PRINT is pleased to announce our latest Designer of the Week, Eleanor Shakespeare, an illustrator and designer from London who specializes in photomontage image-making. She works across publishing, editorial and design, with clients including The Telegraph Magazine, Therapy Today, Times Higher Education, and our very own PRINT magazine.
Name: Eleanor Shakespeare
Location: London, UK
Design school attended: The University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
How would you describe your work?
Photomontage Illustration—I create digital collages using found ephemera, hand-drawn type, textures and lots of color! I try to create work that is unique and versatile to suit a really broad range of briefs.
Where do you find inspiration?
Wes Anderson films, Dadaism, old books, new books, copies of National Geographic from the 1950s, nature, New York, my parents house, Jessica Hische and any illustrators doing it for themselves.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
Current illustration favorites include Martin O’Neill and Keith Negley. Hannah Hoch and Kurt Schwitters are fantastic, but I am honestly excited by anything that is cutting-edge, new and exciting.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
My first book Collage and Keep (Collage This Journal in the US..) is certainly what I am most proud of. It is an adult activity book, encouraging the reader to explore their own lives through the medium of collage. It was a big project [that] took well over a year to come together. But there’s nothing like holding your first book in your hands, fresh from the printer. My next book, Cut, Paste, Create, is out this year.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
I did some work for Therapy Today magazine, which involved creating images for exceptionally personal and difficult stories. I really love the diversity of my job—one day you are illustrating a politically charged article for a newspaper and then you have the privilege of working on someone’s deeply emotional account from their own life. I find the latter particularly challenging but usually the most rewarding.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I hope to continue creating books for both adults and children, all the while continuing to produce editorial work for a variety of clients around the world. The fast-paced nature of editorial is a great contrast to publishing work. When I’m not illustrating, I run workshops with children and teenagers. I really want to cultivate in young people the desire to create, something which is all too often stamped out of them by the time they reach high school. It’s what my first two books seek to do … to provide a really accessible platform in which people can build upon and be inspired by.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
To constantly be looking for projects that will challenge you to learn new skills. I’m currently working on a book with a Canadian publisher, which requires a whole new set of expertise which I don’t currently possess, but certainly will by the end of the project! I never want to stay still. I want to be outside my comfort zone in order to better myself and expand my portfolio.
A foundation in art history is an essential tool for any artist. In History of Art, you’ll explore art history from a broad thematic perspective, looking at art through the lens of nature, the human body, society, religion and politics. Engaging lectures and projects will challenge you to research and analyze the artists that interest you, opening up new channels of inspiration for your work.