Fay Brown’s beautiful watercolour illustrations cross over fashion and lifestyle. See her stall at the Eye Candy illustration and art fair.
What first got you into visual arts?
Art was one of my favourite subjects at school, so after my A levels I decided to do a foundation course. This was where I really got into illustration. Meeting new people on the course and sharing ideas in the studio allowed me to learn about so many great artists and illustrators, who I still admire now.
How does the place / city you live influence your image making?
I think the city of Birmingham is full of creative inspiration. I work at the RBSA Gallery in the Jewellery Quarter where I love to explore the exhibitions and see how different artists approach each subject matter. A lot of the exhibiting artists are inspired by the local area so I often discover new areas of Birmingham through their artwork.
What is your creative process from inception to creation?
My creative process is never really the same for each piece. I find certain photography particularly inspiring and often this will trigger ideas. From there, I like to work out the composition in my head and go straight onto the paper in paint. I find if I start to sketch something in pencil, the image will get too tight. I also love how unpredictable working with watercolour is.
How did you develop your style?
During university, I used to work mostly in a fine pencil. I enjoyed the detail I could create. It was easy to control and mistakes could be easily erased. I started experimenting more with watercolour in third year but still couldn’t get it quite how I wanted to, but I loved transparent effects you could create with it so I just kept on. Now, I rarely ever use a pencil.
What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?
I think when a piece isn’t looking the way you envisaged, it’s very tempting just to scrap it and give up. In my experience, this is a good time to step back put it out of your mind for a while. After a few days, you can look it at and see where the problem is straight away. What motivates me to carry on is when I’m really pleased with a piece. I just want to carry on developing the idea.
Do you collect work of any other artists?
The place where I work sell a lot of affordable art and handmade craft so I do buy artwork from there now and then. I’m particularly into ceramics at the minute and have a few too many little bowls from different local ceramicists. Maybe this is something I’d like to try in the future.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Don’t take the work too seriously! I think when you’ve got it in your head that this has to be the best thing ever, it will never work. I also like to have everything set up ready to go; paints, paper, a few snacks, something good on Netflix in the background ha ha.
Fay will be selling original prints, original artwork, digital prints (framed and unframed), a selection of handmade greeting and postcards, illustrated tote bags, badges and patches at the Eye Candy Illustration & Art Fair.
Eye Candy Illustration & Art Fair, Saturday 1st October, St Martin’s Church in the Bullring, Birmingham
Eye Candy Pop Up Store, Unit 9, Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, Birmingham