Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives


Posted April 6th by Design Splat in Artists

The third Artist feature we have is Rachael Elwell. I found her work on the Islington Mill website. I fell in love with her line drawings as soon as I saw them. Although they may look simple the message they convey is strong. The movement through the images and the light and dark shaded areas make the drawings very interesting.



Welcome to Design Splat Rachael!

How did you get into Art?

I loved to draw from a very early age.  I have always been surrounded by intriguing technical drawings and drawing tools because of the line of work my father is in. I most definitely always preferred drawing books and pencils, rather than typical girly toys as a child.

I took graphic art at school and later on in my post school education I was encouraged to study art and design. I went on to complete a BA and MA in contemporary fine arts. I have been a free-lance artist since 2007.

How long have you been creating art?

My earliest memories involve drawing, I still have very early drawings from the age of about 3 or 4 that my parents have kept.

I have been drawing professionally, since I became a student in 2000, and I have been completely freelance since 2007

What does art mean to you?

Art means life for me, I don’t really know anything else and my whole sence of being is centered around creating art works.

Where do the images come from that you create?

Found motives, freeform drawing in sketchbooks, process based experiments, photography, geometric research, reading and writing …. everwhere!!

What is your inspiration for these images?

I am always really experimental in my approaches to image making and so I take inspiration from everywhere – I don’t rule anything out.

If I enjoy working with a particular process, or motive then the work flourishes from that. Each drawing inspires the next one, which will inspire the next one etc, etc; this is how my body of artwork grows.

I do have a strong interest in the British Arts and rafts movement and this probably translates through to my work.

What media is your favourite to work with?

At the moment its technical drawing pens, but overall I prefer to draw with  graphite by using a clicker pencil and a soft eraser.

Do you have an idea or plan what each piece will look like at the end or do you just let the lines form?

I let the processes dictate the outcome of the drawing initially. I then have set approaches and techniques to finish off the drawings, such as shading, erasing etc which I use to test the tactile qualities of the media I am using.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I’d love to be taking on commissions for abstract illustrative works, and I’m also hoping to be represented by a gallery who will promote my work on a national and international level

What drives you/gives you the ‘go’ to keep at it and do everything?

Ultimately it makes me happy to draw; but it’s also the enthusiasm from other artists and galleries, when someone financially support the work often by making a purchase that keeps me making.

What obstacles – if any, have you encountered along the way?

The usual funding issues that goes hand in hand with being a freelance artist and the knockback from applications made tfor exhibitions etc. Its very competitive out there.

Can you recall the first piece of art that you saw that made you go WOW!?

Piss Flowers by Helen Chadwick.

What is the most memorable piece that you have done and why?

A piece titled: 9m24 which I made in  2010 in Bielefeld, Germany for my solo exhibition: (Dis)Order.

Have a love / hate relationship with the piece: It’s the largest, most painstaking piece of work I have ever made. It took millions of individually ruled lines, which I drew everyday for 6 weeks in December 2009 – Jan 2010. However, I adore looking at it when it is on show in a gallery.

Does fame attract you?


How do you rate yourself as an artist?

I let other people rate me, if they wish.

What makes a good artist?

Someone who produces though provoking imagery, an artist who has the power to make someone wonder how a piece of artwork was made, is a success in my eyes.

Also a good artist will continue to evolve their art and will not be afraid to change their approaches in line with their interests.

A bad artist is one that sticks to what they know best.

Three words to describe yourself?

Direct, organised, ambitious.

Hobbies and other interests?

I love to knit, crochet and embroider. I love contemporary fibre work, especially when used to build installation works.

Favourite artist?

Sol Lewit

Favourite piece you have created?


Where can we buy your art?

Via my website:


(I’m currently looking for a gallery to take me on to sell my work for me, any offers?!)

Tools of the trade?

Clicker pencils, fine liner pens and the internet.

Any Tips and tricks you want to share with aspiring artists?

Get a website, promote yourself thoughtfully , apply for as many free lance opportunities as you can and be prepared to work for very little in the beginning.

Contact Info






Comments are closed.

© 2009-2012 | Showcasing Young and New Design Talent