Interview with Lesley Barnes

I’m quite excited about showing you the work of illustrator Lesley Barnes today as well as the virtual interview we did. Lesley lives in Scotland and seemingly is über-busy with creating new work: The latest wonderful project was animating the new song “Didn’t see it coming” by Belle and Sebastian.

Nevertheless she took some time answering my questions patiently. Here you go!

Why and when did you start making art?
I studied english literature at university, but I have always drawn and I think I knew that I would always end up doing something with images.

What kind of art do you make?
I make both moving art and still art (aka animation and illustration!) My work is colourful, graphic, bold and hopefully a little bit magic…

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Quite literally everywhere! I am a bit of an image magpie and I have huge scrapbooks at home where I stick all the images I find out and about into. Perfect to flick through when I need a bit of inspiration.

What does your usual workday look like?
My work requires that I make a huge mess. I try to do all the messy parts of my work at home and then go into the studio (which unlike the rest of my life is pretty neat and organised) to finish it off. If I had to capture my usual workday into an image it would be a huge pile of disorganised paper.

How do you spend a perfect sunday?
In bed (with biscuits) listening to Jarvis Cocker’s BBC Radio 6 music show.

What is your favourite taste of chocolate?
What a difficult question! I quite like it when you get a rolo that is just chocolate (it should have caramel in the centre) I think it’s just the element of surprise! I also share a love of nutella with illustrator Thereza Rowe.

Show me your favourite artwork (from your own collection or another artist)
One of the images I am most proud of is the album art I did for jazz musician Kit Downes. It’s a quiet tiger in a forest…..

Whom should we interview next?
Both Simon Wild and Thereza Rowe make my world a much better place. Although they have completely different illustration styles, both produce images that radiate a joy and vibrancy that just make you smile form ear to ear. Thereza’s blog is a daily dose of sunshine!

If you could have coffee with a famous artist – dead or alive – whom would you choose?
Werner Herzog. I think he would have some great stories to tell over a coffee and biscuit. (I named the little boy in my animation Herzog and the Monsters after him!)

What is your philosophy of life?
Red socks make you smile!