Talent Spotlight – Fiona Woodcock

The sharp eyed amongst you will remember Fiona Woodcock’s quirky Christmas cards from when we signed off for our festive holidays. Having become intrigued by Fiona’s big bouffanted ladies, I loved discovering more of her work and getting to know her playful experimentations with patterns, blow pens, graph paper, stickers, prints and paints.

Fiona’s blog has some clues as to the inspirations that make this creative woman tick , but what better way is there to get to know Ms Woodcock better than with a little Q&A?

Hello Fiona! You’ve said that you knew a long time ago, when you were growing up in Leicester, that you wanted to be an illustrator. Is your inner child pleased with your career choice?

My inner child is delighted with how things have worked out career wise. I’m very lucky that I have the opportunity to work on lots of great projects within the animation industry and also to develop my own illustration work and personal projects (e.g- the hand printed card range).

You went to Glasgow School of Art… What was the most important thing you learned there?

I had a brilliantly creative three years in Glasgow. It’s very hard to pin-point just one important thing, but I was told about the benefits of being out of your comfort zone. A very useful piece of advice when you need to push yourself creatively.

When do you feel inspired?

I get inspired a lot, sometimes as a result of seeing some mind-blowing work, or spotting a unique colour combination out of a train window. I get inspired at gigs too, I think it’s to do with witnessing someone being brilliant at their chosen field.

Where do you tend to work?

I’ve got a studio set up in my flat where I work. I also go into production studio’s when I work on animation projects. I like the combination of doing both.

What’s the best thing about where you live?

I live in South London. On a local level I’m keen on the nearby Antiques and Collectables Fair and my allotment round the corner. But London as a whole is a constant inspiration to me. I still get a buzz just from crossing the river Thames.

What is your favourite medium?

I tend to play with different materials, but I mostly use acrylic paint due to its rich colour range.

Your blog collects together lots of lovely visual inspirations. What particular stuff tends to turn you into a salivating aesthetic-magpie?

I magnetise towards strong colour and geometric pattern and have a leaning towards found 1950’s- 1960’s printed ephemera.

I like work that appears to have an effortless simplicity and that is a little bit imperfect.

Who are your favourite creatives? Who would be your dream partner for a collaboration?

I admire the individual approach of the artists David Hockney, Peter Doig and Gerhard Richter, the inventiveness and versatility of Miranda July and Mike Mills and the strong design sense of the classic title sequences of Saul Bass. A dream partner for a collaboration would have to be Michel Gondry.

And what would be your perfect commission?

I’d love to design an album cover for the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s

What has been your career highlight, so far?

It’s very hard to pin-point this. I designed some commercials that were screened in Times Square in New York a few years ago, which was very exciting, but I can’t say they were creatively my career highlight. So, maybe because it’s at the forefront of my mind, I’ll say the collaborative project that Sandy Suffield and I have just created for the current ‘If You Could Collaborate’ exhibition (above). It’s a great honour to be alongside such talented collaborators.

Sandy and I depicted 6 Sun headlines. The one with the pills (below) is of the headline the day after Michael Jackson died.

It’s a shiny new year! What are you planning to do with it?

This year I plan to develop my screen printing from card sized to larger format pieces. Also an animator friend Maki Yoshikura has written a brilliant short story that I’ve started to illustrate, I hope to work with her to develop it into a short animated film or a book.

To see more of Fiona’s work, take a trip to her portfolio site… or go see her work in the flesh at the If You Could Collaborate exhibition. It runs until the 23rd of January at A Foundation Gallery, Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London, E2 7ES with a late opening (til 9pm) this Thursday the 21st. Lovely stuff!

By: Sarah Barnes, 19.01.2010 | Comments (0)
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