In Conversation with Zoe Damoulakis
last updated 23 November 2022
We recently sat down with Zoe Damoulakis and spoke all about her creative process, inspirations, advice, and upcoming projects. Read our conversation below.
Talk us through your creative process. How do you approach a brief?
When beginning a project I always focus on the intended audience and what they will require from the finished work. With this in mind I decide loosely on the aesthetic of the design and gather appropriate reference for inspiration before starting to sketch. After that, I allow the illustration to evolve more organically within those parameters.
Your work is aesthetically unique to you, how do you approach translating your ideas to the page?
I always focus on what I’m trying to communicate first. As a visual person, I find that most concepts spark images in my imagination and I play with ideas until it feels right. A different approach is required for a children’s book and a greetings card, for example, but I don’t tend to get hung up on a style. It happens naturally - the way I communicate visually will always be unique to me.
Who/What have been your key influences as an illustrator?
I think my work is influenced and inspired in part by everything in my life and I find ideas everywhere. The natural world and changing seasons always spark creativity. I have a variety of interests, from history and literature to yoga and outdoor pursuits, and these keep me energised and interested. Time spent in a good bookshop has never failed to inspire me. When it comes to admired authors and illustrators, though, there are far too many to name!
How did you begin illustration? What was the spark of inspiration?
Books started it. I’ve always been in love with stories and I’m naturally creative. I enjoy writing too, but drawing has been an obsession- I’ve never stopped wanting to get better and better at it.
What’s your favourite part of the illustration process?
My favorite point is probably sometime between the middle and end, when the idea is mostly there and I’m consumed by the detail and getting all the elements to work in harmony. That bit feels very instinctive and satisfying.
To an up-and-coming artist, what’s one piece of advice you would give?
Take every opportunity you can, however small it seems, and don’t be too precious about what you do or who you work for when you’re starting out. Everything is experience, and you never know when one good relationship might spark a career.
What would be your dream brief?
I’m just beginning to dip my toe into editorial illustration, which is an exciting new challenge, so probably something in this field. I’m a yoga teacher when I’m not illustrating so I’d love to combine the two - perhaps a spread for a magazine with a focus on health and wellbeing.
To see more from Zoe, check out her website here.
To work with Zoe, get in contact here.