The Journal, Artists


Charlotte Edey is a London artist specialising in hand-drawn illustration across card, ceramics, concrete and copper. Following her Foundation year at Chelsea School of Art & Design in 2011, she has worked with clients ranging from Vogue, Orange & Monica Vinader to London Design Festival. Here is what Charlotte has to say about herself and her work.

Explain what field you work in and why?

I am a 24 year old artist & illustrator, raised and working in London. I've always drawn and after my foundation year at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2011, I started interning and then freelancing as a graphic designer and illustrator. The flexible hours gave me the time to pursue my self-initiated work, and I now divide my time fairly evenly between making art and client work. It's a nice balance that gives me equal distance from the two.

How important is social media to you?

Social media has been really important for me. I've never really been inclined to share much of my personal life, so I used it as an outlet for developing creative ideas. Being able to find the audience that responds to your work is rewarding beyond words; getting unique and curious feedback firsthand is so useful. I love being able to give an insight into my process: sketchbooks, works in progress, framing and all the realities of being a working artist. The lack of formality is refreshing, and serves both as an honest portfolio and timeline of your development.

Is success in creative industries very difficult?

Difficult, yes, but not impossible. I think success creatively is relative and depends on your priorities. It can be incredibly rewarding and terribly paid, or terribly dull and incredibly paid or a mix of the two. It ebbs and flows, and above anything I'd say that patience and perseverance are essential. I work in graphic design alongside illustration, which allows me the security to be creating my own work while paying rent in a field that interests me. I think being young and in the creative industries, the likelihood of earning a living solely on your personal work is fairly slim, not that there aren't exceptions. The ability to support yourself can't be underestimated, and while it might mean sacrificing time devoted to your creative pursuits, if you can find a balance, it is absolutely possible. If you have a creative voice, ensure you find the time to voice it.

What does Creativity mean to you?

I find making art to be visceral and instinctive, the most articulate way of expressing thoughts that aren't yet fully realised, something like visual daydreaming. Beyond being visually satisfying, it's enlightening, clarifying and calming. I've always found the creative process to be a similar sensation to travel; the same sense of stimulation and discovery.

Text and Photography by Charlotte Edey (@edey_)