British illustrator Abbie Reilly graduated from Birmingham City University’s illustration course. Her approach to image-making is shaped by writing and sketching. ‘I usually keep a sketchbook full of lists of ideas and elements, rather than preliminary illustrations – I sketch out elements of each idea and then translate this digitally and almost jigsaw each element together,’ she says.

Citing Birmingham’s brutalist architecture and harsh shapes among her inspirations, she’s also relatively new to colour. ‘I have endless battles with finding harmony in the colours I use,’ she says, ‘Even though my work is digital, I’m quite tactile when it comes to working, so having a physical colour palette is the best way for me to create the right tone and feel for my illustrations.’

Abbie Reilly
Abbie Reilly. Dream collaborator: ‘I would say Carhartt WIP. For the past few years, I have been surrounded by skate culture and always respected the brand for championing diverse styles of illustration.’

The showcased project grew out of creative struggles in lockdown. ‘These visuals are based around lockdown meditation within the home, inspired by Adam Martin’s GABA meditation podcast.’ The visuals are ‘almost a form of self-portrait, of how I felt at the time, basically battling to relax’. §