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Eleanor Taylor

As a child

I was born into a large family with four brothers and grew up in a small town called Alton in Hampshire. From the age of seven to sixteen I was home educated. Me and my brother had a routine – we got up early and completed our lessons in the morning. This meant the afternoons could be spent doing creative fun things like playing in the garden making dens, and as I got older sitting in the shed and drawing. A lot of learning was self-directed and I think this has given me lots of self-motivation which can’t be a bad thing for an illustrator. I grew up without a television so I spent a lot of time wrapped up in books and I think this nurtured my imagination and gave me a love of stories.

As an adult

I enrolled to do a BA in Fine Art Painting at Norwich School of Art and Design but after the first two weeks I switched to Illustration as I realised that it far better suited my interests. When I completed my BA I moved back home and worked in Marks and Spencer while spending all my free time drawing. I applied to the Royal College of Art and got accepted. I had a fantastic time there experimenting with lots of different ways of working including animation, making books, and creating huge collaged drawings. After completing my MA I stayed in London for an extra year and got jobs as a teaching assistant and then in a shop selling very expensive clothes to rich women. Tired and broke I moved to Brighton and fell immediately in love with the city. I started to colour (all my work up to this point had been black and white) and decided to focus on my illustration.

As an artist

I work from home in a tiny studio flat in Brighton. As everything is in one room I have spent a lot of time perfecting the space to make it a good working environment. I now have a corner of the room with built in shelves and all my important equipment like scanner and light box to hand. Ideally I like to work in a calm and quiet space. It’s really important for me to focus especially at the start of a project when I am coming up with ideas. The flat is at the top of the building so we get lots of natural light and I can hear the wind whipping round the building and lots of seagulls. I like to think I can also hear the sea but I think it’s probably just the busy road at the bottom of my street.

Things you didn’t know about Eleanor Taylor

  1. I like watching scary horror films. My favourite is Alien.
  2. I have just had my braces removed (at the age of 27).
  3. I like cooking and eating really hot, spicy curries.
  4. I am very afraid of clowns.
  5. I have dislocated my knee three times. The first time I was in full leg plaster for 6 weeks. When the plaster came off my leg had shrunk to half its size!
  6. I come from a family of sailors (on my mother’s side) which I find very romantic….
  7. …but I don’t think it runs in the blood as I was sea sick on the Isle of Wight ferry!
  8. I absolutely hate butter in sandwiches. But adore it on baked potatoes and warm toast.
  9. I can click my feet whenever I want.
  10. I do a great impression of Cher.

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