Laura Quick is an illustrator and author, working a lot within the fashion industry. Clients include Hermes, Charlotte Olympia, The Royal Opera House, AnOther magazine, The Guardian, The BBC and Hudson shoes.
She began her blog, The Daily Think about 6 years ago and it now has 24k followers.
Laura says, ‘It was just about observing people, the cyclists on the way to Old Street, the conversation on the bus, or the discussions at a fashion shoot about whether a model’s hands looked too moody or not. Every day life is easy to miss, and the objective is to get people to smile at the mundane/frustrating or bizarre parts of it, the bits we often dismiss. I add images to this blog whenever I get inspired by something I see. I started adding in scenarios with my kids as well, and from these I was given a book deal through Pavilion to produce, ‘The Quick Guide To Parenting’.
- Describe a typical day for you?
Well normally it starts by be woken up at 6.45 by a stroppy 4 year old who wants me to get up IMMEDIATELY. I go downstairs, get the kids ready for school, have a few arguments, repeat myself a few times, drop them off, go to work at my studio (a peaceful place) and work on my current projects (at the moment it’s book pr, then warming up for live drawing at London Fashion Week for Paul Smith and Margaret Howell for AnOther Magazine this weekend, and the week after that I’m doing a massive live piece at the Saatchi Gallery for Miller Harris the perfumer, for 3 days) go to meetings / on location, then pick the kids up after school, cook dinner, have a few arguments, repeat myself, bath, repeat myself, put them to bed, drink wine or any thing available, eat, do a bit more work, Sleep. Repeat.
- What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Three things spring to mind: Doing a massive 28 x 10 foot piece of art with 180x 3-5 year olds based in Hackney, which went on to win the saatchi Deutsche Bank Arts Prize for Schools in 2015. That made me feel proud. Having this book published which has been a labour of love for so long. That made me feel validated, and when my kids laugh and have fun. That makes me feel happy.
- What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
Crikey. OK.. wallet, keys, old receipts, a small plastic Fireman Sam, 2 notebooks, a sketchbook, 2 fountain pens and some coloured pencils, one small inside-out sock, a Stab Can Opener (WTF?), a roll of black and white film undeveloped, Small pack of tissues, £2.86 in loose change, and a small amount of unidentifiable crumbage/ sandy textured matter at the bottom.
- What are your ambitions in life?
To find the holy grail of being an artist..Having kudos and a great portfolio AND earning enough money to buy a house in Hackney! (no-one has the budget for us artists anymore!) To spend my older years by the sea. To have the flappy bits of skin over my eye lids that keep drooping as the years progress snipped off, and pulled back. Oh and to get fit. And write more books. And travel more. And stop being so scatty.
- What advice do you know now, you wish you had pre-kids?
Try to relax while they are young. Don’t try to conquer the world with your ambitions and have newborn babies too. Newborns are tough going. I thought they were really tough. (unless you can afford hired help or have family that ACTUALLY help near by) Trying to do it all takes some of the joy out of both experiences. I tried to do it all on my own, and for 2 years as a single parent too, and I nearly broke! Be patient, keep the pot of ambition boiling but take it easy and enjoy the short time you have while they are tiny. Then when they start school GET ON IT!
- What advice do you know now you wish you did at the start of your career?
Be yourself, don’t just accept anything and everything by doing work that doesn’t feel right to you. My Dad always told me that money doesn’t matter, so long as there’s a roof and food. He said ‘be a supermarket assistant, a bus driver, and artist, a politician’. He didn’t care, but it HAD to make me happy, it HAD to be me. I chose art.
And try to put your own identity, style ideas, and everyday life experiences into your work. Have confidence that your ideas are valid, and stand by them. It’ll make it more fun for you and other people seem to respect you more for it.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
doing more books about human behaviour/observing our habits, wants and needs, weaknesses and strengths. Also lecturing at a Uni and doing more live fashion illustration for bigger brands. I’d also really like to live by the sea by then!
- What advice would you give a budding illustrator and author?
Create your own world, your ‘thing’. Knowing you have skill/potential and ideas isn’t good enough. Robert Saville, of Mother, the Ad Agency in London once told me (I’m paraphrasing a bit here) “I wouldn’t employ you because you have too many of your own ideas, I couldn’t rein you in. Do your own thing, and get it out there”. I took that advice on board, albeit rather slowly. Now I have my book and my blog. You have to show people who you want to attract that you can do it, and the best way is to actually do it, even if no-one is asking/paying for it. In fact it’s the best way. The best way is to do it off your own back. Build up a body of work online or however you like, do it gradually and eventually someone will see that you are dedicated. You’ll also keep getting better. Waiting for a job is a waste of time.
- Finally, happiness is…
Not comparing yourself to other people. Appreciating the small things. Cooking. Listening to Leonard Cohen. Oh and not looking at yourself naked under full spot light in a full length mirror.
For more info on Laura’s awesome book click HERE.