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Q&A with Emma Ridgway

Illustrator from Kent: portraits, posters, t-shirts and comics

I'm Emma Ridgway and I'm an artist and illustrator based in Kent. I create portraits, posters, editorials, t-shirts and comics.

What inspired you to become a designer?

I love to draw and I've always liked the way illustration connects with people on a personal level.

As a student at Falmouth University I was inspired by the work of Henrik Drescher, Anke Feuchtenberger, Yuko Shimizu, the Quay Brothers, Dave McKean and David Hughes.

![](/sites/default/files/emma-ridgway/charlie parker001 copy_rs.jpg)

What design software (or tools) do you use?

I draw with a mapping pen, rapidograph, Pentel brush pen and mechanical pencil. I paint with watercolours, gouache and ink. I scan my illustrations and edit them in Photoshop.

What is your ideal work environment?

I tend to work best at night with a deadline looming. I like to listen to music or a documentary while I draw, with a sleeping cat beside me.

I keep an A6 sketchbook with me when I go anywhere - I try to draw from life as much as I can.

![](/sites/default/files/emma-ridgway/david lynch001_rs.jpg)

Where does your design inspiration come from? 

Comics, Films, literature, Behance, tumblr, 50Watts, ubuweb, OpenCulture, the British Library's collection of open source images...I'm always lugging home art books from my local library and I learn so much just from talking to other artists.

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© Emma Ridgway

Who is the person you admire most?

The Quay Brothers (twin animators who began as illustrators). I think every illustrator feels a frustration with the frozen image. Their work is a wonderful example of what can be created if you work organically and aren't afraid to take risks. And it is so rewarding to discover the artists and writers who influenced them - Kafka, Bruno Schulz, Walerian Borowczyk, Andrzej Klimowski, Roman Cieslewicz, Jan ?vankmajer...