Meet The Maker: Sorcha Faulkner
Sorcha is a freelance illustrator and greeting cards designer for Hallmark. Her illustrations are unique and creative. I was lucky enough to have a little interview with Sorcha about her illustrations and career plans.
Hello Sorcha! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
I am very well thank you!
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I grew up in a town called Oldham in Greater Manchester and studied for a degree in illustration at Cambridge School of Art. Since graduating from there I have worked as a freelance illustrator and greeting cards designer for Hallmark.
Describe yourself in three words.
Determined - creative - short.
I adore your work. What inspired you to start doing illustrations?
I was drawn to illustration because of the sheer variety of ways of working it allows. Everything from book covers and posters to animation, greeting cards and surface pattern! I didn't want to be restricted in the types of work I could make so thought it was the rout for me.
Have you always been into illustrations, design and art?
I have loved to draw and make stuff from a really young age and that never really went away.
How has your creative process changed since the start?
I think most artists ways of working are constantly evolving and changing. At university I enjoyed trying lots of variations on an idea for any project usually in my sketchbooks. I always made physical artworks/collages/prints and put them together digitally. Nowadays my skills in Photoshop are a little better and I often work straight onto the Mac.
What equipment do you use for your work?
If I am physically making a piece of artwork I use a lot of papers to collage with, watercolours, pencil crayons and anything else I can get my hands on. Sometimes I do work entirely digitally drawing straight onto the mac in Photoshop.
How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?
Studying for my degree certainly taught me a lot about drawing, ways of working and the design industry. I think it’s mostly just down to practice, practice, practice!
What tools or materials could you not live without?
I really love using sketchbooks, at university especially I loved to develop all my ideas in a sketchbook documenting colour pallets, potential compositions and lots of scribbled notes. I don't get much time anymore to work this way but a sketchbook/notebook is something I couldn't live entirely without.
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
I only really use Instagram to promote my work (as it is mainly visual I find it the most fitting) but I have found it a great way to connect with fellow designers and see what else is out there! it also gives me the chance to keep people updated with my latest work and any work in progress projects I have on the go.
Who inspires your work?
There are many illustrators and designers who inspire my work on a daily basis, just scrolling through my Instagram feed inspires me to get out my notebook/sketchbook and start doodling.
Do you have any favourite pieces of artwork or illustrations that you adore at the moment?
At the moment I am loving the work of Amelia Flower (who has a very pretty Instagram @ameliaflower and easy shop that’s just so tempting) her characters are so cute and her colour pallets are always dreamy.
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram?
Hopefully lots more work! Working for Hallmark has meant that I haven't had as much time to work on my own projects and I can’t share Hallmark stuff until it is in store! But I’m always brimming with ideas and I am planning lots more projects for 2017.
Do you have any career plans?
I want to explore the design industry as much as I possibly can, there are so many areas that I would love to work in! In the immediate future I would love to work designing for kids, I think it would be so much fun, but also a challenge as it’s something I've not done much of before.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on Christmas 2017 with Hallmark (scary I know) and updating my portfolio to freshen it up for the new year. I am also working on some commissions for original artworks which have been great fun and a wonderful chance to get away from the Mac.
What inspires you on a day-to-day basis?
I believe you can find inspiration anywhere, be it a sign that you like the typography on, some packaging that uses a cool pattern or even the colours of what you had for tea inspiring a new colour pallet. If I'm stuck and I need inspiration for a specific project, I am working on though I will have a look on good ol’ Pinterest and Instagram. There are so many amazing bloggers/designers/artists out there it’s hard not to be inspired! Sometimes despite all this I do feel inspired and that’s normally cured by a nice long walk in the countryside.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to set up their own Instagram?
It’s so easy, don’t be afraid to just go for it, and don't worry about how many likes you get!
Do you have any advice for designers and illustrators?
Make lots of work and enjoy doing it. If you're enjoying the subjects you're drawing you're much more likely to make a better piece of artwork. Don't worry about making mistakes, just keep going and improving with every drawing you do!
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
Always keep a sketchbook!