It's been some time since the last 'Illustrated Monthly' feature what with one thing or another and, whilst on Twitter the other night I noticed this amazing illustrator, Lily Reilly. Having fallen for her beautifully detailed floral designs it made complete and utter sense to make her the next instalment in this monthly feature. So here she is...
• Tell us a bit about you and your background
My name is Lily Reilly and I am an Illustrator and Surface Pattern Designer from Cork City but currently living in Berlin. I work under the artist name ‘Petal to Petal’.
The name 'Petal to Petal' describes the method in which I work- literally drawing one petal at a time. I can (and do!) spend hours drawing and can get lost in my work- I think that time flies when you're doing something that you love.
My style is quite intricate and I use a lacing pattern that I call ‘flower bomb’ in a lot of my work. The pattern explodes and disperses and I like to experiment with it and use it in different ways. I particularly love working in monochrome and just concentrating on the shapes and detail of an image.
I studied Graphic Design and then trained as an Art and Design teacher, both at Crawford College of Art and Design in my hometown, the beautiful Cork City. I graduated from Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholl's course 'The Art and Business of Surface Design' last summer.
• How did you find your way to illustration?
I wanted to be an interior designer when I was younger and at an early age I was introduced to the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and William Morris. I loved the detail and perfection in their work, the pattern and symmetry. It was so clear that they loved what they did, not just in their work but in their involvement in the Arts and Crafts movement, and that made me realise how important it is to do what you love- I thought 'what a lovely way to view the world'. When I studied Graphic Design and trained as an Art and Design Teacher, neither of those professions appealed to me as a whole. I love elements of both but my heart just wasn’t in either, I knew there was something else.
While I was in college I started making and selling illustration work in my spare time- I always made time for it because it was what I wanted to do. I then started approaching galleries and exhibiting my work in Cork City and County and the response from people gave me that boost to take the next step.
• Your work is incredibly intricate with a lot of attention to detail. What or who inspires your style and what is your creative process?
I am inspired by so many different things- the stunning classic designs that the greats (as above) have left behind, work by talented designer friends and established designers today, the seasons and patterns in nature, trend boards and blogs. Living in Berlin, you can't really go anywhere without getting inspired. I work from home so it's good to get out of the apartment (especially if my kitten Poppy is in a hyper mood!). The area that I live in is jam packed with lots of beautiful little shops and cafes and I like nothing more than to disappear to a cafe and sit drawing for hours, accompanied by some creamy Cappuccinos!
• As a surface designer, what's your preferred medium to work with and why?
I love working in pen on paper- I always have. When I studied Graphic Design and one of our topics was print. I developed a healthy obsession with paper- the texture, the weight, the colour- it is wonderful stuff! I really enjoy sitting down with some nice new pens and beautiful paper and just starting a project- it’s just as exciting for me as when I finish the piece. When I have finished the image I scan it in and work on it in Photoshop or Illustrator.
• What's next for Petal to Petal?
I am currently part of an exhibition here in Berlin, which I helped to organize with two friends. The exhibition is called ‘all in the detail’ and it shows three very different but feminine, artistic styles. The exhibition will be running until mid June so if anyone is in Berlin please call in!
I am always open to commissions and collaborations with other designers and I enjoy participating in different events and exhibitions.
Follow Lily Reilly at Petal to Petal
I hope you've been inspired by Lily's work-she's sparked a desire in me to cover everything in tiny daisies! Enjoy your weekend and I'll be back on Monday...