Introducing: Lindsay McDonagh

Dawn Cooper caught up with Drawn in Bristol illustrator Lindsay McDonagh this week to chat about her latest projects, exhibitions and her lust for travelling.

Give us an insight into your working process...

I've been working a lot with watercolours as I like the light translucent effect they give and I really enjoy the process of mixing all the colours together. I do find it quite a tricky medium to work with as it doesn’t allow much room for error; you do have to work with watercolours quite quickly before they start to dry! It’s been fun experimenting with lots of different types of textures and thicknesses of papers and shapes of brush to see what different effects you can achieve with the paint.

I also produce digital illustrations, creating designs by digitally collaging together photographic images I’ve taken of objects or plants that have caught my interest, or animals I have spotted around the countryside or at Bristol Zoo.

There are so many mediums I'd like to experiment with in the future, such as lino print and paper collage, but for the moment, I’m trying to stay focused!

Tell us about where you work...

I have a nice desk by the window in the Drawn in Bristol Studio, where I've been working for about a year and a half. I've stuck lots of postcards and pictures on my wall so that my little spot feels like me.

I used to work from home but it has been much better having a designated space to do artwork and store my reference books, materials and equipment. Having a place all set up and ready to go means I can arrive and just start drawing and painting rather than having to unpack everything every time, which has made a big difference to my productivity.

Lindsay's current show at The Jam Factory, Oxford
Tell us about your new show!
I currently have an exhibition of watercolour paintings and digital illustrations on show at The Jam Factory in Oxford, which will be showing until Sunday 7 September.

There was a lot of late night painting and trips to the studio at the weekend to get the work done on time! It’s been a really good experience and it’s great to see them all hanging on the wall.

Do you have any new projects on the go which you're particularly excited about?

It’s been really exciting to get three of my digital illustration designs published by an American greeting cards company called Calypso Cards. Getting my designs published has always been a big goal for me so I was really pleased.

Lindsay's beautiful new website

Your website is looking amazing!

Thank you, I’ve spent some time re-designing it to make it look more clean and simple and I've just uploaded lots of new watercolour paintings.

I also have a blog on Tumblr where I document my photography and design research, and lots of pins on Pinterest, which I love for inspiration, but is also quite a tempting place to procrastinate!

I'm a very keen photographer and have a separate photography website. I find it really important to have a strong online presence to get your work seen.

An image from Lindsay's gorgeous photography portfolio

What do you think your dream project would be?

My dream project would be to develop a set of large scale watercolour paintings based on an adventure to Japan and China. I love Japanese art and the woodblock prints, by artists such as Kamisaka Sekka and Hiroshige. China holds a lot of mystery and intrigue for me, I would like to visit the Huangshan region of the country and see the mountain trees.

My overall dream is to keep exploring, taking pictures and doing lots of artwork!

Thanks Lindsay!  If you're as stunned by Lindsay's talents in such a broad range of mediums as I am, get in touch here, or take a look at her Drawn in Bristol portfolio here.

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