Louise Byng

Meet Louise Byng.

‘I am a very cheerful person,’ says Louise, ‘but I cannot abide it when people use poor grammar. Or literally say ‘literally’ in a non-literal context.’

Louise has built up quite a collection of take-away coffee cups, which she has been collecting for the past two years. Find out more below…

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a conceptually-driven illustrator from the West Midlands currently in my third year of study at The Arts University College at Bournemouth.

My practice utilises rudimentary materials such as graphite and pencil crayon to create considered and reflective drawings, celebrating the charm of the everyday.

I am a very tall person due to being atop very long legs. I think I was born with them so I could travel long distances quickly, as I have a habit of running late. I am regularly found making a mess and then tidying it all back up again. Loving to acquire knowledge, I explore through making and learn more about subjects as a result of drawing them. I dig colourful language, patterned clothing and receiving smiles (particularly from strangers).

What are your inspirations?

I am inspired by machinery, games, and mundane places, finding a joy in sussing out how they all operate, piece by piece. I am interested in the small things that I think wholly characterise human existence; how we act towards the person we next sit next to on a bus; a piece of dropped litter; how we like our sandwich. Academic text books, everyday ephemera and my own film photography all feed into my visual language, with a focus on the ordinary becoming extraordinary.

What’s your favourite piece of work you produced?

I’ve enjoyed each of my projects in different ways, but the most recent was also the one that has resonated with me the most. Welcome to Halesowen was an authorial series of drawings produced about my home town. In order to capture fleeting moments of life there such as a dowdy shopper behind the curtain of a photobooth, a faster and looser style of drawing developed, transforming my mark-making. Having wanted to leave my sleepy town after college and dwell somewhere more stimulating, now my mind wanders to the place I can rely on and always come back to. To me this body of work is as much about safety and identity as it is about the undefinably depressing quality of dated industrial British towns, and it will remain very special to me, for how it felt to make those images and how it feels to look at them now. It’s home.

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

I admire Stefan Sagmeister, for his playfully unrestricted materiality and his desire to change the world through graphic design. I also love that he closes his studio to clients every 7 years in order to have a year of experimentation; a great way to ensure his methods are fresh and idiosyncratic. Martin Parr would be someone else I can’t get enough of. I feel like we’re quite similar.

Visit Louise’s blog and Tweet her: @ByngSquirrel.

All images © Louise Byng. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.

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