Rachel Lattimore: Illustrator

by Kate Andrews | January 21, 2011

Rachel Lattimore is a London based illustrator. Since graduating with a first class honours degree in Illustration from the University of Brighton, Rachel has been freelancing from her East London studio for a range of clients including Honda, Sony, NYLON Magazine and The Big Chill festival. Rachel uses a variety of mediums to illustrate her ideas but women, psychedelia, nostalgia and nature remain at the heart of her work. We spoke to Rachel this month to find out more about her work and career.

Notes on Design: Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

Rachel: I’m an illustrator living in London. I share a studio in the East End with some other talented design folk including Hattie Newman, Owen Gildersleeve, Sarah Parker and Nous Vous. My work tends to be quite surreal (it has been described as ‘bizarro’!) and ranges from drawing to collage and animation. It is concerned with the subconscious and influenced by my love of psychedelic art, nostalgia, women and fashion.

Notes on Design: How did your career start?

Rachel: After leaving school I started a foundation course in London’s East End. I’ve always been interested in producing artwork in a variety of ways, using a range of mediums. A very insightful tutor picked up on this and advised me not to apply for a painting degree but instead to consider a degree in illustration at Brighton University. I graduated with a First from the University of Brighton in 2008 and from the success of our degree show at the Truman Brewery in London, I started to receive some illustration commissions.

Notes on Design: Why did you choose a career in Illustration?

Rachel: I always wanted a job where I could draw and make things, but I suppose I picked illustration because it indulges my love of fashion, and the transitory nature of the more commercial work allows me to be a bit of a creative chameleon!

Notes on Design: What would you say was your creative break?

Rachel: Probably my first commission after leaving university, which was my poster design for the Big Chill Festival 2009.

Notes on Design: What has been the pivotal piece of work you are most proud of?

Rachel: I’m not sure that I’ve made my most pivotal piece of work yet. However I’m very proud of a mural that I recently completed on an exterior wall of Shine on the Green hairdressing salon in London. It was a huge challenge for me to produce something on that scale that also has to withstand the elements and the test of time!

Notes on Design: What are you working on at the moment?

Rachel: I have a dream commission in the pipeline that I’m very excited about but unfortunately can’t really discuss at this stage – so watch this space! Other than that, my good friend (and very talented fellow illustrator) Bryony Lloyd and I are thinking about setting up a greetings cards company so we’ve been working on some designs for that.

Notes on Design: Do you have any self-initiated projects you would like to tell us about?

Rachel: Over the past year when I’ve had a break between commissions I’ve been working on my own project called ‘The Earth Series’. These are pen and ink drawings in a poster format that are intended to draw attention to various environmental issues. I think that the drawings are also very pretty so I am hopeful that people would want to wear the designs and hopefully spread the environmental message in the process.

Notes on Design: What was 2010 like for you and what is in store for 2011?

Rachel: 2010 was very exciting. It was the year I moved in to my studio and really began to find my feet as an illustrator. I’ve enjoyed creating self-initiated work with a positive message and impact on the world around me and I’d like to carry this on in 2011. 2011 looks to be an exciting year also, I should be involved in a printmaking show in the spring and I’m looking forward to starting work on my new commission!

Notes on Design: Do you have any advice for this years students and graduate illustrators?

Rachel: Just keep persevering and try to get your work out there!

See more of Rachel’s work on her website rachellattimore.com, and follow her on twitter @rachellattimore.


Designer and writer Kate Andrews was the original editor of Notes on Design blog, founded in 2007.


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