Mapping out London with Clair Rossiter
Our latest new range is ‘Westminster Abbey London Map' which is based on a specially commissioned painting by Clair Rossiter. Capturing the highlights of London in map format, the painting features Westminster Abbey alongside other well-known buildings and classic London icons like the black taxi and red phone box.
We were lucky enough to speak to Clair about her work as an illustrator, and how she felt about working on this project:
What is your background as an artist?
I’ve always loved drawing and making, and have spent most of my life dreaming about the day when I could just ‘make art.’ I spent three amazing years studying illustration at Falmouth University, and graduated in 2014. Since then I’ve moved to Sutton just outside of London, and have been working as a freelance illustrator.
Where do you work when you create your pieces and what materials do you use?
I’ve got my own little ‘studio space’ at home. It’s a small desk squashed into my bedroom, but it works perfectly for me. I work well on my own, and I l love putting some music on and just getting lost in a project for hours. Often I find I make the most progress late at night, so it’s lovely not to have to travel far to get back to work when inspiration strikes! I mainly use gouache and colouring pencils to make my illustrations, before scanning them in and assembling them digitally. It’s a process that has come about after many years of trial and error. The handmade, tactile element of my work that comes from picking up a pencil or paintbrush is a really important part of the process - and it’s where all the happy imperfections come!
What inspires you to create your work?
It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what inspires me, as I guess your work is a reflection of hundreds of small influences. Often I look at children’s picture books if I’m struggling with ideas or need to feel inspired. Writing and music constantly inspire me as well. More widely, there are certain themes that I keep coming back to in my work - travel, nature and ‘places’ in particular.
How did you feel when you were approached to create this artwork?
I was hugely excited to get to work with Westminster Abbey on this project, it was a real privilege. I’ve done a lot of work inspired by London over the past few years, so it really felt like a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ kind of project. I visited Westminster Abbey before getting started on the artwork, which really helped me to get a sense of its essence and charm.
What are your favourite parts of the piece you created for Westminster Abbey?
I love the eclectic nature of maps, and I feel like this one is all about expressing the vibrancy and life of London, with Westminster Abbey at the very heart of the design. The whole process of designing this was lovely as it was both challenging and fun, a great balance! I worked very closely with the team at Westminster Abbey Enterprises at every stage of the artwork development, so I feel like I also learnt a lot from them along the way.
View the full range of products based on this lovely piece of artwork here.
To find out more about Clair Rossiter and her work you can visit her website.