Arabella Simpson is an Illustrator and artist who completed a BA (Hons) Illustration degree six months ago from art college in Hereford. Simpson is currently based in a small village called Eardisland and enjoys drawing objects, quirky characters, icons and sometimes comics. Originally from Bath, Simpson has lived in two locations and in several homes, which made her fall in love with travelling. We caught up with Simpson about her fascination with comics and some of her favourite artists.
"I begun drawing, from a young age at seven, when I drew every object in the sun, including my family and my dog, Henry. Then, at the age of nine to my early teens I grew into drawing manga and comics. I can remember myself, being fascinated by 90's-00's anime because of the art styles. This grew to the point of being recognised as having an ability in drawing, which I then, pursued in later years, going to art college and using my talent in some shape or form. In my sixth form/foundation years my work was of a fine art background. I prefer being an artist who communicates visually, allowing people to fully understand my work, and get the picture within a second. In Fine Art pieces, a majority of images and sculptures have to be analysed and interpreted in order to be understood. So I went back into my drawing routes as a child, when I drew, using crayons and felt tip pens, including my funny manga style and comics, delveloping skills as an illustrator as my preference."
"Currently I draw, I colour and I manipulate digitally. When it comes to overcoming my creative blocks, I collect many objects and memorable things I experience, whether in everyday life or any anything that you like and put them together. See where they take you." Simpson has been more spontaneous with her work recently since graduating from art college; "Depending on how big and complex my projects are or if I get commissioned/collaborate, I plan my work more. I still leave a small room of thought to my one to four day drawings too!"
"Don't forget to experiment and take a break sometimes! Leave a little bit of room for experimenting to explore more of your own artistic identity. A fresh mind counts too! Last tip: Be yourself!"
Simpson also does comics and we had to find out what it is about comics that fascinates her; "I really like how they allow me to read and understand an animated story in still images where I can keep up with the dialogue between characters without getting lost or end up multitasking with movement, audio and soundtracks because the words are already in front of me keeping up with the dialogue between characters without getting lost or end up multitasking with movement. Plus, the artwork adds the eye candy to the novel. They're like visually appealing films but in sequential form and come in all sorts of colours, shapes and sizes, including minimalist of colours."
We asked Simpson to talk about some of her favourite artists; "I don't have favourite artists at the moment because my taste changes constantly. However, I have a couple of artists who have influenced me during my illustration career. They are Lize Meddings, who has influenced me to create zines and thinking positively when creative blocks occur, Mogu Takahashi, on her childlike doodles, drawing her own unique characters and icons like Toturo and Moomin troll. It inspires me how Takahashi puts her doodles together to make illustrations that speaks for herself. Recently Faye Moorhouse's timelapse paintings she posts on Instagram has got me to open up a Youtube channel, doodling my drawings. Also, Shake Bristol, an art fair that motivated me to exhibit, meet people and to get out of home/studio."
'Representations Of The Moon' was a project that Simpson did for her final year for a major project at Art college. "I went to Grayson Perry’s exhibition “Vanity of Small Differences” based in Bath last year, and saw his six pieces of his well known tapestries. These told the story of Rake’s progress, by Hogarth (1776) – Perry also creates art based on British social classes. This had influenced me to make a series of pieces based on the Moon; something which is not only part of nature's resources but also used widely across media, visually and in literature. Although I was always into Gothic culture I had an interest in learning about witchcraft at the time I was working on my project. This had allowed me to explore the moon even more which had peaked even more interest. The series had turned out to be successful! My family and my tutors at college loved it and so did my followers on social media. Original pieces will be up in my new studio (which is currently under renovation)."
Simpson hopes to show her portfolios and start working with companies like Tiger Stores UK; "A customer at Shake Bristol, who happens to work at Tiger said a couple of times that my work would sell well there. Fingers crossed! I'm still determined to try risograph printing and wanted to aim to do a bit more painting. I also had an idea of making my own book in episodes with my drawings and doodles, forming little portfolios."