Bobbi Rae

We caught up with Leeds-based multidisciplinary artist Bobbi Rae this week to dive deeper into her creative process regarding her popping prints and other wonderful products that we've added to Department Store. Enjoy!

Hello Bobbi, let's get the basics out the way... Who are you and what do you do?

Hiii. I’m Bobbi Rae - a designer, illustrator and multidisciplinary artist based in Leeds (UK). My profession is a bit of a mouth-full and filling out forms is always a faff; I’m an artist who wears many hats (both metaphorically and literally). From commercial illustration to 3D sculpture, to mural-painting and teaching workshops, I create all kinds of artwork that is really fun to make and aims to bring a smile to its audiences.

Nice! So what is your work informed by?

I want people to feel joy and empowerment when they look at my work; It’s about finding happiness and humour in the fleeting moments in which someone might look at it. I try to make little ‘happy places’, which are sometimes inspired by personal experiences and often by the stories’ of others.

Tell us about your creative process?

The multidisciplinary nature of my work means that every process is project specific, but generally, my best work is produced when I have an idea, and the time to sit on it for a while. I think about how it might look, endlessly scrolling through Instagram and flicking through some of my favourite books and zines until something clicks. It’s at that point that I start to furiously scribble, easily filling sketchbooks with frantic drawings that, when I squint, give me an idea of what kind of shape a finished piece of work might take. I usually create 2 or 3 more careful sketches before deciding on a final design, which I’ll finish through a combination of Ipad Pro, Apple Pencil and Procreate, and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I was always taught to keep ‘unsuccessful’ drawings though because they might be useful later - I have found this to be true and a useful piece of advice.

Do you have any exciting plans/ aspirations?

I love making playful work and in the future, I hope to keep making fun-filled products for sale through my online stores and retailers, whilst also collaborating with new clients, worldwide. I want to make textiles, ceramics and draw, endlessly. Paper goods, woodwork, video, you got it! Whilst along the way, it would be great if I should find representation; to help me to manage my workflow and reach new audiences.

Having recently graduated from my MA course and feeling very fresh to the full-time freelance career, I have loads of big plans for the future. I’m currently working on some really exciting projects with my partner in crime over at Modes of Expression as well as designing and illustrating for a handful of local and national brands. I illustrated a book for children last year, which I am hoping to get published and I’m currently collaborating with some secret clients to release a new publication aimed at kids, which should be available later in 2018.

Check out Bobbi's stunning collection here! 

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