Meet the Artist – Live Sketcher, Cherie Jerrard

Cherie Jerrard - The Artists Print RoomFollowing on from our recent blog article featuring Richard Smythe, in our latest, Meet the Artist blog post, we have spoken to Cherie Jerrard. Cherie is a live sketcher and some may say, the ultimate people watcher!

Starting out Cherie had a career in fashion, having studied in the industry for 20 years, including a nine year career as a fashion designer and illustrator. Having grown up in the 80’s Cherie became entranced by fashion icons and the onslaught of idealistic graphic imagery. Later on having relocated from London to the beautiful town of Shrewsbury, she undertook a Masters in Illustration at Manchester School of Art.

During this time, Cherie slowly woke up and looked around to discover people are so much more imaginative and imperfect. Real everyday people are far more worthy of capturing in an illustration than someone who has been constructed by a team of people which she had previously experienced in the fashion industry.

soho coffee third edition - The Artists Print Room
©Cherie Jerrard – Soho Coffee

Whilst studying for her Masters degree, Cherie entered a competition by Moleskine; the stationery brand. This competition was based on reportage style illustrations and she was fortunate to getting into the final round. At this point, Cherie realised and believed there could be something more to sketching. Further on, Cherie was sponsored by the German pen brand, Lamy and publishes a newspaper known as ‘Everyday Reportage’.

The majority of Cherie’s work is now undertaken on location and in the moment, ensuring her sketches are honest and simple. Often her work happens whilst sitting in coffee shops, enjoying the ‘cafe culture’ and incorporating a wide range of individuals as subjects. In addition to this, these scenarios are perfect for observing peoples natural behaviour and provide an ‘honest, authentic, context to the drawings’.

Saturday Afternoon - The Artists Print Room
©Cherie Jerrard – Saturday Afternoon

Cherie describes her art as ‘an antidote to celebrity culture overload. The illustrations are observations of our times. My focus is to capture what it was like to come together with an unscripted group of people in any given venue and time. Something about the the actors and the stage of everyday life makes me want to document the moment. It’s the closest I can get to pausing time. Who needs celebrities we are all amazing originals.’

We love Cherie’s quirky, contemporary and endearing illustrations and you can view more of her work on her website. Alternatively, keep up to date with Cherie through her Instagram and Twitter accounts. Cherie’s work can be purchased through Cherie did this. 

Cherie Jerard_andina - The Artists Print Room
©Cherie Jerrard – Andina

 

 

 

 

Meet the Artist – An Interview with Richard Smythe

Richard Smythe - The Artists Print RoomIn our latest blog article featuring  our clients, we’ve spoken to freelance illustrator, Richard Smythe. We love Richard’s adorable drawings, in particular his dancing squirrels (which you can view on his website!)

When did you first discover your passion for illustration?

From a very young age I enjoyed to draw and create things. Eventually I realised art and design came more naturally to me than other subjects at school. I remember first being commended on a drawing I did at primary school. Probably the only time I was ever praised for school work, however!

Where do you get your inspiration from and what inspires you?

Inspiration for my illustration work comes from many sources. Usually just everyday life. Whenever I see something funny or an unusual circumstance.

How would you describe your style?

richardsmythe_dogandcatadventure
©Richard Smythe – Dog & Cat Adventures

Quite loose and naive, but representational enough for young children to understand and recognise.

What makes you different from other illustrators?

It’s hard to say but it’s probably more down to how I interpret the subject matter  in the author’s manuscript. Each illustrator comes at a project differently based on their own experiences I think.

What is the most challenging thing for you when it comes to illustrating picture books?

Meeting a deadline. I normally schedule my time on a project before I start, but other things beyond my control get in the way which inevitably delay the project. If the picture book requires me to draw something unusual or complicated then this requires extra study or experimenting, which all has to be done under the time constraints of the deadline.

What would be your career dream? What project would you love to be able to do/complete?

richardsmythe_watersong
©Richard Smythe – Water Song

I honestly don’t know. I really just love what I am fortunate enough to be doing now, which is illustrating picture books for kids. I suppose it would be nice to work on some of my own stories at some stage as I always have lots of ideas.

Did you have another career prior to this? If so, what was it?

I had a lot of other nondescript jobs to make ends meet before I was able to make a living as an illustrator. I worked with young adults with physical and mental disabilities for the longest time though.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10-15 years’ time?

mouse_cup_richardsmythe
©Richard Smythe – Mouse Cup

To carry on with what I’m doing and perhaps to have had a few more awards under my belt would be lovely.

What is your typical day like?

Very long. I get up around 6am and finish up about 6pm. I split my time between client work and personal development. As well as exercise and dog walking!

