Every month we ask a different artist to design a banner for our newsletter - Penorama. If you don't already receive Penorama, you can subscribe here.
This month's artist is Stina Jones, a freelance illustrator and graphic designer based in Manchester.
This is the banner Stina designed for us:
And here's how it will appear in this month's edition of Penorama:
Cult Pens: Tell us a bit more about yourself. Stina: I’m a freelance illustrator and graphic designer from Manchester, creating imagery for everything from websites and branding, through to large scale artworks for venues and interiors.
Cult Pens: How would you describe your work? Stina: Fun and a little bit quirky.
Cult Pens: What got you into illustration? Stina: It’s something I’ve enjoyed for as long as I remember. I loved watching cartoons, doodling and making things as a kid – that coupled with my interest in computers is probably what set me on my path.
Cult Pens: If you weren't an illustrator, what was the back-up plan? Stina: My background is in print and digital design – which I still enjoy doing from time to time – so if I didn’t take the illustration route with my work, I probably would have invested more time in learning to code websites and apps.
Cult Pens: What are your favourite subjects/topics to draw? Stina: Surreal scenes, lettering, quirky characters and robots!
Cult Pens: Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from? Stina: I’m a bit of a daydreamer so anything and everything can spark an idea – from letting my mind wander during a boring commute, to hearing an interesting story. I always keep a sketchbook handy to jot down ideas and rummage back through it if I ever get stuck.
Cult Pens: What are you currently working on? Stina: Mostly top secret client commissions at the moment which I can’t say much about. I’m also working on a few pieces for The Rusty Alexander Travelling Art Gallery which hit the road in May this year.
Cult Pens: How long does it normally take to complete a project? Stina: It varies depending on the job - projects can take anything from an afternoon, to a few months to complete.
Cult Pens: What are you top five pens or pencils? Stina:
Cult Pens: Do you prefer black & white or full colour? Stina: I flit between the two a lot. At the moment, I’m really enjoying working in black & white, with little pops of colour here and there.
Cult Pens: What pen or pencil couldn't you live without? Stina: I couldn’t be without my fine liners or my mechanical pencil – they’re my essentials.
Cult Pens: Do you know when a work is finished or are you constantly tweaking? Stina: I’m definitely a fussy worker - even long after a project is finished I can always find something to nitpick at. I’d keep tinkering forever if it weren’t for deadlines.
Cult Pens: What work are you most proud of? Stina: It was a while ago now but I’m still proud of the Daily Doodle project I did back in 2010/11, which involved creating 365 hand-drawn doodles to raise funds for the charity Shelter. I learned a lot along the way and owe much of what I’m doing now to the experience gained during project.
Cult Pens: What tips do you have for inspiring illustrators? Stina: Be confident in what you do but remember there’s always room to evolve. Practice relentlessly and make time to try out new styles and techniques - even if the work never ends up being shared or published, it’s always worth the effort.
You can find out more about Stina, and discover more of her work, at the links below: