I came across Hayley’s work at Brighton Illustration Fair not long ago and her use of bright colours and sketchy free style of drawing really caught my eye.
Hey Hayley, Tell us a little about your artistic background, how did you get into drawing?
Well I guess I’ve always been creative, either with music or art, ever since I was a kid. My parents were very encouraging and I’d always get paints and art stuff for Christmas! My dad especially liked to get involved and would do little art projects with me and take to me art galleries. So when I said I wanted to do art at university it came as no surprise. I have often thought how grateful I am to have parents that have supported me in what I wanted to do and given me a lot of reign to find out what I like and pursue it. It’s so sad when you see people that are being pushed into a more ‘proper’ or ‘academic’ profession like medicine or law because their parents want them to be successful, when all they want to do really is paint or make things!
How do you come up with your ideas, where does your inspiration come from?
I tend to keep a sketchbook on the go and just kind of draw or doodle what comes into my head at the time. Other times a particular subject will interest me and I’ll research it and respond to what I’ve learnt. For example I’ve done work on witchcraft, sleep and neuroscience, the female body, the moon and depression and mental health. I find it quite nice to have a particular interest or subject to delve into and focus as you find out a lot of interesting things and also stops you from looking at a black page thinking “now what?” I also do enjoy taking a sketchbook to the seafront or around town and drawing things that I see which I can then incorporate into zines or collage pieces.
Your work is quite free, and almost collage like, do you spend a lot of time on each piece or do they just come naturally?
To be honest I have a very short attention span and so tend to churn out quick pieces! I also find this creates more of a flow in your work and stops it from getting stiff. I think its important to not think to much and get precious about your pieces, which often happens if you spend too much time on them. You need to remember that not everything you make is going to work but just do it anyway and then you can always put it to a side. And it’s always great to look at your desk and see a great pile of work you’ve done that day!
You use a lot of mixed media, some digital, some pen, what is your favourite way to work?
I haven’t really figured that out yet! I’ve only recently started experimenting with digital media, which is fun but I do still love doing analogue stuff. I tend to draw with pen or ink first and then if I want to play around with the composition or colours I will take it into Photoshop and play around with it some more. I do really like the quality of hand drawn line and find it quite refreshing in an ever more digital world. Collage is also a great way of creating fun compositions that you maybe wouldn’t have thought of right away. I guess I like changing the media I use often to keep my mind open to different possibilities.
Who would you say you are most influenced by? We can see hints for Matisse and Hockney in your most recent work.
Haha yeah, Hockney has always been a golden boy for me! His use of bold, sometimes unrealistic colour is beautiful. Also the way that he has used different media and approaches to work over his career has inspired me in the way that it has let me know that it is ok to try out many different styles and that you don’t have to stick to one way of working in order to be successful! I also really enjoy gathering inspiration from other young creatives and going around illustration and zine fairs. David Shrigley is also great at reminding me to add pieces of text to my images of thoughts/phrases that are in my head whether related or not.
If you were to collaborate with any artist who would it be, alive or dead?
I have actually often thought that it would be fun to collaborate with the fashion photographer Tim Walker! His photos are so creative and often so surreal and think it would be great to just let our minds explode into some wonderful fairytale mess of illustration and photography. His photos also have good sense of narrative and would be interesting to see how we could come up with a story that could be shown via two medias.
If we want to purchase any of your work where can we find it?
I have an etsy page which is www.ohhayleyhoney.etsy.com where I have prints and zines for sale.
Finally, can we see your workspace?
Check out more of Hayleys work below: