After graduating from a Masters at Central Saint Martins, Caroline Tomlinson worked as a designer and art director for around 15 years in London. She was active as an illustrator, and her London agent kept her busy off and on. Three years ago she decided it was time to focus on fashion based illustration, and now she not only feels more inspired, but motivated with the vast possibilities.
Your greatest inspirations or influences?
- David Downton is a huge inspiration - his work is always so fresh, beautiful and inspiring.
- René Gruau for fashion illustration - one of the greats.
- Elizabeth Peyton for her portraits of celebrities and people in popular culture.
- Andy Warhol for his endless silkscreens prints - as a growing part of my work is exploring silk screen and printing - and I love his use of popular culture.
- Along with all the masters, I have a slight obsession with mark making and making lines that have varying flow to them. And the greats, like Picasso and Matisse really understood how lines worked. I look at them constantly.
Fashion icons in your opinion?
I still have a huge girl crush on Alexa Chung, everything she wears looks incredible. And the Olson Twins, for making the basics into luxury pieces, and for French style like no other Caroline de Maigret. I posted a sketch I did of her last Summer, when we saw her in a café - and she reposted it on her Instagram - it made my Summer!
What would be a dream project for you?
I would love to do another collaboration with a photographer and director, I worked with Rankin a couple of years ago for a fragrance ad - and I’d like to do more of that - create some moving images and shots of my work in different contexts. I would love the opportunity to play with scale and movement.
Favorite websites, or social media handles you follow?
- I follow lots of fashion illustrators on Instagram - my favourites are Stina Persson (@stina_persson_illustration ) and Tina Berning (@Tina_berning)
- I also love the colour, line and mark makings of Maria Lundstrom (@maria_lundstrom) and obviously David Downton.
- I also have a mild obsession with getting lost in Pinterest. Come follow me - I did a collaboration with Pinterest Uk last Summer and felt very honoured they wanted me to be a part of their first magazine. www.pinterest.com/ctomlinson1979
Anything else you would like to share?
I have just stared writing on my website. I was always little wary about writing a blog as its such a full time job (as I am sure you know!) but I really want to create and ongoing and engaging conversation with fellow creatives, that focusses not just on the achievements, but also on the challenges we face. I find, as creatives we often work in isolation - so it would be great if we all were able to vent and share as openly as we do on our curated Instagram feeds. Social media is amazing, as it full of opportunities and inspiration. But at times its good to know that everyone, has days where they think - ugh this sucks.
This interview has also given me an opportunity for me to not only write, but also to connect to another creative soul. So thank you!