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ArtsCase Talk – Zoë Charlotte

Based in Brighton UK, Zoë Charlotte works independently as a surface pattern designer, illustrator and hand-letterer.

Growing up in Melbourne, Australia with very creative parents, she was always encouraged to draw, paint and generaly make a mess – she taught herself to use Adobe Illustrator when she was 12 and Photoshop at 15. She grew up entralled by patterns and illustrations and the stories they told

Coming from a background in English Literature, her designs are inspired not just by nature, but by stories – books that she’s read, travels she’s experienced and tales she has created.

We had a talk with her about her artistic life, this is what she told us:

Do you remember your first drawing, and what it was?

Zoë: I remember drawing and colouring a lot when I was little, but I don’t really remember what I drew – houses and trees and family members probably!

What does inspire you?

Zoë: I love to travel, and the places I always find myself drawing inspiration from the places I’ve been. I studied English Literature at university so I also find myself constantly inspired by books and stories.


How would you describe your creative process?

Zoë: Intuitive.  Sometimes I have a clear vision of what I want a pattern to look, sometimes I’m just experimenting with different colours and motifs to see what works. I trust my instincts to know if something is working or when something is not.

What do you do to refresh your creativity?

Zoë: If I’m feeling stuck in a rut, or under a creative block, the best thing for me to do is get outside. Go for a walk in the park, buy some groceries, take a few photos and just see what’s around me. Then I can go back to my workspace feeling refreshed and able to look at what I’m doing with clearer eyes.


What is your advice for new artists and designers?

Zoë: You never know unless you give it a go!! Keep learning as much as possible and keep trying new things, you never know where they might lead!

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