When fashion companies, magazines and newspapers from around the world want joyful, colourful and stylish drawings, they all turn to Charlotte Trounce, an illustrator based in London.
With photography taking centre stage in so many industries, is illustration a forgotten art?
Judging by the wonderful and whimsical drawings by Charlotte Trounce, the answer is a resounding NO! Based in London, Charlotte works freelance on a range of fabulous commissioned projects in publishing, advertising, packaging and fashion. Recent clients include Mulberry, Elle Collections magazine, The New York Times and The Economist. Unsurprisingly, her inspirations similarly run the gamut:
“I find inspiration in so many places. Some of these are 1940's designs and illustrations (especially Swedish graphic designer Olle Eksell), old photography, anything Bauhaus, strange objects, ceramics, food, fashion and textiles,” says Charlotte herself.
Hang on, is that crayon Charlotte is working with?
It could be! While she mainly works with acrylic paint, she likes to bring new textures into her work with pencil, and yes, crayons. It makes sense for someone who has literally been drawing all her life. When it came to time for career choices, art school was the natural choice, but only the first step:
“I completed an Art Foundation year and my degree (BA Hons
Illustration) at University College Falmouth in Cornwall, UK. But I
think it only struck me that it could be something I could do
professionally during a final year trip to New York, where I had some
really positive feedback from some great agencies and art
I think people appreciate that unlike a lot of the illustration we see these days, my work still has a hand-drawn feel to itCharlotte Trounce
To be an illustrator must take a lot of observation skills!
Definitely. Charlotte had a penchant for picture books growing up, which has fed into her work and continues to inspire her. But there’s more:
“I was fascinated by any kind of busy illustrated scene with lots of little people and buildings, where you could notice new details each time you looked. Nowadays, although I still very much love looking at illustration, I’m particularly drawn to art that is simple and colourful, like Matisse’s cut-outs or Sonia Delaunay’s geometric paintings. I also have a huge appreciation for crafts such as ceramics and weaving.”
What makes Charlotte’s work so universally appealing?
It’s the colours and the simple yet imaginative forms, but more than anything, it’s the sheer joy and happiness they convey.
“My illustrative style was once described by a tutor as ‘sophisticated naivety’, which I think sums it up very well, as my work is often suitable for both adults and children. I play with pattern, shape and texture to create colourful images that often depict uplifting scenes of everyday life. I think people appreciate that unlike a lot of the illustration we see these days, my work still has a hand-drawn feel to it. There is also a simplicity to my illustrations, and character and life, without being overly stylised, which I think helps reach a broader range of people.”