Helen Nowell – Illustrator
Our first creative is the excellent Beestonian illustrator Helen Nowell, who creates designs packed with wit, technique and verve.
We asked her a few questions about her craft:
How long have you been working in the creative arts?
I’ve worked in illustration since graduating (from Loughborough Uni) in 2011.
How do your surroundings here inspire your art?
I’m pretty proud of being from Nottingham and it’s heritage. When my friends come to visit from other places in the UK I’ll often take them to see the statue of Robin Hood and Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. I have a lot of fond memories growing up in Nottingham and visiting places like Wollaton Park.
From a commercial angle, local illustrated work sells well around Nottingham. My Nottingham Christmas cards have been sold in Nottingham Tourism Centre, Waterstones (Nottingham), Artworks and Atomic.
What would your ideal commission?
I like to do work which people can relate to, engage with and that they find visually interesting. I wouldn’t say I have an ideal commission. I like to do communicate ideas within my work and constantly learn something new. Today I’ve been commissioned to do an art deco Australian Wedding Menu. I think, from doing this, it would be really fun to illustrate a poster or do a book illustration surrounding William Blake’s ‘Tyger’ poem in an art deco style. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the poem illustrated in this way. It would be a challenge, be fresh and unexpected. Illustration like design offers an opportunity to visually solve problems.
I would enjoy working with more magazines, brands and companies too
Who else local is worth a mention?
I love Joel Baker’s music. Dean Jackson has played him quite a lot on Radio Nottingham. Other local creatives I would think about are ULLR & SKADE by Nick Radjabi. ULLR & SKADE is a clothing brand being developed in Nottingham. I think they are branching out into accessories too. Also Holly James photography