Charlotte Smith Interview


Charlotte Smith is an Irish born Parisian living in Amsterdam. Charlotte made the move around three years ago, and didn't think she would ever want to leave. She studied type design in college, but found herself drawn to illustration, particularly to inks and watercolours, so she likes to combine the two. Charlotte loves the freedom that you can have in lettering, trying to find that perfect balance between legibility and creativity.

Tell us a fun fact about you I always seem to paint with my tongue out.

How did you get into illustration? I started working for a magazine that needed someone to work on lettering, and they gradually gave me more and more illustration work.


Who or what inspires you the most? My everyday life inspires me the most. Life in Amsterdam is so peaceful and beautiful, I love having a coffee outside and watch the hundreds of bikes pass me by. Also bike rides at dawn along the canals are my all time favourite.

What does a typical day look like for you? I usually start with a very very strong coffee, and then answer emails and send off invoices. I try and do all the 'boring' bits in the morning. Then I start working on projects for the rest of the day, but always try and wrap up around 6 or 7, to give myself time for other things like cooking or sports.

What do you do when you have a creative block? I'm actually really bad at finding inspiration at my desk. Most of the time, in the research phases of my work, I'll go out for breakfast or lunch and sketch up ideas. I like hearing the hustle and bustle of people around me, the sound of the expresso machines and the clinking of plates and cups.


Top three clients you've worked with? The BBC, Elisabeth Chocolatier and Adobe.

What tools (digital or not!) do you use to create your work? Sharp pencils, inks, watercolour and the magic of Photoshop.

What's your favourite resource for inspiration? I'd be lying if I said I don't use Pinterest. But I also like books with vintage Japanese match boxes, or botanical illustrations.


Do you have any tips for artists thinking of doing freelance? Set yourself to do lists in the evening for the next day, you can start straight into it the next morning. I think we have a tendency to procrastinate a little more in the first few hours of the day, and already having a set planning helps a lot.

What would your dream project be? I really like pattern design at the moment, so maybe package design for a nice tea brand. I would love to be able to illustrate a whole range with the challenge of them all looking as a collection.

How can fans keep up-to-date with your work? Instagram


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