Q&A: Cheryl Rawlings October 19, 2015 17:41
With her characteristic monochrome style and calligraphic aplomb, Cheryl Rawlings, 34, is one of our favourite illustrators. An avid trend-spotter, Cheryl was a fashion buyer for 13 years before recently giving up her day job to concentrate on her artistic endeavours. She is married with two sons, and lives in Suffolk.
As I have a nine-month-old son, my working day can start at any hour. I often respond to emails and catch up on social media in the morning, then leave sketching until the evening when I can lay everything out without fear of it being grabbed or crawled on. When I’m working, I tend to have several sketchbooks and pencil cases out at any one time!
What could you not do without in your studio?
Besides my pens I probably couldn’t live without my Mac and Wacom digital drawing tablet.
What is your greatest inspiration?
My work is very much inspired by everyday life and feelings. It could be a conversation, or something that’s happened to me or my family that conjures up the words for my next piece.
Instagram is also a lovely visual source of inspiration, and having worked in the fashion industry for more than a decade, I still love to follow trends and see all the new collections.
If you were cast away on a desert island, which piece of music would you take with you?
All You Need Is Love by The Beatles. It was the first song that was played at our wedding after the ceremony as we left as man and wife. I also have this quote on my wall at home to look at every day.
Which book would you take?
Sketchbook! Does that count?
If you were prime minister for the day, what’s the first thing you’d do?
Resign! I do think that this is one of the hardest jobs out there. Our country has become so diverse and is forever evolving. Being as indecisive as I am, I certainly don’t think that I could lead.
If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
I would relive my wedding day just as it was all over again.
What advice would you offer someone thinking of starting their own creative business?
Have confidence in your ability. I’ve only felt brave enough to put myself out there in the last 18 months, and I have certainly done this very slowly. Competition is strong, but embrace this and network as much as you can; this will often ease your worries as you realise that there are others in the same boat. I have met and shared with some wonderful people, and interesting opportunities have arisen as a result of these meets. Take a deep breath and dive in!
After a day spent designing and illustrating, how do you wind down?
As my working day is so flexible I often illustrate at night, but this is after spending time catching up with my family. I do have an obsession with books, my latest purchase is the English version of the Fine Little Day book - I LOVE this brand! I also recently bought the Art Inc book by Lisa Congdon, which I’m hoping will give me some nuggets of business inspiration. She came into illustration later in life too and is now a huge global success.
What motto do you live by?
As I’ve got older I have begun to realise the importance of appreciating the now, and not always looking to the future. I Googled quotes along this line and found this one by A.A. Milne which really made me smile…
“What day is it?"
“It's today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favourite day," said Pooh.