Art, Interviews
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Those Familiar Ghosts: Iselle Maddocks

So far, this was probably the quickest and most straight-forward artist interview I’ve ever done. Once these wonderfully strange ghostly creatures surfaced on my instagram feed, I couldn’t help but fire over a few questions & literally got the answers back with next-day-delivery. Everybody: Meet Iselle Maddocks, illustrator and doodler from Gloucestershire, who runs small independent press Opposite The Alley.

Hello Iselle. Thanks for taking the time for a wee chat. Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself? Hello! You’re more than welcome! Well i’m an illustrator living in Gloucestershire. Drawing and strange monsters/characters is my thing. I’m addicted to coffee and bright colours. The more garish the better. I have a hamster called Kirby. I like circles and can’t draw elbows or knees but that won’t stop me.

I totally fancy your little illustrated creatures exploring the landscape! Where do you mostly draw your inspiration from? And did any of your friends or features serve as a model for these? I love nature, so I aim to choose photos that make me want to be in that place, and create a little bit of an escape for my imagination. I’ve always had a passion for odd little illustrations and this is the perfect way to express that. People I see in the street or conversations I overhear often serve as subjects for my work. Occasionally i’ll do monster doodles of my friends.

How do they usually come to life from the first sketch to the final piece? For me, this is a really fun quick project that I like to do. It’s something that I don’t have to feel pressure with when drawing. I usually just do a few lines in pencil to create the shape of the monster and make sure the composition is right. Then I let myself loose with a bottle of ink and a thin paintbrush. Once I’m happy with this, ill add a few tiny details with a fineliner and scan the drawing. I then layer this with the photo I’ve already chosen and amend any bits with my Wacom tablet.

Any shout-outs to creative folk we should totally have on our radars? My own small press Opposite The Alley which makes Risograph publications. Papio Press, for amazing illustrated products. Illustrators I think everyone should know include Drew Millward, Luke Pearson, Victo Ngai, Shaun Tan, Charles Burns and Ben Constantine (Plump Oyster). And photography from Jason Parnell-Brookes who I worked with on some of these images.

So what’s on your to-do-list for the rest of 2015? I’ve got work coming up in a few magazines, a handful of posters and a book launch. I also want to make a small book of the monsters featured on here, a poetry book and a children’s book. So enough to be keeping me busy!

Thanks very much Iselle & all the best!

Find more of Iselle’s illustrations & get in touch on social media!


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