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We first came across Laura Callaghan at an Art & Craft market in Peckham where her super cool illustration style caught our eye. Born in Co. Louth in Ireland and now living in South East London Laura has illustrated for brands inc Urban Outfitters, Motel Rocks and Office Shoes not forgetting to mention a range of mags and papers like The Sunday Telegraph and Stella Magazine. 

Graduating with an MA in Illustration from Kingston in 2010 the illustrator work is hand drawn using a mixture of watercolour, indian ink and the smallest pens she can get her hands on.

We caught up with the super lovely (and super tall) Laura below!

How long have you been illustrating for?
I started out freelancing about 4 years ago.

Describe your illustration style.
Detailed pieces, largely hand painted in watercolour and ink featuring fearless women in colourful environments. 

Where do you get your inspiration from for your illustrations?
The catalyst could be anything - a film I've seen, or an article I've read or a photograph where the model held their hands in a certain way. I hold on to pictures I like in a folder on my laptop and write indecipherable notes for potential pieces on my phone.

Describe your personal style.
I wear a lot black…and grey…and white – variations on a theme. I try to keep things simple, focusing on cut rather than colour/pattern- so the opposite of my work really!

What has been the biggest highlight of your illustrating career?
Right now is a really good time, I’m working part time as a graphic designer and have a steady (but not overwhelming) stream of commissions to keep me going which gives me the freedom both financially and timewise to get stuck into personal work. I was going a bit stir crazy not being able to focus on personal projects so this is good!I recently did some work for Urban Outfitters which really was fun and was useful in helping friends and family understand what I do, instead of trying to explain what I do for a living I could just send a link or take them into a shop and point. Seeing something in context is useful.

What has been your favourite illustration to date?
I have a tendency to hate an illustration after a three month honeymoon period so it would have to be something recent. I did an illustration for the Lifted Brow (An Australian Literary Journal) which I was really happy with, looking at it doesn’t make me cringe…yet!

Who is your illustration idol?
Oh idol….that’s a hard one, I go through phases. Right now I really like the work of Helen Jo and Celine Loup and Sara Andreasson’s use of colour and graphic pattern.

What has been your favourite magazine to illustrate for?
I did some work for a magazine called ‘Until Now’ at the start of the year which was art directed my Alex Citrin. It was a collection of essays and illustrations about coming of age. The brief was really open and fun, I just got my contributor copy in the post and it’s real impressive in print, lots of great artists in there.

What’s your favourite item from the Skinnydip SS14 collection?
I was drawn to the Rainbow Clutch bag, which I drew – I like the idea that you can see all the contents of your bag without having to open it and I like the faux fur iPhone case because it’s insane!

If you were invisible for a day you would…
Take a walk around some places a lay person is never allowed, find out some government secrets, read some classified files….

Check out Laura's website to see further work:

Tweet Laura here: 


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