A Day In The Life Of Nicola O’Byrne

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I used to work in the living room, which was also my partner’s office, our dining area, and our guest room when we had visitors. It was a bit cramped and I’d leave work lying all over the sofa, floor and table. I’d often relocate to the local coffee shop to get myself out of the way. I recently moved from London to Cambridge and now I work from my studio overlooking the garden.  It’s a lovely room with a big window and lots of natural light. Old habits die hard though, and I still spend time in coffee shops!

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I work with all different kinds of media including crayons, coloured pencils, acrylic ink, watercolours and pastels. I love drawing; it forms the base of all my work, but after that I change the medium to suit the project. I also love printmaking, and recently completed my MA (Printmaking) degree at Camberwell College of Art. Printmaking is laborious and not suited for quick deadlines, however I’m trying to work elements of it into more of my illustrations. Eventually I scan images in and touch them up digitally, but most of the legwork is done by hand.

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A selection of my current drawing tools.

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This is my shiny new Christmas present to myself. I’ve had to pick dust out of drying ink more then a few times, and I’m so excited to finally have a drying rack.

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This is my first port of call when I need a bit of inspiration. I am inspired by many artists, but my to name a few: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Master of ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints), Brian Wildsmith, Catherine Rayner, James Jean, Edward Bawden, Shaun Tan, Suzy Lee and Alexis Deacon. Cambridge also has some lovely bookstores and if I’m not getting enough help from my own collection I bike into town to browse theirs.

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When I lived in London I was working and studying, which meant that I’d often do college work during the day, and Illustration work in the evenings and on weekends. Now my life is less busy and I try to keep regular office hours, starting work by around 8.30am and finishing at 5.30pm. Of course, there is always time for an afternoon treat!

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Check out Nicola’s artwork on the Bright Agency Website! http://www.thebrightagency.com/artists/view/210