Fritha Strickland is one of my new favourite illustrators. I love reading her blog updates. Partly this is because she lives in my hometown and I get nostalgic glimpses of it in her photos. But mainly it's because she shares lovely glimpses of her life and her illustrations. Her work is bright, cute and quirky.
I sidled up to her (through the interwebs) to ask her a few questions about her life and work:
1. Were you arty as a child?
I was indeed! My parents raised us largely without TV and on a shoestring budget. Most of mine and my siblings games were made up and sometimes even our toys were drawn and cut out!
2. Where did you grow up?
A variety of places, different towns, cities and countries.. at the time I wasn't always so happy about this but I think it made for an interesting upbringing.
3. Did you study illustration? Where? Was it useful?
I studied Graphic Design at university with my final year focusing on illustration. I would say it was useful but as a young adult I didn't appreciate the help and resources being offered to me. If I was to be given that opportunity again I think I would have the life experience to know I needed to attend and make an effort!
4. How did you get into running your own business?
Ever since I was a child I have always wanted to work for myself. I've had many a disastrous business idea, including selling painted stone on the wall outside my house as a child!I have always been driven by wanting to create and not wanting to take orders from someone. My chance to work for myself came about fully when I finished work to become a stay at home mum. Although I have plans to establish myself more this year (the first year of Wilf's life I was rather overwhelmed and not entirely able to focus on working for myself).
5. Do you sell as craft fairs?
Not so much although if I was going to I think it would have to only be at Christmas time.
6. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Life, my family, nature, books and my sons toys
7. Do you carry a sketchbook with you?
I don't as most of my work is hand drawn on a sheet of paper then scanned and edited on photoshop. I would love to get back into the habit of keeping a sketchbook though I use Pinterest a lot for recording ideas and mood boarding.
8. What's your workspace like?
Currently (and always) a mess.
9. What do you think is most important for the creative process?
Don't force it, if you have been struggling with feeling creative take a break. Go for a walk, read a magazine and try again.
10. What's your favourite medium to work with?
Simple Sharpies, a medium sized rotering pen and Photoshop.
11. Which piece of work are you most proud of?
This changes constantly. At the moment this print is something that I feel very connected to, it seems it strikes a chord with people for all sorts of different reasons!
I love that in the a photo of her workspace it isn't in the least bit messy. It is the picture of organisation.
You can catch up with Fritha through these channels:
Her Etsy shop
The good news is that many of Fritha's prints (and other lovely things) are available to buy through her shop (above).
Thanks for letting us get to know you a little Fritha!