We spoke on 25th August 2021
Hey Eliott, first of all, how are you?
I’m good, thanks! Since finishing university last month, I’ve been able to work on lots of projects just for me and it feels like I’m getting my creative motivation back!
Give us five fun facts about yourself
1. When I was 14 I won a drawing competition for a zoo and got to meet and feed a group of lemurs!
2. I enjoy sewing and make a lot of my own clothes even if some of them are a bit dodgy
3. I’m really into sports which I from a few years ago would be very surprised by! But I spend a lot of time skating, running, and climbing too when I get the chance!
4. I’m teaching myself Spanish and recently realised I can read intermediate stories which are exciting!
5. I’m pretty much always listening to music when I work, sitting in silence just feels weird!
For those that do not know, who is Eliott Bulpett?
I’m an illustrator based in Buckinghamshire, making playful and vibrant art with the goal of helping people and our planet! I recently graduated from the Illustration course at Arts University Bournemouth and currently having a go at being a freelance illustrator! I also run my own online store selling prints and other bits and pieces which is a lot of fun!
So what made you choose an illustration degree?
Since I was around 3 I knew I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, but I never had a good idea of what ‘being an artist' would mean practically. I did graphic design at college as it was the best course offered near me and although I knew I didn’t want to be a graphic designer, I learnt so many valuable things there. I had such an amazing tutor who understood that I was leaning more towards illustration and would alter briefs to fit the kind of work I wanted to do. I then found out about the illustration course at AUB and it seemed perfect! I really love how drawings can enhance things, whether it’s a piece of text or an idea to communicate and also how limitless an illustration job can be. I could create work for books, murals, advertising campaigns, products, packaging, and many other things for all sorts of different companies. It’s so exciting!
Has being non-binary affected you as an illustrator?
I was stuck on this question for a little while because I’ve never really thought how the two might be connected. I’ve never made work that directly talked about my experience as a non-binary person but I think as a bigger picture, it probably helped steer me towards creating more inclusive art. Whenever I’m creating characters I like to ignore obvious stereotypes and just design fun people, it's probably a bit of wanting to see myself reflected in the work too. I think sometimes when you’re used to a world that hasn’t fully realised that you exist, it’s nice to create it yourself.
How would you describe your art style?
Fun and colourful tends to be my go-to phrase when describing my work and I like that. I’m a pretty optimistic person and I love creating things that bring joy and put a smile on your face. I work with a lot of flat and graphic shapes, and exaggerating proportions of my characters. I’ve been drawing with digital brushes recently that slightly alter the colour with each stroke (in an attempt to replicate the look of my gouache paintings) and I love the slight texture it gives to my pieces now. I always used to think that my art style could only be for children's work, but I had a tutor at uni who pointed out that if this was work that I really enjoyed, then why wouldn't other adults like me enjoy it too? So now I like to think that I'm creating art for other people like me who enjoy bright colours and things that are a bit silly, without it being childish!
Did I notice you also helped out painting a mural?
Yes! In July I got the opportunity to help illustrator Zoë Power paint a mural in Bournemouth. I've been really interested in mural painting ever since I painted one in my own room during lockdown last year, so I was super excited to get to work on this. It was such a great experience as not only was it a lot of fun but Zoë taught me so many useful tips about mural painting, the types of brushes to use, techniques, and how to use spray cans as well. I'd love to paint some murals of my own in the future and I feel a bit more confident now about how to go about it!
https://www.instagram.com/p/CSPLXqgjWiN/ here's a link to Zoë's Instagram with some photos of the mural.
You created work for The Arena's blockbuster briefs, love it by the way! How did this benefit you as an illustrator?
As much as I love doing my own personal projects, I also really enjoy working with a brief someone else has set as it brings ideas and problems to solve that I just wouldn’t have thought of, and it always seems to push my practice more. Since this was sort of a branding brief as well as an illustration one, it was nice to stretch my graphic design skills again and it’s made me consider that I’d maybe quite like to work on branding projects in the future. I also think it displays what I can do as an illustrator quite well since there were so many things to apply the work to, so I hope it brings in similar projects for me!
For my final question, what's next for Eliott Bulpett?
I’d like to spend the next year focusing on freelance work and running my shop. I’ve always liked the idea of being freelance, but without much experience with it, I don’t know if it’s a good fit for me or not. Now that I’m no longer in education, I can commit the time to give it a proper go and see whether I enjoy it. I’m also spending a lot of time on personal projects and figuring out the kind of things I enjoy making, I feel like there’s a lot of experimenting and self-discovery to come in the coming months which is exciting!