This week we sat down with the creative artist Tabitha Mary, who we thought would be perfect to feature for our Artist of the Week. Tabitha’s art revisits a classic era of poster design, taking many elements of popular 1950’s travel art, art, while remaining current and vibrant. You can find her work on Star Editions here.
How long have you been illustrating for?
I studied Art throughout my education, but would say I see myself as having designed graphically since I graduated in 2007 when I started my career as a graphic designer.
How do you work?
I work mainly in vector on Adobe Illustrator with the aid of a graphics tablet.
What’s your background?
I have a pretty varied background having worked full time for several years as a graphic designer working in homeware design, licensed sunglasses, packaging, Christmas crackers and licensed stationery.
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
There are so many different avenues and genres to being ‘an artist’ but ultimately you desire to create art that other people will admire. For me and the avenue I have chosen running my own business the most key element to my designing or brand is my consistent style and unique selling point.
Explain what you do in 100 words
I design prints inspired by the old railway posters of locations near and far, the location is often chosen due to someone’s personal connection with the place making the locations I depict more unique.
What art do you most identify with?
I am hugely inspired by the old Railway posters from the 1930’s, Art deco art and the propaganda posters from the World Wars.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
I enjoy designing the prints I create, it was the main reason I started my business. I wanted to design for myself in my own style
What themes do you pursue?
Travel is always a key theme to my work as I capture locations across the world.
What’s your favourite art work?
Modern graphics, I love discovering a small independent artist. Knowing that their work is not mass produced and what I have up in my house is unique.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
A few of my prints are the result of my travelling adventures. One of my most popular prints, Mount Kilimanjaro, was done after I summited the mountain on New Year’s Day in 2014. It was an absolutely incredible and life changing experience, I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking to push themselves mentally and physically.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Since graduating I have been lucky enough to always work as a graphic designer, the jobs have varied from being a Christmas cracker designer, where I drew a lot of holly all year round! To working with other brands on licensed stationary.
It was just a natural choice for me. I excelled at it at school and it was always my passion, so I pursued it, and continue to do so.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I’ve had such kind feedback from so many customers but there’s nothing better than a customer who contacts you who bought a print as a gift and expresses how much the recipient loved their gift. A favourite quote is “The shipping forecast print was part of a 70th birthday present for my father in law – he was a submariner in the Navy in his youth and latterly, a Hovercraft pilot, so we thought it would be right up his nautical street And we were correct! He absolutely loved it! He was very impressed and is looking forward to hanging it somewhere that everyone can see it!”
What do you dislike about the art world?
The most challenging thing about the art world is the competition, it’s fierce and relentless but you have to find what you’re best at, be determined, passionate, confident and it all works out.
What do you like about your work?
The thing I love the most about the prints I create is the flexibility to be able to capture anywhere in the world, meaning I can offer a unique service to customers and businesses to depict locations that are dear to their hearts, perhaps somewhere they travelled, their house or simply the town of village they are from.
What research to you do?
I always research the area I’m capturing to ensure I get the essence of it right in the print.
What is your dream project?
To design a print for a really well known event to help give my brand exposure.
Favourite or most inspirational place?
I absolutely adore mountains or anywhere near the sea!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
To believe in myself and not give up on my goals or dreams.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
For my business to continue growing as it has been, I’ve achieved a great deal in the past 2 years and I hope to continue on this upward path.
How did you get into creating Travel Posters?
I was inspired to capture local places of interest when I started attending small local markets with my Shipping Forecast print. I realised there was a market for local art and it grew from there.
Out of all of the locations you’ve illustrated, which was your favourite and why?
Do you have any new locations potentially coming soon?
Oh lots! My range is growing quite rapidly at the moment and the locations being captured are spread across the UK, so lots of variety I hope.
Which location would you be most keen to illustrate that you haven’t already and why?
I’d really like to produce more prints of Scotland as it’s a location I’m often asked for and a landscape that makes for some stunning views.