Monday, 4 February 2013

Doodler's Corner - Charlotte Vallance

It's time to get Doodler's Corner 2013 going! 

My first interview of the year is with someone who I very much enjoy talking with on Twitter and whose illustration work I always admire...Last year I was lucky enough that the person in question  sent me an illustration of one of my all time favourite buildings (The Baltic Flour Mill in Newcastle) which now hangs in my living room and makes me grin every time I see it.....

This mystery lady is the amazing Charlotte Vallance, and she's pulled up a comfy chair to fill us in on her current work, inspirations and future plans....

Who are you, where do you come from and what do you do?

I'm Charlotte, I'm from Amersham, Buckinghamshire in the UK and I am an illustrator/screen printer.  In my day job I do screen printing for a Litho Print company and on the side of this I do Freelance Illustration.

Who/what influences what you create?

I get easily influenced by everything around me, but particularly love cities and buildings.  Beautiful buildings or buildings with a bit of a story - personal or public - draw me in and I find the time to illustrate them.  My surroundings really play a key part.  You can see this in the range of subject matter for my illustrations - they go from buildings, to coffee, to sweets and back round to buildings again!

How do you decide on a subject for a piece of work?

Deciding on a subject for a piece of work is a tricky one.  When you have no brief it's hard to narrow down your ideas and figure out where to start.  When I'm working on a commission for a particular client I find it easier as they'll have a vision of what they would like me to illustrate.  I've recently started illustrating for Untapped Cities and this allows for me to illustrate the lovely buildings I see and tell people about them.  This in turn, free's up my imagination and I can work on a broader range of ideas for my personal work.  In 2013 I'm doing a 12 month project with a friend in the States for which I will have a random topic each month to do a screen print for.  January was a success and I'm excited about February's print already!

What's been the most exciting thing that's happened in your career so far?

In my career so far the most exciting thing that has happened is still happening!  People see my work, pick up the phone/send me an email and enquire about me doing an illustration for them.  I feel so grateful for every one of those requests that I get.

What made you choose art as an outlet for your creativity?

I've always loved art.  Right back to when I was in primary school and I remember a teacher saying how much he liked my painting.  It's never really occurred to me to do anything else.  I always carry a sketchbook around with me and my camera - you never know when you're going to come up with an idea or see something that inspires you.  My sketchbooks are more like visual journals as along with plenty of sketches and doodles I also make notes, write lists and try to keep track of whats going on. 

If you weren't an artist what job would you love to do?

If I couldn't practise art or illustration then I would try my hand at teaching it!  I used to go to a Saturday morning art school when i was younger - I'd love to be able to do something like that, perhaps run a holiday art camp!

Where is your all time favourite building?

My all time favourite building is hard to narrow down.  I'm forever finding new ones that amaze me and capture my attention.  BUT. In particular, I love the British Museum.  I love how they merge together old and new styles and parts of buildings and it works.  It works so well!  There are plenty of other buildings that also do this, for example the Westin Hotel in Melbourne, Australia.

Whose work do you admire and want to adorn your walls?

There are so many talented artists, illustrators, creative people...I long ago ran out of wall space to display them all! I'm am currently swooning over Brooke Weeber (aka The Little Canoe), Sandra Dieckmann and Jessica Gowling's (aka Nature's My Friend) work. They all illustrate so beautifully! But also they illustrate subjects that I don't tend to illustrate, and seeing their work makes me want to free up my mind more to allow for more creative illustrations!

What’s the best thing about doing what you do?

The best thing about doing what I do, is that I'm doing what I love.  It is a lot of work at times, but I would go crazy not being able to illustrate or be creative.  I'm often amazed that I find time to fit it all in!  I like being able to give people something that is personal to them - no one else is going to have the piece that they have commissioned me to do.  People can often imagine what they want to do, but don't feel that they can achieve it themselves - which is where I step in and we work together at bringing their thoughts to life in the way they are seeing them in their mind.

What does the future hold for your work?

For the future I would like to develop a range of illustration work that lends itself nicely to art prints as well as greeting cards and other merchandise.  I'm slowly branching out now, but don't feel that my collection is strong enough.  I'm forever growing and improving as an illustrator and as a printer, so it's what I learn next and what I do with that knowledge that will shape the future bit by bit.

I'd highly recommend perusing Charlotte's lovely blog and shop with a brew and some biccys as there are a lot of wonderful things to look at and read! 

Huge thanks to Charlotte for taking part, I for one am looking forward to seeing her illustrations expand and grow and end up on everything from mugs to wallpaper!! (I'm sure it will!).

If you'd like to get involved in Doodler's Corner please drop me an email to :) 


  1. How wonderful! Charlotte is one talented lady! Thank you for sharing- I'm off to check out Charlotte's shop! :)

  2. Thanks so much for having me! It was a pleasure :-D x


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