Designer, author, illustrator, and maker of books and other things, Lisa Stickley enjoys writing and illustrating stories for children – a love fueled by her two little girls. As a children’s author, a mother, and someone who came to reading a little later, (in her teens thanks to Roald Dahl) the importance of encouraging children to enjoy reading as much as possible, as soon as possible is personal and passionate for her.
Trained originally as a printed textile designer, her distinctive work led to collaborations worldwide with Burberry, Harrods, Liberty, Tate, Selfridges, and Boots, amongst many others.
“When I was little, I was always making and doing, be it cooking, coloring, sewing, painting, drawing… I’d always be creating something or another,” she recalled in an interview with Dulwich Festival. “I think things really took hold at school when I had a wonderful art teacher, who encouraged me to apply for a Textile Design degree. Training and working as a printed textile designer, illustration naturally went hand in hand with designing prints. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been able to transfer this into illustrating for books.”
She has been hard at work ever since, founding her label “Lisa Stickley” and selling some of her very first products to Paul Smith, Designers Guild, and the Cross. “I use a lot of different processes to draw and it’s great for bringing different characters to life by way of oil pastels, mono-printed line combined with collaged pattern (often from my own stash of designs), pen and ink, paper cutting and paint,” she explains. “I quite like a blank sheet of paper and often doodle on older, more worn out bits of paper I’ve collected over the years. It adds another element to the illustration, I think.”
“The first drawings of the day are always awful, and I’ll often make a number of drawings of any one thing until the right one comes along,” she admits. “At the moment I love drawing animals and have a particular penchant for drawing soft toys (old and new), building up layer upon layer of texture to give the right look and feel to the character. I love making them look a little bit wonky and odd, giving them their own unique personality.”
Prepare to fall in love.