Interview: Emily May

Emily May

What's your occupation?
I am a freelance illustrator and graphic artist; I graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2010 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Graphic Art & Design and am now working on commissioned, collaborated and self-motivated illustration.  

Where are you from and where are you based?
I am originally from Berkshire, but moved to South Wales ten years ago, where I am still living now. It’s such a beautiful place but I’m craving a change of scenery, so I’m getting out of the sticks and moving to London in May.

What is your earliest memory of drawing?
Art definitely runs in my blood, I come from a very creative family. I remember from a very young age sitting on my Grandfathers lap whilst he looked at my drawings and showed me how to improve them, I believe to have inherited his perfectionist ways. He worked for Gaumont British Animation as an animator, which I thought was just beyond cool. I was never anywhere without a sketchbook, which was usually filled with drawings of cats, houses and the Spice Girls. So nothings really changed there, other than my taste in music.

What inspires your work?
My obsessive love for animals definitely shows in my work, they have always been my favourite thing to draw. I can be inspired by anything, but it sure helps living in the luscious countryside. I could easily spend all hours of my day just drawing cute kittens, so to avoid this I prefer working to a brief, that way I keep myself challenged.

How would you describe your style?
I inherited a lot from my Granddad and I definitely like my drawings to have a strong sense of realism. But for me, it’s all about finding the balance between something realistic and something a bit messier. My illustrations are drawn in pen and pencil, sometimes with only very small traces of colour.

What's next for you?
I’ve got a couple of cool projects lined up, but once I’m in London I want to really start expanding my portfolio. I’d love to get my own children’s book published. If all else fails, I’ll probably become a zookeeper.

See more of Emily's work on her blog and flickr


  1. i'm so in love!
    i just post some of my drawing on my blog:-)


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