Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Artist Series with Faye Bradley

 I have a confession

I want to move to Cornwall and marry Faye Bradley (you can do that there, right?). Look at the splendour that is her work - reminiscent of the great Eric Carle and absolutely packed with fabulous colour. It's a feast for the eyes, a joy to behold!

You can find Faye Bradley Illustration here or visit her Etsy shop here. Faye is offering all readers of The Beetle Shack a 15% discount off her listed prints. I know I'll be adding a few to my cart (hellooooo fruit salad, I want you printed on fabric and covering every soft furnishing I have). Use the code thebeetleshack to redeem discount.

Read on to find out a little more about our artist in residence ...

Hi Faye, can you tell us a little bit about your life / work?

Hi I’m Faye, I live in Cornwall, UK with my boyfriend Ben. When I am not illustrating I might be found swimming in the sea, surfing or having a bbq on the beach.

What inspired to to be an artist?

Drawing seemed to come very naturally to me and I didn’t consider many other career routes as an option. As a child instead of playing with barbies I would draw lots of little people, cut them out and make up stories. I remember really wanting a pet and when my mum said no, I drew my own rabbit and drew a carrot to feed to it. This kept me entertained until my mum finally gave in and bought me a real live hamster!

Can you describe describe your practice for us?

Every day is quite different. Since graduating last year I have worked on a few different projects. These include a gardening book for children with Ivy Press and greetings cards for Timbergram and Woodmansterne Publications Ltd. On a typical day, I spend the first hour or so in the mornings responding to emails and trying to do my paperwork I then set my self up with a supply of biscuits before I begin drawing.

Is there an artist that you turn to for inspiration when you need it? 

I adore the work of Jon Klassen, his books are simple yet so clever and full of humour. I like to look at the drawing and painting of Egon Shiele too; his mark making is so bold and full of energy.For me, inspiration comes from a variety of places; I am obsessed with the detail and the diagrammatic layout found in old charts as well as the imaginative scenarios I conjure up in my mind from animal behaviour.

Is there a colour that you are drawn to when working?

I Love turquoise and mint green, they feature quite a lot in my work and also in my wardrobe! I have had to ban myself from purchasing anything containing greeny blue hues for a while as I was finding I was becoming a bit too colour co-ordinated with matching bag, shoes and jumpers.

 Is there a symbol that you find yourself using repeatedly in your work? Can you explain it to us?

Rather than a symbol there are certain characters that seem to reappear in my work. Whales fascinate me, I think they are interesting to paint and I love their barnacles and imperfections.

 What is your happiest childhood memory?

One of my happiest childhood memories is playing with my sister and cousins in my Granny and Grandpa’s attic. They lived in a great big farmhouse and the attic was full of toys from when our parents were young. My granny would save empty butter cartons, cereal boxes and syrup tins and we would play shops for hours. Every so often we would all reappear downstairs for some food.

 What is your greatest achievement?

I'm pretty proud of passing my driving test first time. Also at 11 years old, riding a 120 feet practically 'sheer drop' waterslide in Florida. My parents could hardly bare to watch me! I am really pleased with the range of illustration projects I have had the opportunity to work on since graduating in 2012, but I am eager and excited to see what is around the next corner.

Did it take long to truly develop your own style?

My three year degree in illustration was a great opportunity for me to explore and develop my style. For a long time I have collected random bits of old paper and books, I look for certain textures and colours as I involve collage in my work. I like to have a set of pencil crayons handy too as they are great for mark making and adding detail. I hope my style will keep evolving, I think its good to keep things fresh and I feel its important to keep excited about my own work.

Thank you SO much Faye. Your work is truly delicious.

Don't forget to visit Faye at Etsy and use the code 'thebeetleshack' to redeem a 15% discount.


  1. Oh my god I love it!! Paper cut out fruit.. Genius. Perfect for you.
    Love your work Faye

  2. Wow... so cool. SO cool!

    I love this series!

  3. I have a whale crush too! I love this series xx

  4. I can see these illustations being turned into a children's book series. I think they are brilliant. But then so are you.

    Love Helen George
    (Glyn's friend)

  5. Beautiful work and your new header is sensational. x

  6. Faye, your work has always inspired my own x


Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em