I came across Angela Hadrill’s work at the Brighton Illustration Fair. I was drawn to her work for her colour choices and use of watercolour. I believed Jen would be a big fan, and told Angela that if Jen managed to come down, I could bet she’d say something! I bumped into Angela a few days after, found her website and had to ask her some questions. Enjoy!



Hey Angela, we met you at the BIF fair, how did that go for you? Want are the benefits of being part of illustration fairs?

BIF was the first fair I’ve been to as an exhibitor. It was great to see all of the amazing work that artists around Brighton are making and to be a part of it. Its easy to get stuck in your studio as an artist so events like BIF allow you to showcase your work in person and get a sense of how people are receiving it. Likewise, its fun to wander round and see the faces behind work that I’ve seen and enjoyed online.

Tell us a bit about your background and where you see yourself heading?

I moved to Brighton 5 years ago to study Illustration at Brighton University and stuck around after graduating. I’ve illustrated some books over the past few years and thats something i’d love to do much more in the future. I’ve always felt that ‘story’ is important in my work, whether thats illustrations of a text or more often trying to suggest a narrative in a single image.

I’ve also started experimenting with repeating patterns, which has suited my way of working well as it allows me to do intricate paintings but repeat them to become large format, immersive pieces. Going forward I just want to be painting and creating as widely as possible. I’ll see where that takes me. 

‘Vivarium’, is such a beautiful piece. Tell us a bit about it, how long did it take you?

Before I made ‘Vivarium’ I had struggled to find a way of working which suited me. I was trying to make work digitally and it just wasn’t clicking. I thought that watercolours would be seen as old fashioned, but i really enjoyed using them, so I switched and found it to be the perfect fit for the types of images I wanted to create. I was a bit unpracticed at painting when I made this and, because of it’s size, it took me quite a long time and lots of corrections. The actual image is a composite of a few different paintings. I still really like this piece because its a combination of intricate imagery and the strong conceptual element.


What are your favourite materials to work with?

All of my work uses watercolours and a bit of gouache. I’ve only been using them for a couple of years, so I still feel as if I’m learning how to paint which is a lot of fun. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with colour; the transparency of watercolour means that you can get such a lot of colour variation depending on which pigments you use so I get to try out so many different colours.

We adore ‘Marseille’ which goes along the poem by Marcus Truin, how did you guys connect?

 We’ve been a couple for a while and about a year into meeting him I got to read some of his work. He had written an anthology of poems which were fantastic and I really wanted to collaborate with him. As I said before, I really enjoy working with text, so it was great to find somebody who I could team up with and share input in the words, rather than just image making. We’ve just finished our first book together, an illustrated poem called “Lemonade”, and are in the process of developing a few more projects.


‘Murmation/Bloom’ has a stunning colour palette, do you experiment with colour before starting a piece?

Colour is always the first thing I decide on when I start a project. I try and use a limited palette for each painting, so it often takes a few attempts to find the right combinations. I usually have about five unfinished attempts at an image before I find the right palette. I think it unifies a project, especially when I am making a series of images, and makes the final outcome more cohesive.


Angela, can we please see your workspace 🙂

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