I'm unbelievably lucky to have so many inspiring and talented creatives and business owners in my life. This interview sparks the beginning of a series of interviews with amazing creatives, entrepreneurs, and business owners who inspire me.
Arnelle Woker is a South African illustrator and designer currently living in London, and I have been in awe of her work for many years now - here's my interview with her - I trust you'll find it as inspiring as I did.
KL: If you could pick 3 words to describe your illustrations what would they be?
AW: Vibrant, textured and riddled with foliage & patterns.
KL: What inspires you? In terms of getting creative, and in terms of the imagery you focus on.
AW: Nature and the great outdoors, immersing myself in various cultures and travelling! I always carry a notebook on me to jot down ideas or doodle something that comes up. It can be so beneficial to distance yourself from your work. Taking a step back and doing something completely non-related seems to help when I feel as though I'm stuck. I also think creativity is collaboration. I love working in teams and often ask people for their opinions - even if its not always what I want to hear. Those moments have a way of sparking something new!
I love drawing people. I love making patterns and incorporating rich vibrant colour palettes into my work. You'll often see me doodling faces or making patterns and combining these with an abundance of plants and foliage.
KL: Describe a perfect, creative day.
AW: Honestly I wish I had a recipe for that! I think that would be a day where I wake up and actually feel like making something rad! But I consider myself a morning person so I think the ultimate day would be to wake up early. Go for a long walk...probably to a local coffee house. And let me tell ya, I love me a good brekkie! Nothing beats it. So that would be next. During this time I'd check emails and plan the day ahead. If I'm not working on site, I would head into my shared studio space in Dalston. I like setting some clear objectives for what I'd like to achieve in the day. You know, those never ending to do lists... I would hope to finish at a reasonable hour so that I can spend the afternoon sipping some vino in the park with friends, soaking in the last few rays of sunshine (that's if London actually plays along...)
KL: Which artists/designers/illustrators inspire you?
AW: I think someone I look up to is Anna Rifle Bond from Rifle Paper Co. Definitely a brand that I admire. I love Lisk Feng's work, and the team of strong women at the Get Girl Collective. Their work is so incredible and inspiring!
KL: Please share one sentence that tells us a bit more about yourself.
AW: I like eating raw bacon! Kidding, well not kidding :D I'm working at not taking myself too seriously and letting things reveal themselves.
KL: Any advice for other illustrators who are trying to get their work out there?
AW: I know this is especially true for myself, but I've spent so much time worrying about whether or not my work is good enough and if it will be well received. Living abroad and taking more risks has taught me to stop over thinking things and just to go with it. Put it out there. You learn MORE from failing. Try to embrace the lessons from things not working, rather than not putting yourself out there at all.
To check out Arnelle's full collection of beautiful work, please visit her website here - https://arnellewoker.com/
And follow her on Instagram here - https://www.instagram.com/arnellewoker/