Jade Boylan

Meet 20-year-old freelancer Jade Boylan.

When she’s not illustrating/blogging/writing/designing, Jade can be found reading/baking/collecting/watching Formula 1. ‘I kind of suck at proper hobbies,’ she says although we could not disagree more.

Jade spends most of her money buying books. ‘When I’m not buying or reading books, I’ll probably be drawing, watching movies, or writing books of my own! Books, books, books!’

Oh, and one last thing: she just can’t stand celery.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a 20-year-old freelance Illustrator/blogger/writer/graphic designer/maker and total bookaholic from the Isle of Man (which is a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea right in between England and Ireland). I’m currently studying for a BA in Fine Art at college here in the Isle of Man. I draw lots of girly stuff like cupcakes, princesses, sweets and pinup girls. I also hand-embroider pieces and make small plush dolls and sweets using felt, embroidery floss & fibre fill. I spend my days in college and when I’m not there I’m usually working on characters, logos, posters, tattoos, book covers and flier designs for clients based all over the world.

What are your inspirations?

I get a lot of inspiration from Kawaii culture, Pop Art , fairytales, fashion, Marie Antoinette and Picture Book illustration as well as from movies, animation, popular culture + advertisements, pinup pictures and art from the 50’s and 60’s. I love anything cute and kitschy, stuff that stands out and makes you smile.

What’s your favourite piece of work you produced?

It seems to vary by the day so today my favourite piece is either my Sugar Skull design inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead (el dia de los muertos) celebrations. I drew it on a whim one day and suddenly it became my most popular piece – it’s the one people always seem to buy the most in terms of stickers, t-shirts, postcards, badges, mirrors and iPhone cases. I only did it as a colour test but now I’ve grown to like it; it’s fun but creepy, a peculiar mixture of girly cuteness and the macabre.

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

There are a lot of illustrators and artists that I idolize but my favourite is probably Nick Sharratt, mainly because it was his work that first inspired me to ever have a ‘proper’ go at drawing. I used to sit and painstakingly copy out his illustrations or have a go at making up some of my own, trying to mimic his style. All these years later I think you can still see his influence in my work as that same bold black outline that he uses is there in just about everything that I do.

Visit Jade’s website, read her blog or Tweet her: @JadeBoylan.

All images © Jade Boylan. To view them in clearer detail, click on them.

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