I'd been watching the show for a while when I realised I wanted to make my own response to what Lena Dunham was doing. I love the blunt humour and awkward honesty in GIRLS and thought it could be interesting to juxtapose this with a fairly innocent and bright visual interpretation (in the way of my fairly optimistic illustration style I guess). I think the themes Dunham writes about and the feminist realm in general will always be of great interest and importance to me, or certainly are at this point in my life.

2. You have worked on such a wide range of projects. If you could pick a company to work with who would it be and why?

It's a tricky question to answer specifically because sometimes unexpected clients appear out of nowhere and I can end up really enjoying the project. On the other hand, what could be thought of as a dream project can end up being difficult or disappointing if too much hope is put on it perhaps. I'm keen to work with brands who can appreciate mine and can respect that when we work together. It's usually the best way to create a successful crossover which benefits both the client and the person commissioned. I am very fortunate to be paid for doing what I enjoy the most - drawing. It's even better when people want to work with you for who you are and like what you are about.

3. Talk us through your creative process. Are there any particular things you need around you or do before you sit down to illustrate?

I am quite a methodical person and have a certain way of going about new projects. Firstly, I do lots of research on the topic, the ideas, the client etc and make lots of notes and lists. This makes me feel like I am doing something and am starting to be productive. Procrastination can creep up on me now and again though, and, rather than properly working, I find myself cleaning or rearranging my studio, ordering stuff from IKEA or getting sucked into electronic black holes on the internet, forgetting what I was even meant to be doing in the first place. Having said that, there are (rarer) times when I work for so many hours on end that I'm not sure whether I've eaten or not and don't get home til 2am after a long day of drawing or painting. It all depends on what sort of deadline I have and how inspired I'm feeling. On most days however, I do have a routine and try to be in the studio for around 10am and leave at a fairly sensible hour so I can try and wind down in the evening before bed. I often find there is an odd balance between working on impulse and working within a structure.

4.Throughout your career who has inspired you the most and why?

This is hard to answer directly because all sorts of inspiring people and things come along at all sorts of times for me. The recurring inspiration however is my family, particularly my Dad (he's a commercial artist). I grew up with glimpses of what it's like to be freelance and surviving in a hectic and exciting creative industry, through seeing just how hardworking and committed my dad is. I'm only just realising now that that may be where a lot of my working ethic has stemmed from. I have been blessed with having a hugely encouraging, creative family around me and have an awesome boyfriend called Ali Graham who I met a few years ago. He's a freelance illustrator, animator and filmmaker, and we often work together, if not collaboratively then in parallel (our studios are next door to one another). Again, I have found myself being inspired by someone with a lot of motivation and ambition. I also have a super group of friends where I live here in Hastings (local illustrator buddies include Sarah Maycock, Richard Hogg, Benjamin Phillips, Mel Elliott (I Love Mel) and more) so that's nice to have going on.

5. We always like to ask artists if they have any tips for people who are beginning their career in illustration.

I think wanting to be really good is better than wanting to be really successful. If you are good your work should speak for itself and enable you to do well. I think honing your craft, practicing and getting better every day is always more important than counting statistics or comparing yourself or your "success" to someone else's. Find a niche and be constantly developing an individual, original voice. It's only really rewarding if you truly feel the work is yours and you own your style. It's a competitive industry and there are millions of creatives out there all doing great things, so do something only you can do - then you have your brand right there.

 Go visit Nina's website for a look at more of her fantastic work.


  1. She lives in Hastings? I live in Hastings, now I'm going to spend ages working out if I know her, (I did got to school with Sarah Maycock). It's a small world really - and a lovely interview :)

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    2. The world is such a small place sometimes !! We are glad you like the interview - happy Thursday! :)