Laura Darling is an illustrator and artist-educator based in Dundee. Her work is guided by observational drawing, humour and procrastination.

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Tell us about your work
I create my illustrations in sketchbooks, drawing from observation on location. My go-to places are museums, but when the weather suits I like to draw outside. Cemeteries are a particular favourite, and Dundee has some fascinating ones. I develop my pencil drawings in a cabin at the bottom of my garden, using a lightbox and various paints and inks. My work is playful and often humorous: I like to think anything I’m drawing, be that an animal, building or object, has its own internal monologue.

I’ve produced illustrations for educational resources, promotional material and guide books, as well as private commissions for wedding stationery and animal portraits.

As an artist-educator I work with people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds on various creative projects in venues across Dundee. I really love this work: I get to see lots of different creative approaches to problems and meet wonderful, inspiring people.

First Foot

How did you become involved with DCW?
A couple of years ago I wanted to use some of my illustrations on ceramics. I didn’t know where to get access to a kiln in Dundee and ended up using one in Edinburgh, where I was studying at the time. I was delighted when I learned about Dundee Ceramics Workshop. I knew I would be more likely to use the workshop if I was involved in some way, and I was keen to meet other makers, so when I saw the advert for committee members I applied.

What are you working on just now?
I’m currently working on a self-initiated project exploring Dundee. I like writing lists and categorising things and so am creating a series of ‘eye-spy’ type zines about different features of the city: animals; architecture; objects etc. I am running a six week drawing course in August at Forgan Arts Centre, and have a solo exhibition planned at Verdant Works, opening in April 2018.

Queen Vic

How has DCW affected your practice?
I’m relatively new to DCW and am looking forward to playing with different ceramic techniques. I’m especially interested in glazing and seeing how my illustrations could translate into three-dimensional objects. There’s a lovely sense of community at DCW and I’m really chuffed to be a part of it.

For more info on what Laura’s up to check out her website www.darlingbyname.com or find her on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram with the handle @darlingbyname

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