A Conversation with illustrator Eleanor Hardiman

Eleanor Hardiman Profile

In our first collaboration of 2018, we've teamed up with illustrator and Resident pal, Eleanor Hardiman, to produce a range of exclusive greetings cards, prints and (coming soon) tote bags. To celebrate the collection, we invited Ellie down to our store to illustrate our shop windows and have a chat about her life and work. Here's what happened.

Eleanor Hardiman Resident Window Frome

R: Tell us a bit about yourself - where did you grow up, where did you study?

E: I grew up in the quiet Cotswolds and have always been creative. I studied illustration at Falmouth University and had the best experience. I met so many talented illustrators, makers, dancers and designers there and developed my illustrative style. Since graduating I’ve moved to Bath and worked on projects from magazine covers to illustrating poems and now big leafy windows! 

R: How would you describe your work?

E: Honest, emotive and modern. I like simple shapes, limited colour palettes and clean lines. 

Eleanor Hardiman studio

R: What inspires your work?

E: I’m really inspired by everyday life. I want my work to be a true reflection of me so take inspiration from colour combinations I see on the street and music I’m listening to. I have always loved the simplicity of traditional Japanese art and that is also a huge source of inspiration for me and my work. 

Eleanor Hardiman at work

R: What's your process? Do you start with a pencil sketch, a pen or something else entirely?

E: I always start with sketching. Exploring the concepts and different routes the project could take is for me one of the most important and exciting parts of being an illustrator. It’s almost like emptying your head of ideas. Then I choose a couple of thumbnail sketches to develop and refine. As I’ve progressed as an illustrator I’ve learnt the more time I spend sketching and refining the smoother the artwork process goes. 

R: If you weren't an illustrator, what could you see yourself doing?

E: Designing books or fabric or making things with clay. I love making and being creative and can’t imagine it not being a part of my day to day life. 

R: Desert island situation - what 3 things could you not live without?

E: Sketchbook, pencil case and croissants. 

Eleanor Hardiman

R: What was the last great album you listened to?

E: Can I have 2? Depending on my mood: Loyle Carner - 'Yesterday’s Gone' and 'Glasshouse' - Jessie Ware.

R: What does the rest of 2018 look like to you, do you have any big plans you can share?

E: 2018 looks busy! Some things coming up I can’t quite share yet but keep a lookout! Right now I’m focussing on finishing my first collection of ceramic bowls. Designing and painting the window has given me the bug for big work! So hopefully more large scale projects too! 

You can shop Ellie's exclusive range of greetings cards and prints online here, or from our store in Frome. 

Studio and portrait images courtesy of www.togetherandsunspell.com

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