Behind the Illustrations of Hello Grimes: Interview
Amy Grimes, an illustrator, studied Illustration at Camberwell College of Art and graduated in 2014. It was until a few years later in 2017 that she decided to create Hello Grimes to feature all the illustrations she was working on after some friends and family were interested in buying prints.
Initially she was only making art prints but since then she branched out into stationery and textiles too. Most of her work features landscapes and botanical icons so it also made sense to try and make the business eco friendly. Currently, she’s working towards making all of the packaging 100% eco friendly and all of the products are produced within the UK to reduce her carbon footprint. For her, it’s been quite a journey – a real learning curve and learned how best to do things and what works for her as she goes along.
What is your design process like?
All of my final illustrations are created digitally in Photoshop. However, everything is initially drawn by hand, from the concept to the final composition; I'll then scan this in and use it as the base layout of the image or pattern that I want to create. My process to create the final piece is based on collage, using scanned in sheets of painted textures. Over the years I've collected a digital library of scanned textures (everything from paint, to marbled inks and pencil textures) but sometimes I'll make new ones if I have something specific in mind. Using these scanned textured, I then build up the images and work into them using a graphics tablet and pen too. I really love the contrast and combination of the clean smooth lines you get with working digitally, along with the hand painted textures that give the images more depth.
Who or what inspires your work?
I'm predominantly inspired by nature and wild landscapes, a lot of my personal work features these – I'll often have an idea in my head that is more an idea of the atmosphere of the image, rather than a specific idea of how the final illustration will look. I like trying to capture a mood or atmosphere within my work, using colours and overlaid textures. In terms of the content and composition, it can really depend! Sometimes illustrations are inspired by places I've been or somewhere I've read about but often the ideas just seem to appear in my head out of seemingly nowhere. Once I have a specific idea in my mind however, I'll often research that theme or place to get ideas for specific things within the image such as certain flowers or buildings.
Pick one product from your collection and tell us the story behind it. What makes it special and what inspired you to design it?
The Rockpool print was inspired by a trip to Cornwall, although in the end the final image looks more dreamlike than a real place! I went on a holiday there and we heard stories of bioluminescence rock pools but never actually saw any so I thought I'd imagine my own. I really like the colours and contrast within this print and think that the vibrant blues really stand out against the dark rocky background.
What role does (design/art/what you do) play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
For my own personal work I find that I'm always looking for new things or places to draw so it gives you a different perspective on the world around you. It also motivates me a lot as you have to be your own boss and make things happen for yourself – sometimes it can be hard work (especially if you fit designing/making/illustrating around another job!) but I really like the challenge of this and how it can make you more focused on what you want to achieve.
What do you hope to achieve with your designs/art? (and/or) What makes your product unique?
I hope that people can connect to my work in some way, either through just liking the style or because they can relate to it – I often get comments that the landscapes I create are calming for people and I think it appeals to someone looking for a bit of escapism which I really enjoy. I hope to develop as an illustrator over time and would love to be better able to capture a mood or feeling within my work, I think this is especially important for children's book illustration (which I'd love to create one day soon!).
Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring designers and makers?
I think it's really important to have confidence in yourself and what you are doing – it can be hard at the beginning to put yourself out there and show everyone what you are making but it's definitely worth it. When you start out, it's really easy to compare yourself to others; either in how professional or established they might be to the kind of work they are making but it's much better to focus on what you are doing. I find that in the end, this makes you more productive and some of the work I've ended up liking most is where I've not let myself be distracted by other people's styles or ways of working.
You can see more and purchase Amy's products and prints on our e-shop here.