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INTERVIEW WITH ILLUSTRATOR MANJIT THAPP

Hey Manjit! Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I’m an illustrator based in the UK and I work on both personal work and commission work. My work revolves around female characters. I usually set out creating my illustrations by wanting to evoke a particular feeling or atmosphere that can be interpreted by the viewer.

Illustration by manjit thapp

What’s the best thing about what you do?
I love being my own boss and getting to do something I’m very passionate about. It can be stressful a lot of the times too because of those things though!

Do you have any tips for aspiring illustrators? Things you’ve learned from or resources that have helped you. Or perhaps something that’s helped keep you going in times of doubt.
Don’t underestimate the importance of personal work. Make work you love and enjoy creating, fill your portfolio with work you’d love to be hired to do. Drawing as much as you can when you can is also important, the more you draw the better you get.

I (and my readers) would love to learn more about your specific style, how it came about – and perhaps a quick run-through of how you create a piece of work?
My style has evolved a lot and will always keep evolving. I try not to think about having a ‘style’ too much because it can feel very restricting. I start all drawings with a pencil sketch, I love the texture that comes from using pencils and I retain a lot of that through to the final piece. Adding colour is my favourite part because that when it starts to come to life for me!

Illustration by Manjit Thapp

You use colour a lot in your work – especially greens, oranges, yellows and blues. Do these colours have any particular meaning to you?
Colour is a really important part of my work and I like to use particular combinations of colours to help convey a particular mood or atmosphere in my work. I usually come up with the colours I want to use as I go a long instinctively. Warm tones are my favourite, particular deep oranges and warm yellows.

Are there any illustration projects that you’ve particularly enjoyed? Any dream collaborations you’ve done or would like to do?
I love working on book projects, getting to hold the final product is very rewarding. Another project I worked on last year I enjoyed was for Stylist Magazine where I did a number of illustrations for ITV’s new series ‘ Vanity Far’. I loved working on more period style illustrations. This year I’m working on two bucket list projects that I’m so excited about!

All photos courtesy of Manjit Thapp

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