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Regulars / The Graduates 2016

Illustrator Maddy Mould’s thoughtful, craft-led work brightens up the everyday

Maddy Mould is an illustrator with a passion for pattern and print. She has just completed her BA illustration degree at the University of Cumbria and has a portfolio that demonstrates a bold use of colour and enthusiastic experiments with how her style might be applied to different textiles. “After taking fine art at college I was told by my tutor that the work I was making was ‘too illustration-y’. I thought, fine, that’s what I’ll do then,” says Maddy. “I love illustration because it’s all about creating images to be used for everyday things; to go with newspaper articles, or on juice cartons or shopping bags or whatever. It brightens up mundane things and is everywhere.”

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Her A5 zine Two Chinas catalogues the juxtapositions between the traditions of the nation and its acceleration to modernity with lively depictions of her experiences. Maddy’s four colour print Roman Menagerie draws inspiration from the Roman heritage of Carlisle and presents them in an impressionist style with a pop colour palette. “I love working with simple geometric shapes, and I’ve found that the majority of my work uses a particular colour palette,” says Maddy. “A lot of the time, my work begins with papercuts and I use this really lovely pack of sugar paper. I learned I work best like this and with these sort of grubby pastel tones. I scan in the papers and collage them digitally – this keeps the texture, something I like to think is visible in my work.”

Throughout her course, Maddy found that her tutors and peers were a constant source of inspiration. “You need to make an effort to avoid the echo chamber. Don’t work on things completely alone or only hear the opinion of one other person. Working in a studio with loads of other creatives is a really valuable thing. Getting constructive criticism can pull you out of a rut you’re in with a piece of work and steer you into a new direction,” she says. “Ask people what they think and be ready to look at what you’re doing more critically. Other people will see things that you’ve missed and you’ll ask yourself – how did I not realise that?”

Following her degree, Maddy has set up a studio, Lucky Me Lucky You, with two of her fellow graduates. “The name is a bit of an esoteric reference to a particular scene in Toast of London, but we feel like it works as a studio name because we want to treat everything we do as a two-way street of happiness. Lucky us, lucky client,” she says. “We’re going to be based for the first year in an office in the studios at the university, as we’re also doing an artist residency for 12 months. It’s a great chance to keep on using the facilities and workshops, and also potentially sitting in on crits with other students and maybe running a couple of workshops ourselves.”

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Maddy Mould: Heroes

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Maddy Mould: Two Chinas

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Maddy Mould: Two Chinas

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Maddy Mould: Okinawa

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Maddy Mould: Okinawa

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Maddy Mould: The Doors of Perception

G . F Smith

It’s Nice That’s Graduates 2016 is kindly supported by G . F Smith, whose gorgeous range of papers and services can be just the thing for new and soon-to-be creative grads. The 130-year-old paper company has a long history of working with designers and artists at all stages of their careers, with its high-quality and innovative paper products offering a huge range of creative possibilities.