Chloe Batchelor is an illustrator who doodles from the seaside in Brighton. She loves a nice ice-cream colour palette and will never again attempt to draw a ‘scary’ dinosaur. Her illustrations are often character based and a lively mix of hand drawn and vector based fun. Her textural vibrancy has attracted clients such as Vodafone, Nickelodeon Jr. and Barnardo's. She creates work that spans many platforms including ad campaigns, digital media, hand-crafted typography and album covers too… But I still wanted to ask a few more questions…
What’s your story? How did you get to where you are today? Loved doodling as a child… Multiple sketch-books later, art college, hard work and grabbed opportunities - I’m still doodling today. I’m very lucky to do what I love for a living.
Which is your favourite character or scene that you’ve illustrated to date? Unlimited Gallery and Shop window. Getting a brief of ‘go for it’ was music to my ears. It wasn’t your typical Christmas scene, there’s a sausage dog with an afro and an abseiling wrestler but there was a grinning Christmas pudding and reindeer. The decal was huge, it took the lovely folk at Unlimited a while getting it up on the window; but when it was up with the hanging clouds and sun in place it looked super.
What did you want to be when you were 10 years old? At 10 it was all about cartoons, there were some good ones then ThunderCats Ho!
Which UNI did you go to and what did you study? I studied animation at Edinburgh College of Art. They had a course which focused on 2D animation at the time 3D was taking over the other courses. I wanted to learn the traditional way of making things move.
Which project has been your career highlight? The illustrations I did for the Vodafone Comedy Festival are a particular highlight, its run for 3 years now. They even have actors dress up as some of the characters I illustrated, brilliant! Another more personal highlight for me came when I was asked to design ‘non-scary’ dinosaurs for a Nick Jnr. pitch. Nothing came of the pitch, but it meant a lot to me for another reason. At the beginning of going freelance I had quiet a rocky time, I lost out on a big job because my dinosaurs were ‘too cute’. Sometimes things have a way of coming full circle, to this day I still can’t draw scary dinosaurs and I’m ok with that.
How do you promote yourself? I try my best to get out there, I’m not one to just expect things to just happen. I use the normal forms of promotion like my website, twitter, instagram etc. I keep them updated pretty regularly. I also send out postcards and promo work to various studios too to drum up some interest. I’m not adverse to doing bits of free work either anything that helps to promote my illustrations.
Do you love or loathe social media? It’s happening, so it’s best to embrace it I guess. Can’t beat a piece of print through the post though in my books.
Which tools do you use to create stuff? I sketch everything out, HB twirly non-stop pencils, I’ve mounds of sketch books. Then I work them up in Illustrator and PhotoShop. Textures, layers and homemade PhotoShop brushes.
How did you get to work with Print Club? I went to one of their ‘pull a sicky’ workshop days and really enjoyed it. A year later I’d moved to Brighton and into a studio with screen-printing facilities (mega whoop). I entered Print Club’s ‘Blisters the Directors Cut’ competition and got selected, much to my delight. That print was the first ever big print I’d done, fortunately the lovely folk in my studio were on hand to help when things got inky.
Where do you find inspiration for your “ice cream” colour palette? Colour palettes are a really important part of my illustration; I’ll spend ages tweaking tones just trying to get the right feel. I’ve built up a mood board of things that I’ve spotted and pre-build palettes first. The ice cream palette had been on the board for a while, just seemed to fit the Brighton Pier image nicely.
What’s your favourite music to work to? Oh crumbs don’t ask that, the list is endless… I have to be supervised in record shops. Led Zep and Alabama Shakes always gets things done. My playlist today includes Hooded Fang, Francois and the Atlas Mountain and Courtney Barnett. I’ll stop there before I ramble on and on… And on!
Where has your work been exhibited and what did you do to celebrate when you found out? I’ve only really been screen-printing for the last two years so I’m still new to the scene. So far I’ve been part of Print Club London – Blisters Show the Directors Cut. I’m part of the Unlimited Collective in Brighton and we did Pick Me Up at Somerset House for the first time last year… And we certainly popped some bubbles for that! We’re back again this year, so if you’re going look out for us!
Favourite pair of shoes? My NIKE pumps, currently a little covered in screen-printing ink.
Which magazine do you read religiously? More of a comic person myself, although I do get ‘Little White Lies’, they’ve always got cracking illustration. I’ve recently been reading ‘Chew’ and I often purchase a Regular Show or Bravest Warriors comic for some serious reading.
What do you spread on your toast in the morning? Marmite, lots of it. I LOVE IT.