An Interview With... Rosie Harbottle

An Interview With... Rosie Harbottle

Capturing the stillness and beauty of nature through a wonderful variety of styles and mediums, the ever evolving work of Rosie Harbottle is always certain to delight.
Photo of Rosie walking alongside two of her large scale art pieces in a gallery
How did you get started as a freelance artist?
My mother was an artist and fashion designer and so I remember being surrounded by art and fabrics from a very early age and was encouraged to create and draw. However, I didn't really realise you could pursue a job as an illustrator until I chose the wrong course at university. I was doing Graphic Design and stumbled across the illustration studios and knew that's what I should be doing. After graduating from uni with a First in Illustration, I landed a dream job in-house at a studio. It was such a fantastic start to my career, learning such a lot about the industry as well as technical knowledge. Sadly, I had to move back home to Devon due to personal reasons but so began my self-employed career almost 10 years ago! I was pretty relentless at the start working on my portfolio and emailing as many different studios as possible. I maintained a part-time job to pay the bills for a year or so but slowly I got more and more commissions and projects my way whilst building up contacts in the industry. I do think Instagram and Pinterest have been invaluable tools to get my work out there.
Your work evokes a simpler, slower pace of life. What about this do you think resonates with people so much in a fast-paced world?
I live on the edge of Dartmoor, to me a simpler slower pace of life is vital in order to appreciate my surroundings in nature. I think perhaps this resonated with people as subconsciously we all look for some grounding in our lives.
Rosie's painiting , an impressionist style landscape view of some trees in woodland.
Your illustration style has really evolved over the years, exploring different subject matter and mediums and giving your work a constantly renewing freshness and relevance. How does trend play into your artistic decisions, if at all?
Thank you, what a lovely compliment! Im actually a rather impatient person and can get bored quite quickly and so I think thats why I'm always pushing myself and trying new mediums and exploring different subject matter. As I'm sure with most artists there's an urge and a drive to keep creating and i suppose evolution is s natural outcome. I definitely keep an eye on trends, it may be as simple as using a particular colour-way or interpreting a trend in my own way but I feel it's an integral part of my working practice to keep up to date on them. Also, I'm fascinated with psychology and find it incredibly interesting seeing different trends come through as a reaction to what's happening in the world around us.  
Can you take us through your inspirations and creative process when you start a new piece? 
My inspirations come from a variety of different places, my home here on the edge of Dartmoor which is surrounded by nature, travel, songs, childhood memories... I feel I'm never short on ideas but keep a sketchbook with me to jot down ideas quickly before they are forgotten. I always see the art in my mind before I work on it and I will usually have already worked out the colour palette before I delve into a finished piece. This involves looking through colour books, looking to nature, past artists work or I'll create a quick watercolour sketch first to work out the colour composition. I'm completely obsessed with colour and feel my heart physically skips a beat when I see the perfect colour-way! 
                                 To learn more about Rosie's work, visit  rosieharbottle.com

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