Life Portraits: Jane Austen by Nina Cosford

Life Portraits: Jane Austen by Nina Cosford

F&T: Name something you love, and why?

Binoculars.  I've recently been staring at the moon through them and am lost for words by its beauty.  I also like to spy on fishermen and people walking past my flat.

F&T: One staple thing in your workspace?

My anglepoise lamp.

F&T: What themes do you pursue?

I'd say my work touches upon feminist themes, particularly through studying and celebrating iconic, creative women.

F&T: Any memorable responses you have had to your work?

I met Lena Dunham backstage at her London show last year, and before I could even say anything about her work, she was complimenting mine!

F&T: A real-life situation that has inspired you?

Being burgled.  As weird as it sounds, after my studio was robbed a couple of years ago, I had to build everything up from scratch.  It was rubbish at first but as time went on, things became much better than they were before; a better studio, better equipment, a better focus.  Out of that bad situation came a huge positive shift in my career.

F&T: Favourite  motivational phrase?

"It's not what you see, it's how you see it"

F&T: Last thing you doodled?

The items I would pack to go on a road trip.

Fantasising about a road trip by Nina Cosford via  Instagram

Fantasising about a road trip by Nina Cosford via Instagram

F&T: Where do you see illustration going, in the future?

Illustration is becoming a far broader term now than ever before.  It's no longer limited to purely drawing; it can incorporate many visual forms which are used to communicate a message.  Personally, I'm interested in not only continuing my career on a client-serving basis, but also developing and expanding upon my own brand.  For me, illustration is as much about the person behind it and their identity as the work itself.

F&T: Any tips for newbies on how to develop their own style?

I think wanting to be really good is better then wanting to be really successful.  I think honing your craft, practicing and getting better every day is always more important than counting statistics or comparing yourself or your "success" to someone else's.  I'd say find a niche and be constantly developing an individual, original voice through any means you can think of.  Work out what you enjoy the most and build upon that confidence.

F&T: Whose work do you admire, past or present?

Mary Blair, Beatrix Potter, Saul Bass, Carson Ellis, Lena Dunham, Tove Jansson, Frida Kahlo.  The list is constantly growing!


All images belong to Nina Cosford