Alice Tait: A little bit in love with London
The work of Alice Tait first caught my eye whilst browsing regular gift-buying haunt Notonthehighstreet.com. Her distinctive style that infuses dreamy high fashion and traditional watercolour illustration made me curious to see what other work she’d done and her blog, ‘An illustrated life’ is without a doubt one of my favourite ways to while away a quick sneaky tea break. Posting up daily drawings of things that inspire her, its topical relevance is refreshing and you just simply never know what treats she’s going to post up next. (A current favourite is of some little boys Royal booties for the latest addition to the family.)
Going way beyond the realms of fashion (although these just happen to include the mightily impressive Chanel and Vogue!), she has created work for the likes of The Guardian, Penguin books, Jamie Oliver and Waitrose to name a few. Her style is instantly recognisable but playful and often inclusive of a creative nod to her city of residence, London of course! From double decker buses to Fortnum & Masons, you can without a doubt spot a little glint of British pride in the places that inspire her work.
Her latest collection (coincidentally named The London Collection!) includes some of the city’s most iconic sights as part of a beautiful London map which adorns everything from mugs and tea towels to key rings and canvas bags that will all be available to buy from her lovely online shop. “London is the greatest city in the world in my opinion. At the time of creating the Illustrated London map I lived and worked close to Portbello Road market, and so my plan was to design something original to sell tourists and visitors. I loved this map so much that I decided to design a complete collection of giftware around it, using many of the famous and iconic London landmarks. This collection is for anyone who is a Londoner-at-heart and wants to take a little reminder with the of this fabulous city wherever they might go in the world.”
I was fortunate enough to quiz Alice on her dream job but took the liberty of a few cheeky prompts….
1. The best thing about being an illustrator is………that it feels right that I draw, and so I’m really thankful that I’ve made it my career and get paid to do what I love to do.
2. I became an illustrator because………..I wanted to see if I could do it! I’ve also always loved reading and so it’s a thrill to design artwork for the books I love.
3. If I wasn’t an illustrator I would be………a travel writer….or a spy; see below.
4. If I were Boris for a day I would…….make all those naughty people in Canary Wharf turn off their office lights at night!
5. My secret, hidden talent is…….having read so much Poirot, I am now good at reading people and can guess what they do and where they have come from.
6. If I could do illustrations for any brand/entity it would be…….If we’re going for the dream scenario, I’d like Conde Nast to hire me as Vogue’s travel illustrator. I would visit the destinations of classic novels across the globe, staying in luxury hotels while I work. Ha!
7. My new London collection came about because……I was born and brought up in London so it has a special place in my heart and was a natural choice for my first collection.
8. When not busying away doing my illustrations you’ll find me…….out with my sketchbook, preferably by the weir in Bath watching the seagulls with my little sausage dog, Roger ♥
9. I started my blog ‘365 days of drawing’ because……..I wanted to get back in touch with my own drawing again, after years of doing commissions for other people. I was curious to see what my own work would look like.
10. The best inspiration comes from…….the world about me.
11. My guiltiest pleasure is…….prosecco and really salty Kettle Chips.
12. The best piece of advice I can give a budding illustrator would be……..Olympian-status organisation skills.