Creative Q&A: Chloe Robertson, Designer and Illustrator
Morning everyone, another new series we want to introduce you to today is our Creative Q&As. Interviews with designers, potters, artists, illustrators, you name it, people we are lucky enough to work with and know, and we think you should know them too. As well as hopefully provide some insight to different types of creatives and the work that they do. To kick off this series is Chloe Robertson, a local Designer and Illustrator that has worked on some wonderful brand pieces for Winter's Moon recently. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself and give us a little background
Hello, my name is Chloe Robertson and I live in a small village in the South Downs National Park near Chichester. I’m a designer and illustrator. I studied illustration at University and have since worked in the design industry until becoming a full time freelancer at chloesoffice.com and designbysmith.com. Chloe’s Office showcases my illustration projects and Smith showcases more design lead projects.
How do you approach a design brief like Winter’s Moon?
I start by taking a full brief. I have a questionnaire that I send to clients to gather information about their story, their business, and how they want to engage with their target audience. I absorb myself in the brief and then instinctively collate elements that have the right feel – without thinking too much at this stage. It can be a bit messy allowing the ideas to form! Once I’ve formulated several concepts, I then communicate them to my client for feedback. When we have one clear and focused direction, I start creating. With Winter’s Moon, Julia already knew what brand elements she required (initially mainly print based for this project). We met up and I had a tour of her beautiful shop. I took lots of photographs of things that instinctively caught my eye. I like to fully absorb a client story, so meeting Julia at her shop was an important part of the process. Coffee, cake and brainstorming followed. After our meeting I had a clear list of elements needed. Sketches followed which we refined until the illustrated compositions felt right. It’s very much a journey whereby we work closely together until we have the right end result. Winter’s Moon was an exciting brand to work with.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of a project like this?
I genuinely find it exciting to hear about a project and find a creative solution. I lose myself in creating – I always compare it to Alice in Wonderland falling down a rabbit hole and finding another world. It doesn’t feel like work!How would you describe your signature style and how did you get to it?
That’s tricky. I would probably say textured naive lines and colours with a positive feel. If I look back at a drawing I did when I was 4 years old, my current work has a similar quality! I always push myself to learn new techniques and progress my style. I produce my own body of work at all times which informs my client work. My aim with my projects is to communicate feeling and connect my clients with their audience.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. I never stop thinking and seeing. Pre lock-down my family and I would find a place to visit every weekend. I especially love Hauser & Wirth in Somerset. I collect postcards and bits of design that catch my eye – oh and endless books. I need to be out in the South Downs every day – either running or with my dog Arthur. It helps me to process ideas.
What tools do you use?
I don’t restrict myself to one medium. I work with whatever suits the project and client’s requirement. Typically Pens, ink, pencils, computer, gouache, acrylic, iPad.
Do you have any other exciting plans or projects on the horizon?
I’m currently planning a home studio which I’m very excited about. It involves a bit of building work, but I’m looking forward to having a dedicated work space where I can make more mess! I’m currently working on an inspiring project with the Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral – a Sussex Together Festival of The Arts. It’s an online exhibition where you can submit your creations - visual arts, poetry, short stories and musical compositions. The Festival is inspired by the spirit of Sussex. Also works will be displayed at the Cathedral in November.
What advice would you give younger creatives hoping to pursue a career in illustration?
Most importantly never give up. Create every day. Don’t over think, just do! I use Instagram to showcase my work publicly and it pushes me to learn and grow with a community of other creatives. Keep learning, and find a network of other creative people who understand what it is to be a creative thinker.