Niki Pilkington is an illustrator who spends her time between Wales and London, focusing on fashion work, having been a fashion illustration student at college.
Her work featured here is a very wholesome combination of style in two senses. One is in the fashion-conscious people she chooses as the subjects for her work, and the other is in the highly skilled way in which she puts this to paper.
I’ve given Niki a quick interview on her background and the work process involved in these pieces.
What training have you had in getting so good with drawing people?
In terms of training, I did all the usual routes: GCSE art, A-Level art, and then I moved on to do a ridiculously intense art foundation course, which really taught me about the disciplines of drawing, and just how important sketch books are. This is where I began to develop my own style.
We did lots of life drawing and had a great teacher who made sure that we didn’t cut any corners.
From here I went on to receive a first class hons degree from Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication, London.
It was here where I was able to combine my love of fashion with observation and illustration to create a more specific style and purpose to my work, the end product being my book ‘Voyeur Fifty. My Obsession With Girls’.
What is your work process for the biro illustrations?
Much like most of my illustrations, the ‘Bicture’ illustrations feed off the everyday people I see. I tend to get sucked in by a certain type of person, and this encourages me to take their photograph and get drawing.
I felt that using a ball point pen would keep the portrait simple and more about what I saw that day, not just how elaborate I could make it look.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m working on my latest project called ‘Archetypal Welsh’. I’ve just moved back to my studio in North Wales, and after spending the last three years in central London, I’m seeing huge contrasts, so this is what I’m trying to document. The project will be shown in various galleries once it’s all completed.
ⓒ Niki Pilkington, 2009
Thank you Niki, I’m looking forward to seeing more from you.
To keep track of her work and more, see her site over here.
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