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A Magazine for Sheffield

Josephine Dellow: Quirky & Whimsical Illustration

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Our featured artist on the Now Then App this month is Barnsley-born but Sheffield-dwelling illustrator, Josephine Dellow, whose charming drawings have a wonderfully magical quality about them. Here's her interview...

First things first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in design and illustration?

Hello, I'm Josephine! I started getting freelance work in the greetings card industry when I first finished my degree in Illustration, which led to an employed position. I carried on illustrating and designing greetings part time, for six years, while I studied for a Masters in children's book illustration and eventually began selling prints of my work. More commissions started to come my way and after starting to build my own brand, I left my job and went full time freelance again at the start of 2018. I now illustrate books and work on a fun variety of jobs, as well as making prints and products to sell in my shop.

Our lovely city of Sheff seems to be a great source of inspiration for you, what is it about the city that keeps you returning to it in your work?

I am a bit in love with Sheffield! I am from Barnsley but spent a lot of time in Sheffield before moving here last year. It has a vibrant, creative scene that I'm very proud to be part of. I always loved drawing buildings and capturing a northern feel in my art, so it was a natural progression to draw some Sheffield buildings when I started to make prints of my architectural drawings. The buildings have so much character, I have an endless supply of inspiration here!

You've created some beautifully illustrated pieces including colouring books, a food zine, postcards and screen prints, which have been your favourites to produce?

Anything in book form is probably my favourite. I love books in general, so I am always delighted to get commissions for publishing, as well as designing my own, like the colouring books and zine. When I'm making my own, there's the process of brainstorming my first ideas, planning the page order, drawing the pictures, designing the layout and building the files. It's a major project that takes over everything for a while and is so satisfying to see the final book (and send them out into the world!) at the end of it.

We've heard that you also do commissions, what sort of pieces can people ask you to create?

I get asked to draw people's houses, wedding venues, favourite pubs... I've drawn holiday villas before and draw people into my existing prints to make them personalised. People have occasionally seemed surprised that house portraits are 'a thing' but the house I grew up in was like an extra member of the family! I get very attached to places, so I totally get why people want to have a drawing of their favourite place or a building they want to remember.

And are we right in thinking you also do one-to-one Photoshop tuition, in addition to your design and illustration work?

Yes, it only makes up a little of my time, but I enjoy helping people who want some guidance with Photoshop and showing them how to bring their traditional techniques on to the screen to design and do more with. The variety of having different sides to my business is good for me and it breaks up my days of being alone in my studio too!

And finally, what are your plans for 2019? Are there exciting things afoot?

2019 is my second year of running my business full time, so it's still early days with lots of possibilities and hard work afoot. I'm looking forward to sharing some books I've illustrated that are being published this year and in between more client projects, I'll continue to grow my shop, make more prints and create more zines. I love the unpredictability of being a creative - knowing that if I carry on doing stuff and putting it out there, other things will come back to me but I have no idea what they'll be. I think it will be an exciting year!

You can see more of Josephine's work on her Website, Shop, Instagram and Facebook.

Interview by Flick Jackson

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