Friday, 23 September 2011

Interview with designer and illustrator Martina Doyle

I've been dying to feature an interview with an ex colleague and friend of mine, Martina Doyle. Her work is fantastic, and her character work in particular is just brilliant. If you want to contact Tina for any freelance work you can email her on

Here's our chat together with some examples of Tina's work.
Kay: Hi Tina, lets start by you giving us a quick summary of your career and how you came to 'go freelance'
Tina: I started out as a Graphic Designer working for a studio in Manchester for 7 years and then made a slight change into the greetings industry designing for Birthdays. I knew then I really loved my job. After 7 years there I moved onto Gingerbread Design, Regent and finally Eurowrap. 
After 20 years I had built up my experience and have many friends within this industry and so I decided to brave it and work for myself. This last year doing so has been exciting and I love every minute of it.

Kay: It's kind of scary taking the jump isn't it? Do you have any pearls of wisdom for any new aspiring designers and illustrators out there?
Tina: Yes it is scary. The best thing I think is to build up some clients before you take the jump. This will give you the confidence and then the task to get more work is up to you. Hard work always does pay off.

Kay: If you hadn't have become a designer what do you think you would have liked to have done instead?
Tina: I had briefly thought about becoming a nurse but I dreampt that I passed the surgeon the wrong tool for an operation and so I decided it probably was best for the public if I stayed away from nursing and use my scalpel skills on my artwork. 

Kay: I like to sit and design in bare feet if I can, preferably with a coffee too. Do you have any little quirks whilst you work?
Tina: For me it's a large cuppa tea and a cadbury twirl chocoalate bar that gets my brain into operation.

Kay: I used to draw on walls as a young child, when did your little inner designer show itself?
Tina: My brother started to make me a dolls house out of a cardboard box for me. I started colouring up paper for the wallpaper. It kept me quiet for hours as there was curtains, bedding, the list goes on what was needed to colour up. We then started on an extension for the doll then there where houses for her friends. My brother gave up at this point and grabbed his football but I carried on, my mission for a fab new dolls housing estate was in sight.  I do exagerate but I really loved making all the bits for the house and I only had felt tip pens, some crayons and paper.

Kay: How would you describe your design style?
Tina: I try to be able to tackle different styles but I think my best is in juvenile design.

Kay: What do you prefer, biscuits or cake? Any favourite type?
Tina: Chocolate is my big favourite but if I had to chose between biscuits or cake it would be biscuits, a good milk chocolate digestive.

Kay: Which designers work do you admire?
Tina: This is hard, as to be honest there are so many good designers out there. Caroline Gavin's work is fab, it is fun and quirky.  Lotta Bruhn, I love her colours and simple style and Natalie Tong's characters are adorable.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Traditional Christmas Illustrations

Here's a traditional style illustration I've worked on for the greetings market. I'm working on a few more scenes and subjects in this style before going back to a more contemporary look for the rest of the Christmas buying period.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Tiring house move and hoorah for Advocate!

After a frantic week involving a house move I'm back designing, all be it with a different view. After 6 years in a modern town house it was time to move to something with less floors and more garden space. I'm now sitting with a view of our overgrown drive which leads to some old stone cottages and farm land behind. I've got some sheep for neighbours, an old grade 2 listed hall and an orchard, so it's all pretty inspiring stuff. The house needs pretty much a major renovation, so I'll no doubt be posting some before and after images when the time comes. Feeling totally knackered it was great to log onto Advocates blog and see myself featured in their Spring Fair Ad. Honestly, it was better than a pack of biccies and an espresso : )

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

New Home

I'm moving house tomorrow (hoorah) so I'll be offline until the 13th Sept, when I'll be back on the design trail...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Pooky Bear: Cute and Colourful

Here's the last of my cute characters for a while. I've used textures such as denim and ribbed paper to give a modern patchwork feel. I think his bright colours lend themselves well to the cards having touches of foil. Pooky bear is available via my agent Advocate Art.