We catch up with Izzie Hill on creative mediums and inspirations.
Long time collaborator, Izzie Hill is a London based Illustrator and Fine Artist who has just completed her degree at Central Saint Martins.
Throughout her work Izzie is constantly experimenting with a variety of mediums, including frame animation, garment design, pottery and photography. Her unique style of drawing which blends gestured mark-making with finer painted details gives Izzie's work a sense of unique individuality, communicating raw emotion and subject fragility.
There is always a story to be found behind the subjects and Izzie's process is as tied to that narrative as her drawings are.
Tell us about you, when did you find yourself creatively?
I suppose it was a collation of many things that started my love for making. My dad is an industrial model maker. He also designs and has done for over 30 years, way before I was born. This meant I’d been raised around creativity and innovative thinking, never knowing any different so it was probably my destiny or something to like art. My dad is one of the most talented people I know, he makes things I never thought were possible and for that, is probably my first ever inspiration.
I think I knew this is what I wanted to do seriously, was when I was in school at about 13. My drawings probably sucked but I loved making things so just never stopped. The dream of having a career in art was really solidified during my foundation at Hull College of Art and Design, my tutor at the time, Mark Hearld, was a big contribution to this, he is just a super inspiring person and artist and I felt really understood my work at the time, we’d talk in length about research and ideas, and he encouraged my work in directions I had not considered before and I think because of this, it was the first time where I truly felt like ‘yeah I can actually make this happen.’
What's your go-to when starting a project, how do you balance and move between methods and materials?
Usually, as a start, I begin with writing poems or I’ll take photos on my film camera. I usually then draw in my notebook in pen, fast, and I’ll keep drawing pages and pages, having a flick through afterwards to see which one I like the best. I also make a start by ripping out thicker sketchbook paper for more timely sketches, creating these in pencil and watercolour. Often I will then stick these all up as I go and do that thing where you walk away and turn around and stare at them hoping they look different from a distance, most of the time they really don’t but sometimes they do. These drawings, sketches, poems and photos then act as a foundation for all works that then branch off, whether it’s painting, printmaking, garment making or animation etc.
I read once that Sean Landers has the same approach with his writing and poetry, seeing them as the trunk and his extra work being the leaves of the tree. I remember finding this out and thinking cool I do this too! For paintings, I play around with the sketches on Photoshop, sometimes distorting the sketches and drawings, interspersing them all with one another and then I enlarge the composition with a projector onto my primed canvas. Stretching my own canvases is really important for me as I can prime the grounds, keeping the canvas visible, often trapping small threads within the priming stage. I then create my paintings in oil.
For print, screen-printing is a large part of my work, allowing me to apply my paintings, drawings and writings to surfaces, like fabrics. I then often use these fabrics to create garments which link to the narrative of my work at the time, creating my own cutting patterns from sketches I’ve made. Animation is something I began starting to explore in my first year of university. Film has always been a big interest for me, the idea of telling a story through not just a static image but a progression of movement is something I always was intrigued by so I began exploring this through painting, creating short animations inspired by the everyday.
I’d say my relationship with all these techniques and approaches to making has become more understood as I’ve gotten older. When I first started out I had this impression that you had to be one thing, a painter! A sculptor! I always got so stressed because I liked all the categories of making and as time has progressed I realised all these ways of making in my practice are important and you can love more than one.
What advice would you give to someone interested in art?
If you’re just starting out, try out using many different mediums, don’t box yourself in too early or worry about having a ‘style’. Many of my tutors encouraged me to try out different techniques etc throughout my time in education and at some of these points their encouragement to try an alternate approach and push me out of my comfort zone has made my practice and artwork what it is today. Sometimes I might try something and it doesn’t work though and that’s cool because you just can just ditch it or build on it until you find your flow.
In terms of composition and balance, I'd say read a lot of things, not necessarily theory (although that’s totally good too) but like things that interest you, whether its publications, books, watching films, design magazines, zines, whatever it is. Constantly consuming creative outlets is very important because you can gradually filter out what you're drawn to, what you like, stuff that inspires you, colour pallets, spacing, fonts, designs, etc. Also, you discover what you don’t like and you can sort of sit and work out why you don’t like it and why it doesn’t work. Eventually, this will all just gradually filter into your practice in regards to both composition and balance.
"Constantly consuming creative outlets is very important because you can gradually filter out what you're drawn to, what you like, stuff that inspires you, colour pallets, spacing, fonts, designs, etc."
Aaaah there are so many films I love it's so hard to choose
But I’d say the films that hit me in the ‘wow this film is extremely important in
my life from now on’ are:
-A ghost story (by David Lowery)
-Frances Ha (by Noah Baumbach)
Also just an addition of a short film I really love is:
-Thunder (By Takashi Ito)
I know it’s not a film but an artist book that honestly changed my life was Allan
Kaprow’s ‘Essays on the blurring of art and life’ I’m normally such a slow
reader and take like a year to read books and I read this one in a day because
I couldn’t put it down.
Finally, any artists/designers we should know about?
There are so many but here are a few people whose work I think is super cool:
Marcus Lim (Set Design artist)
Eryn Lougheed (Artist)
Can Dagarslani (Artist/Photographer)
Mr Bingo (Artist)
Ryan Tippery (Artist)
Eser Gündüz (Artist/Architect)