What do you love the most about your job and what do you hate the most?

richardsmythe_foxbytheriver
©Richard Smythe – Fox By The River

I think the most enjoyable part is creating something out of nothing. The opportunity to interpret an author’s story is a great privilege to me. Picture books (if they’re good ones) can be passed down from generation to generation of kids, being cherished and loved forever. That’s a great thing to be part of. I suppose the main thing I dislike is not being paid on time, which can happen unfortunately.

How do you relax after a long day?

I like to read and do exercise, and just hang about with my family. 


You can find out more about Richard’s work on his website or through his social media accounts; Instagram and Twitter.

 

 

Meet the Artist – An Interview with Helen Parry

Watercolour Artist Helen ParryIn our second blog article on Meet the Artist, we’ve spoken to watercolour artist, Helen Parry and found out some fascinating information on her painting technique and what has inspired Helen over the years and what a typical day looks like…

When did you first discover your passion for art and painting?

I think it is something I’ve always been able to do. When I was small, I think it was the reaction of others to anything I created, that made me realise I could do something others couldn’t. At junior school whenever we did art, the other children liked my work and asked me to paint one for them to take home. They would ask me to draw all sorts of things, sometimes I think just to see if I could do it. I think they spurred me on and as I went to senior school I realised I was the only one who was aware of drawing the reflections in objects and that objects had shade to create form.

Helen Parry
©Helen Parry

Furthermore, someone gave me a book when I was young on how to mix colours. I couldn’t understand how people didn’t instinctively know how to mix colours. Again this made me realise I had a natural ability.

I think it was realising how observant I was, that I developed a need to share this with others, who seemed to miss all the detail.

Where do you get your inspiration from and what inspires you?

Nature is very inspiring, but I’m so observant that anything can trigger an idea. Also when you work full-time at painting, there isn’t time to wait for inspiration you just have to get on and paint.

I think that’s when I know someone is serious about art. They don’t wait for inspiration to strike, they get on with painting, trusting their creativity to shine through in the end.

How would you describe your style? 

Highly technical watercolours with fine detail brushwork. They are close to being realistic, but I don’t want my paintings to look like photographs, so there is a softness to the brushwork. 

What makes you different from other watercolour artists?

Helen Parry_Stokesay Castle GateHouse
© Helen Parry – Stokesay Castle

Firstly my paintings are not loose washes of watercolour. My watercolours have more layers of paint and fine detail brushwork too. I don’t use ready mixed watercolours. I mix all my colours from three colours a blue, a yellow and a red. I don’t use masking fluid, so all areas that are to remain white have to be carefully painted around. Also I don’t use a white paint, so all fine white hairs on leaves, flowers and even animals have to be carefully painted around. So the paper is the white, left unpainted.

Also I paint layers upon layers of watercolour, which can be difficult, because with each new layer, the under layer could wash off. It’s a balancing act.

Also I mix colours on the paper rather than in a palette, especially for portraits. I like to paint the darker undertones to a face first, which is the opposite of how you normally use watercolours (should be from light to dark). 

My technique is known as pure watercolour, but I go further by not using masking fluid and mixing my own colours from three colours. 

What is the most challenging thing for you when it comes to painting?

Not to try to be a perfectionist and to know when to let a painting go. It can be hard letting go of some of the detail too.

What would be your career dream?

To sell more paintings and not have to do all the promotion of my work, but have more time to paint. For my paintings to inspire people to look more closely at nature and see the wonderful detail, they overlook.

What project would you love to be able to do/complete?

I have several ideas I’d like to complete, from large scale paintings to writing stories with illustrations. 

What were you doing previously to this?

I was the financial director of an engineering company I started with my husband. 

What inspired you to go full time as an artist?

Helen Parry_Barn Owl
© Helen Parry – Barn Owl

 When you run your own business it takes every hour of your life. We ran an engineering company with a 24/7 breakdown service for many years. You don’t have time for hobbies or holidays. So as time went on, I missed being able to draw or paint or write. I missed being creative.

I saw an opportunity to help with running an after school art club at my children’s primary school. It turned out they needed someone to run it, so I went in at the deep end, finishing early at work once a week to run the art club. I ran it for two-years and it was an absolute pleasure working with the children. We created some really big projects in the school and halfway through the first year we had nearly every child at the school attending. It seemed they enjoyed it just as much as me.

It made me realise how much I’d missed painting and creating and I decided that I would pursue it as a career. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was something I had to do to realise my own full potential.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10-15 years time?

I would like to have achieved more paintings, bigger projects and finally have a couple of books published. I would like to be spending more time in the hills with my backpack, painting and sketching and maybe doing talks about these painting adventures. 

What is your typical day like? 

