Artist Spotlight: Lorna Harrington
This month, we spoke to Designer Lorna Harrington about her background, developing her signature style and talking clay poos with Peter Lord…
1. How did start out in the industry and what is your role at Aardman?
I started working within the industry shortly after graduating university, I began interning in London for a couple of magazines and a fashion website. After this I worked as a freelance designer for a few years which took me from sunny Bognor Regis to Bristol city life before answering Aardman’s job ad. I now work as a Designer for the Rights and Brand Development team at Aardman, and haven’t looked back since.
2. To date, what has been your biggest professional achievement?
Aside from working at Aardman I was lucky enough to be featured as Dr Martens illustrator of the month, customising a pair of their iconic shoes. I painted some blue foxes on my chosen pair, and a mountain scene inspired by a trip to Iceland. It helped me gain quite a lot of exposure for my work as an artist and pushed me on creatively.
3. Name three people who inspire you:
My mum, because she’s the greatest and makes a good gin and tonic.
Nick Cave because he conveys pain and honesty within his writing, but in such a captivating and beautiful way.
Grayson Perry having just visited his ‘The most popular art exhibition ever!’ recently. Amazing colours.
4. What best describes your illustration style?
Playful, cute and full of dreams.
5. What do you like most about working at Aardman?
I love everything about working at Aardman. I still feel like the nerdy kid who would walk around with a Gromit cuddly toy under her arm, impersonating Wallace to bemused family members, Aardman has always been a huge part of my life way before work.
I have been working here or just over a year, and feel thankful everyday and still can’t believe my luck. It’s a really exciting and inspiring place to work. I never know what the day will bring.
6. What new technologies do you feel have had the most impact on the way you create?
When I first went to art college I knew that I had a desire to work in a creative field, but I didn’t really know the direction it would take me in. I used to create work solely to exhibit whether this be sketches, model making or collage. After University I worked for a while in a really dull council job opening post basically…
I saved up and bought my first MacBook and adobe creative suite. I would spend my evenings teaching myself how to use Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, developing the way that I designed. This new way of working lead me down the path of Graphic Design as a career.
Organised girly chaos. I like to have a lot of work up on the wall above my computer. I tend to design something and if I like it then it usually goes on the wall, sometimes it stays there and sometimes it gets pulled down a few days later when I decide I don’t like it! I have a problem with fluffy pens at the moment!
8. What are your goals for the year ahead?
I want to keep working hard and never stop being creative at Aardman. I feel like I have had a really crazy and amazing first year here, I feel excited about what potentially lies ahead. To collaborate with people that inspire me at work to push myself further creatively.
9. How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I don’t really go out a huge amount, I like staying in…sorry!
I get a real buzz out of creating, I find drawing cathartic and relaxing, so often it doesn’t feel forced, it feels like work is just an extension of a hobby.
10. What has been your all-time favourite or even weirdest project that you’ve been involved with?
MORPH EMOJIS. Asking Peter Lord if he could make Morph into a poo…. Say no more!
11. What’s your best advice for artists today?
Dreams don’t work if you don’t. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it when you get there.
12. Who is your favourite Aardman character and why?
Gromit, I can relate to every eye roll he does ha ha