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We have a real treat today as we not only launch a new collection of must-have alphabet illustrations, but we catch up with the amazing talent behind the artwork.  

Since graduating from Kingston University, Liz King has worked as a textile print designer, designing and selling work both in the UK and internationally.  Using coloured paper and neon tapes to block in colour, Liz has a unique style that explores the patterns and textures of her observations, drawing in almost continuous lines.  Each piece is hand-finished and hugely collectible so read on and snap up her covetable Animal Alphabet now, £25 each. 

We were jumping for joy when Liz decided Smallprint was a great home from home for her work, not only is it beautiful, modern and individual, it is also greatly appealing to us as parents as well as our kiddies.  Read on to find out more about her life and her work...

Where do you live and what do you like about it?

I live with my partner, James, in Lewisham with our little daughter, Mabel, 22months.  It's great because we can walk to Blackheath, Hither Green and Greenwich very easily.....lots of green parks....and swings!

Tell us a little bit about your home and your interiors tastes?
We bought our flat 6 years ago and it has taken 3 years to painstakingly restore it and add in the original features and wooden floorboards.  We love farrow and ball paints...all the walls are some form of grey.  We are big fans of mid-century modern furniture and art.  We mix this with some modern designers, such as 'HEM', our new Danish discovery, we have a few cushions designed by them, Donna Wilson and Orla Kiely.  
Favourite place to buy clothes?

I guess I love Cos, but in my dream world I would shop at Meet Bernard in Greenwich!  As we as being a gorgeous local shop, they have all my favourite labels, YMC, Sessun and Libertine Libertine.

Dream holiday destination?

New York! Or Copenhagen! 

What are you listening to?

I'm listening to Gaz Coomes, Matador.  As a rare night out I went to see him play at the Round House.....just like my pre-baby days! 

Who are your illustrations for?

Everyone! But especially for kids, they make ideal new baby or toddler pressies, I'm sure there is a letter for every niece nephew sister brother son and daughters oh and friends and partners too!

Talk us through the process of creating a finished piece?

Well the setting needs to be just right....toddler free time is essential.  I then need a nice coffee and I lay out all my equipment.....Maste neon tape, masking tape, 4B pencil, HAY pencil sharpener, stack of vintage and coloured paper.  And assuming I have figured out what I'm going to draw, I will have my inspiration laid out too, this can be pictures from Pinterest, an old book, my own photographs. 

I start by getting down blocks of colour cutting shapes from my papers and sticking them down.  I then layer on the masking tape, this helps to disguise mistakes or to add subtle shades. I then draw quickly with my pencil. I like to keep the pencil on the paper as much as possible, which helps to keep my drawings fluid and energetic.  I will then layer on the neon tape, and finish.  I work quickly and spontaneously, sometimes I will have to make several drawings before it is right, other times I will draw it once and It will be just right first time.  I love when I get absorbed in the process and feel excited, I can produce a few pieces at a time when this happens. 

Where do you get your inspiration and has it changed over the years?
Inspiration can come from anywhere.  It could be a book from the library I happen to come across.  It could be a tree in Greenwich Park.  It could be a visit to a museum or gallery.  Pinterest has opened up so much more inspiration, many designers and creatives use it, I think there isn't a day when I'm not looking at it!  Inspiration for my Animal Alphabet was more of an accident.  I had the urge to draw something, I chose a giraffe, I wanted something with a pattern to it.  It worked well so I drew a flamingo, I liked that too so I then drew a Zebra.  It went from there really....I realised after about the 6th animal drawing I could make an Alphabet! 

 What are you most proud of?

My amazing creative family x 

Have you set any goals for this year?

I have some ideas for new work...and I'd love to be involved in some local markets. 

A huge thanks to Liz! If you have enjoyed this article then you can find out more about her other work on her website and view the full Animal Alphabet online now.  Each A4 print is hand finished and priced at £25 each.  Support small business people and invest in a something really special!  Shop now.

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