Tess Redburn is a Bristol based freelance illustrator with a passion for colour, figures and traditional painted artworks.
She graduated two years ago and moved to Bristol in search of cheap studio space, where she finds it an amazing place for fresh graduates to go and have the time and space to concentrate on developing their style without the financial strains of London living. She became a member of Puck Collective at the same time and found that her two years with Puck have been incredibly valuable on many levels.
Her favourite artwork thus far is a painting she did called ‘an apple a day makes me want to take my clothes off and play the Lute.’ It’s a homage to a painting by Elijah A Cox called ‘Ann’s Youngest Daughter’ which is, at the same time breathtakingly beautiful and also outrageously decadent. She questions why the women in the composition are all just lounging around in a pile of apples.
When Tess was younger she thought that she wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter but decided to studied Graphic Communication at Bath Spa. Her proudest moment was exhibiting at Pick Me Up. As a ‘fresher’ she was really excited to have been surrounded by so many incredible artists saying she felt like a very small fish in a big pond.
She’s currently working on a project for record label, “Livity Sound” and has produced some of her finest work to date in these beautiful vinyl record covers. She really admires the artists whose music she is artworking and has enjoyed collaborating with artists who she really respects. She explained how she gets to oversee the entire design process, from the album artwork to t-shirts designs and how they are looking to try out some animation for the live shows.
In terms of self promotion, Tess explained that Puck Collective probably contributes largely to her exposure, but events like Pick Me Up and the London Illustration Fair are great networking opportunities for her to learn more and find inspiration off-line. She loves Social Media. But then who doesn’t?
Her creative process starts with sketches, which she then puts together in PhotoShop. She prefers to paint things more traditionally but this preference depends on each project and how much time she is given to complete her artworks. She say’s “I’m pretty automatic with my working process, things always become contrived the second I dwell on things too long, so I often try redrawing things and then just come back to the first attempt. My tutors at uni would hate to hear me say that though!”
Tess seeks creative inspiration from C20th painters like Fernand Leger, Picasso and Eduardo Paolozzi as well as Scandinavian design. She was first in line at the Tate Modern ‘Matisse Exhibition’.
Tess finds that the most rewarding thing for her is to see how her creative work is constantly evolving. With every new project she seems to develop something new and her style changes gradually.
Whilst crafting in her studio she listens to Bee Mask’s electronic techno tracks but when she’s feeling more lively she tune into girly pop stuff like Jessy Lanza and Kelela. Look out for Tess’ next project which was a bizarre commission for her, she is painting the Singapore Bay Sands skyline, though she does not normally do architectural work she is finding the futuristic and abstract shapes in the composition intriguing and refreshing.