At ND19 we met Rohanne Thomson and fell in love with her bright and bold illustrations. We wanted to find out where she gets her inspiration from and how she has refined her practice since exhibiting at New Designers. 

What is your creative process? Where do you start?

With any project I start by sketching whatever is in my head – just to get things down on paper. From this I can start to pull out the strong ideas and get rid of the not so good, although it’s researching that helps me to develop strong ideas. When it comes to drawing I roughly sketch out where I want things to sit on procreate before I go in with outlines. My process as a whole is trial and error, sometimes I’ll have a good idea to begin with but often I won’t. So, we go back to pen and paper to figure this out, something about this process helps me to better pull out what is working from what isn’t.

What or who is your biggest inspiration?

I would definitely have to say Ana Duje, her style was a huge inspiration for forming my own illustrations style. Her work has taught me to be a lot more playful with my colour palettes and is a good example of how to keep a clean finish with busier scenarios. If you haven’t yet, I would definitely check her work out.

Where does the majority of your work take place?

I have a mini office set up at home that I like to work from, with plenty of light and my many plants. I would like to say I work at a tidy desk but often I am surrounded by piles of books. Working from home it can sometimes seem harder to stay motivated and so working from a busy café helps me to focus. To create my designs I like to work between my computer and an IPad, using both procreate and Adobe Illustrator, meaning I’m lucky enough to choose to work in the best place for myself but also my work.

What’s the next step? Can you share any exciting new work with us?

Currently, I am working as a Freelance Illustrator and Designer. My style varies depending on the project I am working on and so I have also been working on some personal projects to push and strengthen each, further. One of which I am currently working on is some characters for Father’s Day, a celebration of all father figures. I’ve also been working on a few exciting projects that I can’t yet share, but these will be released in the next few months.

A world without design, where would you be? How would you cope?

Quite frankly, I don’t think anyone would cope in a world without design. I would definitely miss the functional necessities of design and everything’s a lot more enjoyable with some playful colours. Every job idea I’ve had since I was younger has been to do with some sort of aspect of design so I’m not entirely sure where I’d be but I know I’d be figuring out a way to draw some funky faces somehow.


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