Polly Nor is most recognised for her ominous and humorous depictions of women and their demons. Her portfolio includes hand-drawn and computer illustration, sculpture, and installation. Polly is inspired by her own life experiences and the quest for self-acceptance in the digital age, interweaving themes of identity, sexuality, and emotional upheaval throughout her work.
Since graduating in 2011, she has amassed over a million Instagram followers and has had three solo exhibits in London, ‘Sorry Grandma’ (2016) at 71a Gallery, ‘It’s Called Art Mum, Look It Up’ (2017) and ‘Airing My Dirty Laundry In Public’ (2018) at Protein studios, as well as participating in a number of group shows in the UK, Berlin, and the United States, including ‘NSFW: The Female Gaze’
Bloomsbury Publishing, Dazed Digital, Dr Martens, Complex Magazine, and Gucci are among the clients who have commissioned Polly Nor. She was a guest speaker for Dazed Magazine’s at The Apple Store, and she worked with Andy Baker on an animated music video for Chelou’s Halfway To Nowhere, which has been viewed over 20 million times. i-D, Dazed, Wonderland, Stylist, BBC Three, Refinery29, Time Out, Nylon, Cool Hunting, It’s Nice That, Creative Review, as well as a cover story with Polyester and Juxtapoz magazine, have all featured her.
I was loosely inspired by her art style. I also prefer drawing by hand and colouring digitally, using mostly flat colours. I was also influenced by her portrayal of the feminine narrative and experience.
Laura Callaghan is an illustrator from Ireland who currently lives and works in South East London. Her paintings, which are mostly hand painted with watercolour, indian ink, and isograph pen, feature courageous women in vibrant, maximalist settings. She makes images that are outwardly bright and lovely yet develop a sense of mystery or dread. Her work is half fashion illustration, part parody. She makes personal work and self-publishes a yearly zine called ‘Fancy’ in addition to working for clients like The New Yorker, Nike, Samsung, and The Body Shop.
Throughout this project, I was inspired by her brilliant colour schemes and strong line work. To reflect the energy of female power throughout my project, I am attempting to prioritise sourcing inspiration and references from female artists and makers.
Nick Dwyer is a major illustrator for the Beavertown beer brand. These illustrations never cease to inspire me. They are similar to partnerships I wish to be a part of in my future artistic career, and I find them to be hypnotizingly visually appealing. I find his use of linework and colour palettes, as well as single-frame visual storytelling, fascinating. My visual diary, I believe, illustrates, in part, my inspiration from him.
Magda Archer is a London-based artist who is known for combining nostalgic paintings with gritty, current changes of phrase in her work. Archer attended Ravensbourne College of Art, Chelsea School of Art, and the Royal College of Art before co-founding the illustration partnership Archer/Quinell, which gained critical and financial recognition between 1988 and 1998.
Her famous Flying Leaps outdoor posters became instantly recognisable features in London’s metropolitan landscape. Archer collaborates with renowned fashion designers on a global scale, including her current collaboration Magda Archer x The Marc Jacobs and prior work with Comme des Garçons and Jenny Packham.
I am inspired by Archers juxtaposition between ‘cute’ childrens illustration style artworks and the text that often overlays the pieces. Texts include ‘I’m gonna die lonely’, ‘my life is crap’ and ‘same shit, different day’, atop dainty cute iconography. I reflect similar juxtaposition style between an image and its subtext throughout my final project.