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Illustration: Arabella Simpson


June, 2017






Based in the UK, Arabella Simpson specialises in Illustration - her work involves sharpies, pens and digital manipulations. She often uses narratives inspired by the everyday to sum up experiences and events and puts them into postcard or comic format.
Her work is child-like and fun. The scratchy lines and large eyes (often on inanimate objects) brings them and the stories attached, to life. We talked about the medium of comics, inspiration of the everyday, and her plans as an artist.














Sophie
I think my favourite work of yours is the comics - especially the Mariah Carey one! I love the colours and the stories... they're fun and sometimes quite random. Where do you get the ideas for the stories from?

Arabella
For my comics? Films, Youtube and things I / others experience in the everyday! The Mariah Carey comic was heavily inspired by newspapers and the paparazzi.
Sophie
How do you go about organising the composition of a comic once you have the narrative in mind? Do you draw directly on paper or is it more planned and considered?
Arabella
My comics are usually more thoughtful than my drawings. I think about the story, write it down, and then I make a mess. I clean it up afterwords and try to make the comic make more sense. I leave a few a messy bits to add some 'Rubik's Cubes' to solve.
Sophie
On your shop you sell travel postcards from places you been. The New York one is very funny. Do you think as an artist you see a place as it is, or how do you want to see it?
Arabella
Both, I see things as an artist when I am putting things together and creating the fun, but also everything else I experienced whilst I was abroad. This ranging from what I ate / drank, the weather, buildings etc, including souvenirs I have collected on the way. I think the angry apple best describes New York as a whole; with too many crowds of people, trying to go to work and back. But it's a very appetising, colourful city that can't catch its full beauty sleep haha.








New York, Postcard






Sophie
Can you talk about your process? You describe it as using sharpies and colouring crayons, although some parts look digital - and how you came to find this unique style?



Arabella
Usually I go straight into drawing with sharpies and crayons, because the colours appear faded once scanned. I use the bucket tool to get all the colours digitally which creates a bolder look for my drawings - some bits I bucket more than other bits. When I finished art college, I was not an expert on digital stuff, so I am self taught.

When I reflected on my drawings I did as a child - drawing items around me - I realised in my art college years I started working towards my nostalgic style. I remembered hating life-drawing classes because my tutors were constantly telling me to draw 'correctly'. Soon, this resulted in a style where I added extra features and lopsidedness on animals and stuff, giving them extra eyes etc. I also use to make my own sketchbooks, adding quirky comments with swear words, describing my processes and stuff. After I graduated, I grew into improving my drawings and being spontaneous, yet, keeping the funny, child-like elements to make things fun and interesting.














Sophie
Your zine 'Encyclopaedia in Identifying: Animals' is really cool. You write that it's inspired by / memes and pop culture... but there also seems to be a child like aspect to this in terms of how you draw the animals themselves. What made you draw some animals with extra eyes/ lopsided faces etc?
Arabella
I don't think I had any intentions of adding extra features to my animals at all specifically, other than creating the zine to make people laugh at the names and colours I gave them, as it was meant to be a parody of children's educational books.
Sophie
Where do you look for inspiration or is it in the everyday?

Arabella
Internet, items, people, movies, nature, thoughts, news, experiences from the everyday, and a combination of everything!
Sophie
It's interesting that you use YouTube to talk about art and make things on camera. What is exciting about this kind of platform for you / benefits for an artist?
Arabella
I like it as a new method of blogging and also for trying to create an income out of talking a bit about the behind the scenes i.e making, drawing - not just selling my work online. I believe it's huger than Facebook and as big as Google, allowing more people to find me.







Encyclopedia in Identifying Animals, a zine. 






Sophie
There are so many platforms / sites for artists to sell their work. What attracted you to Etsy and do you think its better than making an independent site such as through Big Cartel or Tictail?
Arabella
What attracted me to Etsy in the first place was its effectiveness and its variety of fab stuff from other indie sellers and old vintage finds you end up favouriting. Big Cartel is too expensive for me at the moment, I haven't heard of Tictail or Storenvy but I will give independent stores a go in the future.
Sophie
What are you working on right now?
Arabella
I'm working on a couple of comic books/zines. One of which is a continuation of the "Pain au Chocola" comics, plus a few fun ones too, creating beautifully printed stuff to sell, and mainly building my work to submit to agencies to work with. Also, I have a studio, which is currently in renovation and hopefully will be ready soon.
Sophie
What is in the future for you?
Arabella
I was hoping to build as much of my best work as possible and make them into a series of portfolio books about me and how I started as an artist. I would like to work with more clients and companies like the ‘Tiger’ stores as well. I was told by a customer of mine that my work would sell well at Tiger. As yet, I have not received a response from them.

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Check out Arabella's website here!

Find here Instagram here.

SALE ITEMS: Laser Lippy, Who-Can? Toucan! pin, Introvert, Glammed Up, CUNT (both) & Hollywood

︎   ︎   ELLO

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