An early morning run helps the start of my day. I run four mornings a week. It gets my mind focused for the day ahead and I always feel better for having time to myself, that no one can interrupt.

Then I start by going through emails and enquiries. I work seven days a week, so I still do this on a weekend. Next I check social media and respond to enquiries or comments. I’ll do this several times throughout the day. Then I’ll check or order art materials I need or running low on. There is a lot of paper work to sort and paintings have to be photographed and updated onto the website too.

Helen Parry_Stag in Winter
©Helen Parry – Stag in Winter

There are days when I will be out early on the hills sketching and painting composition ideas. I don’t spend a whole day out as time is precious. I tend to keep moving and sketching quickly. I will take a camera as well in case I see wildlife, they tend not to hang around long enough for me to draw.

I also have to find time in the day to do research on certain projects and identifying plants and flowers. Then I also need time for drawing out ideas for painting compositions too. I try to spend some time at the weekend writing blogs for my website as well.

The rest of my time or day is spent painting. Commission paintings take priority over other paintings, but I can have several paintings on easels at the same time. I can easily spend 8 or 9 hours a day painting, with a short break for lunch and a break for a late dinner. If I’m trying to finish a painting I will return to it, after dinner, so it could end up being a very late night. Regardless of a late night, I’m up early the next morning. 

What do you love the most about your job and what do you hate the most? 

I love the fact I get to be creative and make my ideas a reality. I hate having to spend time promoting and doing the paperwork. 

How do you relax after a long day? 

I might sit and watch a tv show on Netflix or Amazon. I don’t have time for terrestrial television. On lighter nights through the summer, I might go for a wander up the lane or sit in the garden and watch the last rays of the sun go down.


You can keep up to date with Helen Parry’s incredible work through her social media accounts; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

To purchase any of Helen’s work, please visit her website.

Meet the Artist – An Interview with Nicky Thompson

We’ve decided to ask some of our clients a few questions, we love learning more about what and how artists are inspired. Here in our first blog post, we’ve spoken to artist Nicky Thompson.

Nicky Thompson - The Artists Print Room
Nicky Thompson

When did you first discover your passion for art and painting/drawing/photography?

By drawing with my mum as a child, my early works were mostly bad copies of Roy of The Rovers comics.

Where do you get your inspiration from and what inspires you?

Nature and the work of artists and illustrators I greatly admire. I especially like Singer Sargent, Barbara Hepworth, Peter Firmin, Charles Tunnicliffe, Frank Henry Mason and Ken Paine.

How would you describe your style?

I have a few styles (being mostly a commercial illustrator)…I am probably best known for my 1930’s inspired travel posters, although I love portraits (pastel/charcoal) and botanical work.

What makes you different from other artists?

Virgin Visual, Nicky Thompson - The Artists Print Room
Virgin Trains, Nicky Thompson

I tend to have a direct style. I think this comes from my background as a commercial illustrator/designer…I like images that work viscerally. I enjoy pushing the boundaries between fine art and commercial illustration. Illustration seems to be enjoying a renaissance at the moment, with people purchasing illustration as fine art print. It’s all very exciting.

What is the most challenging thing for you when it comes to your art?

Commercial work is difficult because you need to marry your intuition and instinct with the expectations of a client (and often the voices behind the client).

What would be your career dream? What project would you love to be able to do?

I think to leave behind a body of work that transcends the commercial requirements of a brief. I think of Charles Tunnicliffe and how those Ladybird Book illustrations did so much more than keep his client happy. They inspired awe in generations of children. That is a wonderful thing.

Did you have another career prior to this? If so, what was it?

I briefly flirted with the idea of being footballer! However, two left feet swiftly ended this dream…I started art school at 16 and have been doing it since.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10-15 years’ time?

Cheshire Life, Nicky Thompson - The Artists Print Room
Cheshire Life, Nicky Thompson

Still drawing and creating pictures. It’s what makes me happy.

What is your typical day like?

I’m not sure I have a typical day! Tomorrow looks like this…coffee at home, drive to Chester University to deliver two-hour lecture. then a meeting afterwards with course leader. Drive to my studio, eat a sandwich in the car. Work in the afternoon (three projects need attention tomorrow). Finish work at 6pm, play racketball. Shower. Home, cook tea (maybe with a glass of wine). Read for an hour (The Magpie Murders). Watch a sit-com (Early Doors). Then sleep.

What do you love the most about your job and what do you hate the most?

I love drawing. My day feels exactly the same as doing art at school…but all day, which is brilliant. I never take for granted how lucky I am. I don’t hate anything, although admin and invoicing is never a daily highlight.

How do you relax after a long day?

Playing racketball, cooking dinner, glass of wine and reading.


To see more of Nicky’s work you can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.