Illustrator and print designer Bel Burkill about her work

Bel Burkill (23) works as an illustrator and print designer and lives in London. She tells us about her work.

What are you up to?
During the week, I work as a print designer for a British ladies’ fashion brand, where I mostly design for the beachwear department. It’s really fun; most of my days are filled with creative design, building color palettes, drawing new designs and getting them ready for print. When I studied illustration, I realized I wanted to design something more applicable. I never thought of myself as a fashion designer, but print design is a really interesting way to make illustrations come alive. Also, I am busy finalizing a range of greeting cards and I paint portraits, mostly of people’s pets.

What is it about pattern design that you love so much?
I think it’s the freedom you have. There is no super-restrictive canvas and it is exciting how your artwork will work continuously once it’s applied to a garment fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap.

What do you like most about your work?
That I can play with color! It is what most people seem to remember about my work and why most are attracted to it. I’m obsessed with bold, bright combinations and how they react with each other.

In what ways can doing creative work be challenging?
It is very challenging sometimes. Most of the time, when I’m creating a piece or painting, I am immersed and I enjoy it very much, but sometimes planning a project can build pressure. So, I don’t tend to think about anything too much before I start, otherwise it takes the natural creativity from it.

What do you do on a day off?
I like to read a lot and spend time with friends. Occasionally, we will go to an art exhibition; London has some amazing museums that I really ought to see more of! I’m not that creative on my days off. As much as I love and enjoy that I can be creative for a living, it’s nice to not look at a screen for a while and not think about painting.

Interview Jeannette Jonker