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Q&A with Laura Hughes

Children’s books Illustrator and curator from London, UK

My name is Laura Hughes; I illustrate children’s books and occasionally curate shows. I’ve worked with many clients around the world including Random House, Waitrose, American Greetings, Scholastic and Blue Rabbit Books.

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What inspired you to become an illustrator?

There was never one particular moment when I decided to become an illustrator. From an early age I felt compelled to create and have always enjoyed drawing and painting - so I just never gave it up!

What design software do you use?

I try and avoid using the computer as much as possible because for me there’s too much temptation to tweak artwork to perfection. I like the spontaneity of working traditionally and the chance to make mistakes. I use all sorts of materials to create my work but mainly use paints and inks. Other tools I can't do without: lightbox, masking fluid and a white gel pen.

What is your ideal work environment?

I am one quarter of Studio Mama Wolf along with illustrator friends Sandra Dieckmann, Jill Tytherleigh and Zosienka. We share a lovely, light space in Hackney which is part of the wider Hackney Downs Studios community. I love working with fellow creatives, surrounded by music and conversation and would find it very hard to go back to being at home again.

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Where does your design inspiration come from?

Most of my inspiration comes from getting away from my desk, for example: going to the big galleries and museums, looking into art history, going to gigs and watching documentaries. I try and avoid anything too ‘close’ to my own work e.g illustration blogs to try and keep my work always ‘fresh’.

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© Laura Hughes

Who is the person you admire most?

Tove Janssen, Frida Kahlo, Kathleen Hanna and Gee Vaucher.