London’s Hattie Stewart, an emerging illustrator whose busy, colourific doodles landed her commissions for Marc Jacobs, Diesel and Adidas, will take part in a group exhibition at Cologne’s Able and Baker gallery from Friday. Wonderland sat down with Hattie to discuss a recent project for House of Holland’s fall collection – in return, she re-worked our newest cover, which now sees Ms. Minaj spewing star-spangled cartoon tar in space…
When did you first start illustrating? It looks like heavily bastardised classroom doodles. What or who tends inspires your creative process?
The first was copying the characters in the Beano and Dandy comics, especially Beryl The Peril. The “illustration” label came at a later date – my only understanding was of fashion illustration and wanting to be a fashion illustrator in year nine at school! I’ve always been a doodler and have loved drawing from a young age, I never grew out of it, it just grew itself. Bastardised! Haha! I like that word. My work has always had dark undertones, I guess. I like it that way, keeps it interesting and stops it from ever getting “cute”.
Which illustrators inform your work?
It’s hard to specify, as my influences can come from many things. I tend to love people who don’t work in a similar way or process [to mine]. I love the work of Pauline Boty, she is a hero of mine.
Did you study illustration? Where?
I studied illustration at Kingston University and graduated in 2010.
Describe your work in five words.
Cheeky, sinister, playful, exaggerated, eclectic.
If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be and what would you do?
Hmm… Rihanna! I would hire Hattie Stewart to design my costumes and set for my new tour. I felt weird typing that.
You’ve been involved in various commissions – from Luella to Marc Jacobs. What one project are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all of them. Each project has provided a new platform for my work. At the moment though, I’m proud of the work I’m creating with House Of
You’ve been asked to illustrate for House of Holland’s new collection. How did this come about and when will it launch? What will the project involve?
I had a lot of fun doodling for the new pre collection for 2013. I can’t give too much away yet! I was asked to do their first pre-collection as they had seen some of my skull artwork and thought it would fit the aesthetic they were aiming for, and it all spiraled from there!
Finally, your first solo show will be hosted by MTV Switch. What have they commissioned for it? When will it launch?
It is hopefully going to be in April and they will have my artwork – and the magazine covers especially – adorning their walls and it will end with a show. I’m really happy that the magazine covers have proved popular. They will also be participating in a group show called “Urban Portraits” at Able & Baker gallery in Cologne, Germany.
Words: Jack Mills