Ruth went to Harrow School of Art to do a foundation year, followed by a three-year diploma in Illustration.
Ruth approaches each new job with the aim to fulfill the brief as closely as possible and can work in whichever medium is best for the job. She blocks out a composition instinctively, then plays about with traced sketches in Photoshop to get it right.
Working for many years in advertising and design, Ruth has learned to use a wide variety of media, and learned them well. She used a dip pen and watercolours for the Beatrix Potter books she illustrated, for instance, but will equally use Photoshop for other children’s titles. She often uses line and watercolour for educational briefs, gouache for some other publishing jobs, and acrylic for larger, more painterly projects. When possible, she loves to use alkyds – fast-drying oils which are delightful to use.
Light and colour come to the fore in many of her pieces, and often her work has a classical painterly feel to it. The hand of the artist is very much in evidence.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Ruth: I always loved to draw. I decided to go to Art school at 16 because I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do. As luck would have it I lived close to Harrow college of Art which just happened to be a great Art school. I did a Foundation course before deciding I wanted to do the Illustration Diploma course there too. Question: Where are you originally from? Ruth: London. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Ruth: I moved to Devon from London in my late 30's on a whim really. My partner and I were visiting the area and we saw this house in an estate agents window, went to see it, just being nosey and fell in love with it and bought it. We rebuilt a derelict barn for my studio and it is the most wonderful working space. It faces south and looks out over the garden and the valley to the distant hills. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Ruth: My doggie. He never holds a grudge. Question: Do you collect anything? Ruth: I seem to have acquired hundreds of art books and reference books. I can always justify spending money on a good book. Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Ruth: No, but I have folders full of found images both paper and on my computer. Of course you can never find the one you need. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Ruth: They would say "Do some nice paintings. We have lots of money and plenty of time." Question: Who are your art heroes? Ruth: So many! I like the Victorian artists, James Guthrie, John Lavery, E.A. Walton, Stanhope Forbes, Elizabeth Forbes. Question: Who is your illustration hero? Ruth: I love Stacey Schuett's use of colour and light.
Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Ruth: Apart from broke you mean? Well if this is wishful thinking and I don't need the qualifications then I'd like to be a research scientist, a psychologist, or a dietician. As long as I can work from home and choose my own hours. Question: What's the best advice you've ever been given? Ruth: Keep a sketchbook. Just wish I'd taken it. Question: What about when you hit "the wall" with an illustration? How do you cope with that? Ruth: Look at it in a mirror, or flip on the computer. Leave it a day and look at it afresh. And ask my very honest family what they think of it. Question: Have you any hidden talents? Ruth: I can fly a plane. In fact I shared a 4 seater TB9 with 2 friends which we flew out of Biggin Hill. I even did aerobatic training in a Slingsby but never went solo as my nerve failed me. I also paid an extortionate amount to fly a dual control Spitfire once. Very emotional! But my licence lapsed when I had my daughter, I miss it. Question: What is the funniest thing you have ever done? Ruth: Raced a camel. Well it made me laugh. Question: Do you have any pets? Ruth: 2 cats and a dog, first one ever. It's definitely love. Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Ruth: I'd much rather go forward. A hundred years would be good. I would really like to know what's new in science and medicine.
Macmillan, Warne, Ladybird, Jump, Unilever, Dalmatian PressFavourites
: My light box
: The Tate Britain
: Any that sell gluten free cakes and sandwiches.
: Bad Science