Meet Siobhan Harrison

By Fiona-worldofxs, Mon, 2013-09-02 15:12
Meet Siobhan Harrison

We caught up with Siobhan Harrison, the talented new designer for our magazine, to find out more about how she got started and what inspires her… And when you're done reading, why not stitch the April Rose Illustration 'Watercolour Rose' design, from issue 207 of The World of Cross Stitching!



What is your background?

I originally trained in fashion and printed textiles, getting an arts degree. After studying, I went on to work in the fashion industry in London and New York, designing printed textiles for women’s wear. I did further training in illustration on a short course at Central St. Martins, as I had a keen interest in drawing and wanted to work as a children’s book illustrator. After leaving college I had several ranges of greeting cards published. I worked for some years for Marks & Spencer illustrating different occasion cards and also working in the stationery department. I went on to work designing for other greeting card companies in London too.

Where else might we have seen your designs and illustrations?

Well, I’ve illustrated around 25 picture books for children, and I’ve also had lots of designs reproduced on greeting cards, ceramics, magazines, stationery and much more both locally and internationally too.

Who or what inspires you?

I was influenced by books I had as a child – I loved the books of Jan Pienkowski, the creator of Meg & Mog. I also had some lovely illustrated fairytales by Hilda Offen.

Tell us a bit about your creative process 

To begin with, I make a pencil sketch of the design, then I transfer this to watercolour paper and paint it up in watercolours. Finally, I transfer both of these to the computer, where I tidy up the work in Photoshop and it ends up as a combination of hand-painted and digital collage.

How long does it take to create an illustration?

For me it varies – it depends how tight the deadline is!

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy?

I enjoy Fifties jive dancing, where I can wear vintage-style outfits.

What’s the best thing about working as an illustrator? And the worst?

The best thing is seeing your work in print. The worst thing is working long hours! It’s all worth it though.

What’s in store for April Rose Illustration in the rest of 2013?

I’ll be doing more exhibitions and trade shows – there’s one coming up in October, so that’ll be exciting! 



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