Introducing Amber Badger: her work is described as fast, inky and bold

Amber Badger grew up in Liverpool and currently lives in the mountains of beautiful North Wales with her family. She is inspired by nature's organic intricacies and has wanted to be an artist ever since she was a little girl. After carrying this desire throughout her education, she decided to study Illustration at the remote yet illustrious Falmouth University, where she fell in love with figurative drawing under the dramatic coastal light. Amber has gained a wide breadth of experience, from recipe illustrations to children’s wear pattern design. Her artwork is hand drawn with ink or watercolour, sometimes incorporating colour through digital collage. The result is a fast, inky and bold piece that conveys the beauty she has seen in her subject.

When did you start illustrating?

I’ve always found pleasure in drawing and been able to capture a subject quite well. I drew a lot as a child, my parents have kept a folder of drawings I’ve done when I was little and when I look back it, it’s clear that I was totally illustrating then even though I didn’t know it. Throughout school I knew that I’d love to have a creative career, and during my Art Foundation I loved the illustration briefs we were set. This first experience of what professional illustration would be like cemented my decision that this is what I want to do, and I applied for a degree in Illustration.

Who has been most supportive in your illustration career?

My parents have always made sure that I have had creative freedom, my childhood home was filled with a beautiful and interesting variety of artwork, I was always taken to galleries and museums and encouraged to appreciate the natural beauty around us all the time. My parents have forever encouraged me to do what comes naturally and to peruse illustration when they saw that it reflected my style. My dad is a musician and visual artist, my mum studied Fashion & Textiles, to have that role-modelled at such close quarters has been inspiring for me deciding on a creative career.

Did you always think art was going to be a major part of your life?

Art always has been and always will be intrinsic to my life. It comes naturally to me and I have been raised with it thoroughly. I can’t imagine it being any other way.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?

I love to draw people, plants, and objects. When I’m illustrating these subjects I feel like myself. Drawing people, particularly faces, hands and idiosyncratic features, gives me so much satisfaction to recreate.

How would you describe your style?

Bold, inky, fluid drawings.

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

I had so much fun illustrating the sea creatures for Reins Clothing’s recycled plastic kids raincoats. The waterproof fabric for the raincoats is made from recycled plastic collected from waste in the ocean, I think that’s an incredible feat and I am so proud that my designs are printed onto it for children to enjoy!

What interested you about Illo Agency?

I think it’s great that this avenue exists for artists. Different personalities often don’t have the temperament required to hustle their own business, so to have someone there to help in that aspect opens up a landscape of new potential. I’m proud to be included amongst such illustrious company.

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

I don’t think I could ever pick just one! I love the contemporary yet classic design of Justina Blakeney, Tessa Forrest, Kaye Blegvad. I dig the the wild visuals of Bri Emery & The Marbles. I find Tamara Litchenstein’s photography incredibly inspiring. For film, I enjoy anything Emerald Fennel has been involved in, Wes Anderson’s work is obviously beautiful, and I love how David Lynch’s mind works and how that transpires into his films. As for a favourite author, I will always go back the wonderful Maya Angelou.

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

I’m in the middle of buying a house at the moment, so I’m creating some big inky black line pieces to

decorate our new walls.

Do you listen to any podcasts?

I love podcasts! I find them so helpful for escapism when cleaning or tidying in the house, ha! I find the Desert Island Discs podcast completely captivating, and I subscribe to Louis Theroux’s interviews. I’m a mum, and particularly after going through pregnancy I am fascinated by the power of women, I subscribe to a birth stories podcast, listening to women talk about what they’ve been through is an innately mesmerising experience. I can’t really listen to podcasts whilst I’m drawing as I find it disrupts my flow, the content demands my concentration!