When you scroll down Charlotte Taylor’s Instagram, you enter a compilation of psychical spaces transformed by her imagination. It all started when she was a kid obsessed with Lego, and her love for the arts and design has been developing since then. Inspired by Brutalism and Postmodernist movements in architecture, she puts a spin to buildings and interiors with elements that play with perspective, colour and space. Meet the artist that will leave you wishing the real world looked like her drawings.
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Hello Charlotte, could you tell us a bit about yourself? When did your interest in art start?
I’m an artist and designer based in and from London. I’ve always been interested in the arts and design since I was a Lego obsessed child.
You studied both Design and Fine Art, how did each of the courses influence you to find your own visual style?
Design gave me a grounding and structure to my practice and an attention to detail in graphic material. Fine Art has let me experiment and play with physical ideas and pushed me to work on a lot more personal projects. My practice comes together as a form of non-functional design, using architecture and interiors references but turning them upside-down.
That’s why we see both fields very much represented in your work, as well as photography. Do you feel you have to focus more in one of them? Are there still many barriers between art and design?
I have a balanced focus between art, design and photography. I don’t particularly distinguish them from one another, just as different steps in one process. There are still some barriers between art and design, but the line is being increasingly blurred with collaborations between creatives.
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How would you describe your visual style in a few words? What elements characterize it the most?
Architectural, fictional and playful. My work has a basis that is quite structural and technical, the seriousness is taken away from it through the introduction of elements that play with perspective, colour and space.
Tell us about your illustration process. Do you paint/draw places you’ve been before? Or do you use a lot your imagination?
It varies from drawing to drawing, but I tend to work with a mix of my own photography, inspirational images, and quick compositions have drawn up in my sketchbooks. I tend to work with a physical space, and then transform it into an imagined place.
What software do you usually use for your digital drawings? Do you like to experiment with new ones?
I predominantly use Adobe and occasionally 3-D modeling software to render completely fictive spaces. I’m keen to develop my style into other mediums; I see my digital drawings coming into painting at some point, and physical spaces and sculptures to materialize my drawings.
All of your drawings have well-paired colour palettes that give specific moods to the images. Is colour important to your work? Do you use it for aesthetic purposes or have you always in mind what the viewer will feel when looking at the pieces?
Colour is an important element to me, although it’s normally a final improvised decision dependant on what direction the drawing takes. The colour follows the space, but it’s an open-ended interpretation.
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If you had to choose, digital or analogue?
Analogue. Digital is a large part of my process at the moment but I still depend heavily on physical mediums. They have a finality and satisfaction that I can’t quite achieve with purely digital. I’m much happier with the print than with the screen-based graphic work.
When looking at your Instagram, we mostly see illustrations of buildings. Why are they the focus of your illustration work? Which are the buildings or architects that particularly inspire you?
I grew up with my father and he’s a lighting designer, so I’ve always been surrounded by architecture; it’s been a growing obsession of mine. I’m particularly inspired my postmodernist and brutalist movements in architecture or anything slightly out of the ordinary. Some of my favourite architects are Richard England, Ricardo Bofill, Carlo Scarpa and Linda Bo Bardi.
We see that it’s on Instagram that we can find most of your digital illustrations. Are social media and Instagram important for you in order to show your work?
Yes, Instagram is the only place I share all my current illustrations – my website updating is very sporadic in comparison. I think Instagram is a great platform to share art, especially digital-based work that doesn’t have a physical presence to display.
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Is it easy for you to balance time between your personal projects and client ones?
I make sure I have time to dedicate to both client and personal projects, I always have space drawing in my daily schedule, even if it’s on the bus.
You co-founded 14TH Cinema, a bi-monthly event that promotes a more collaborative approach to both artist practice and exhibition. How important do you think collaboration is nowadays in the art world? Any dream collaboration you’d like to do?
I think collaboration is essential in the art world and for independent practices; it teaches you a lot about other mediums and fields, bringing new perspectives and ideas to yours. I would love to work with an architect on a completely extravagant and non-functional house. Richard England would be my dream collaborator.
Where will we find your work in the future? Are you currently working on new designs and projects?
I’m hoping to develop my two-dimensional work into realized spaces and compositional sculptures. I’m working on a few ideas at the moment that will come to life in a few months. Wherever my practice goes, I’m sure my digital work will continue, as it’s an integral part of my thinking and making process.
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