This is Chloe Cook, an illustration student with a love of all things feline. She also likes attending gigs, and she and her boyfriend play folk songs together, with Chloe hoping to one day set up her own folk band.
Despite being 21 years old, Chloe is classed as a child – albeit only by the height chart in H&M, but hey – and she describes herself as having ‘the hair of a yeti’. She attributes her vivid imagination as a counter-reaction to the sleepy town of Loughborough, where she was brought up as a child – ‘the local paper was once so pressed for news that there was a whole article about a tree being blown down and nearly knocking over an old lady’s shed!’ Quelle drama. You will be happy to discover that Chloe is a lot more exciting…
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a third year illustrator at Birmingham City University, and primarily a screen printer. I have obsessions with screens, inks, pencils and most of all cats! I’m really passionate about getting people to be creative in any way that they can be, and expressing themselves, which is why I’m trying to forge myself a career as a freelance artist tutor.
What are your inspirations?
As a screen printer I’m very inspired by the medium itself; for example the way that you print layers of different colours separately allows you to make a third colour by overlaying two colours which I find really interesting to think about when designing an image. I go to a lot of artist book fairs to see work too which is usually very inspiring, and I sell my work here too so they inspire me to up the standard every time. I also absolutely love the weird and the wonderful, so I’ve done a project about ‘sideshow curiosities’ and more recently one about ‘freaks of the deep’. I love shape, colour and pattern and try and give people looking at my work an insight into my childlike imagination through my style.
What’s your favourite piece of work you produced?
I would say that my Colossal Squid is my favourite print so far, and it was really fun to do. I liked designing the patterns on the tentacles and using this to give a kind of gradient on them which I’ve never done before, and drawing text really appeals to me too. In terms of the most fun I’d say my contribution to the ‘A Year In Prints’ project was really good, and it really gave me a context for my work which I think is something that you often lack at university.
Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?
That’s really difficult… I’d say that the person who has inspired me the most has to be Kristen Ferrell. Our work isn’t even alike but she inspires me a lot, you can really see the effort and the piece of her heart that’s gone into every piece of her work. If I ever get stuck for inspiration and I don’t have time to go to a gallery or museum for help then I look on her website. Visually it doesn’t help as our work is so different, but just seeing the sense of herself in her work makes me strive to make my work that good too.
All images © Chloe Cook. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.