Inside the Author’s Studio with Eleanor Shakespeare

We’re so thrilled to celebrate the publication of artist Eleanor Shakespeare’s second book with Frances Lincoln, Cut, Paste, Create!  It’s a fantastic design journal that uses Eleanor’s fantastic collage pages as a way to jump start and enjoy our own creativity and design inspiration. Embrace your style and use pattern, colour and shape to reflect your personal taste. Become the designer of your world as you create inspired ideas of your own. Collage, design and play, cut, paste and create.

For maximum publication day enjoyment, we’ve joined Eleanor in her studio space, and asked her a few questions!

Eleanor Shakespeare, Cut, Paste, Create
author and artist Eleanor Shakespeare

Cut, Paste, Create by Eleanor Shakespeare

What are your absolute must-have tools before you begin work? 

Almost all of the work I produce is created digitally, but the steps before this often involve more manual processes. I jot down ideas in a sketchbook/notebook, and then create textures using pencil, paint and ink (I have a whole bank of textures I’ve created using various materials). I also do all my hand drawn type using a paintbrush and quink, which all gets scanned in. From there, it’s down to photoshop and a wacom tablet.

Eleanor Shakespeare's studio, Cut, Paste, Create

Do you have a certain routine before you begin? Do certain tools become sort of – part of the inspiration, as it were? 

I tend to have days which creatively flow hour after hour, and others where I seem to be unable to progress with my image making. It’s really hard to understand why this happens; the creative process can be really fickle. One thing I find quite difficult is spending long days in a row alone at my desk. To counterbalance this, I use Skype and Facetime to sit with my friends who are also illustrators and talk while we work. I’ll call in the morning when I sit down with my breakfast and a cup of tea, and we stay online until someone gets hungry and needs to make dinner. I’ve actually found this quite transformative for my practice. Freelancing can get really lonely, but this method means you work, chat, inspire, critique and support. It’s like being in a cyber studio – highly recommend!

Eleanor Shakespeare's studio, Cut, Paste, Create

Eleanor Shakespeare's studio, Cut, Paste, Create

Eleanor Shakespeare's Studio, Cut, Paste, Create











What’s your favourite thing about your workspace?

It’s super tidy all the time. Everything has its place and the more organised it is, the more focused I am. Because of the nature of my practice, it’s all quite self contained anyway, which helps. I also like a bit of greenery, some beautiful books and the all important biscuit jar.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Wes Anderson films, Dadaism, old books, new books, fictional and non-fictional stories, copies of National Geographic from the 1950s, nature, New York, my parents house and anything collage related.

Thanks so much, Eleanor!

art by Eleanor Shakespeare
©Eleanor Shakespeare
art by Eleanor Shakespeare
©Eleanor Shakespeare


Cut Paste Create UK cover


Eleanor Shakespeare

Cut, Paste, Create

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