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A Magazine for Sheffield
Food Drink Breakfast Lauren Hall

Lauren Hall “I animate frame by frame, which has a tactile and slightly wobbly feel to it”

Artist Lauren Hall’s technicolour illustrations teem with life, drawing inspiration from Sheffield’s street scenes and gastronomic hotspots.

With her striking, vibrant and immediately distinctive characters, Lauren Hall’s artwork leapt off the screen and had us hooked at first sight. We caught up with Lauren to talk about her process, her inspirations, and what’s on the horizon as we sashay into 2024.

Hello Lauren, and thanks for gracing our pages with your wonderful work! Could you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you came to start creating?

Hello and thank you! I'm a designer and illustrator living in Sheffield, having moved up from London about a year ago after nearly eight years there. I studied graphic design at Sheffield Hallam. Since university I’ve been working in graphic design and recently started as a senior designer at Peter & Paul in Sheffield – it’s been great to rediscover the city again.

Alongside this I’m a freelance illustrator. Since I was little I’ve always loved drawing. At the start I was a bit shy about sharing my illustrations online, but my confidence grew and I developed my illustration style which led to my first commissions and then being represented by my agents Brilliant Artists.

Food Drink Cheese Lauren Hall
LH Mr Porter Couple Argue
Lauren Hall Jelly phone

There's quite a strong foodie vein throughout your work. Is that born of a particular passion for the culinary side of life?

I wouldn’t say I’m a fancy foodie myself, but it’s one of my favourite things to look up when I visit somewhere new – exploring where to eat and what new to try. The places people eat are like the melting pots of the city. Whether it’s the colour and texture of the food itself or the characters eating it and their interactions, there’s a lot to draw from.

Lauren Hall Market
Hobbies Happier 01 Illustration Lauren Hall
Lauren Hall music animals

Another thing that’s immediately striking about your style is the vibrancy and sense of joy that you manage to depict through your characters. Can you tell us where you find your inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration comes from the everyday and by people watching. I try to capture the oddness and humour of everyday life, illustrating expressions of individuality and diversity, whether that’s through storytelling in characters or scenes. The world can sometimes feel bleak so it’s nice to create work that will hopefully make the viewer smile.

Lauren Hall Hairdressers
Lauren Hall Hamster
Zenchef Gare du Nord Lauren Hall crop

Your animation pieces are a personal highlight, as they seem to take the sense of movement in your images and 'bring them to life'. What's your process for creating these pieces, and how do you decide which ones will get the animation treatment?

Thanks! Initially I tried animating my illustrations in After Effects but I found it lost the hand drawn effect. I switched to animating them frame by frame, which has a tactile and slightly wobbly, more human feel to it. As it takes longer I often create short looping animations. I'll try to think of ideas where something fun or unexpected happens and then think of a way to make it end the same way it starts. I'd love to work on longer pieces like a music video in the future.

I see that you've had a few commissions from French organisations. Is there a 'French Connection' for you?

Non – I love France but I'm originally from Stoke! It's so lovely when people reach out from different parts of the world.

LH Leschocolatdesfrancais
Ferment Lauren Hall
Lauren Hall Dog Bike

Finally, what's next for you and your work as 2024 looms large on the horizon?

I've been able to work on some great illustration projects so far this year, from editorial and events to packaging. A couple of highlights were illustrating characters for the Natural History Museum of LA’s Queer Family Day and creating the cover of Ferment magazine. So for next year hopefully more of the same.

I’ve also got a couple of personal projects I’m excited to share soon. I’m continually trying to push my illustrations to try new things. One of my goals would be to work on a mural – the scale would definitely be a challenge.

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