Cambridge Open Studios - Roxana de Rond

For the next 2 weeks in the run up to Cambridge Open Studios we will be featuring a selection of just some of the 240 artists taking part. To start the series we talk to illustrator Roxana de Rond.

Illustrator Roxana de Rond

Have you always been an illustrator / How did you get started?

I always loved drawing but studied English Lit and went on to do an MA in Children's Literature. When I was a student I had no money so started to make cards for friends and family as a way to make them a bit more special. Also often I found it easier to say what I wanted with a drawing rather than with words.

Computer People - Roxana de Rond

Have you done any formal training?

I took several drawing classes, usually evening ones. However I think the most useful thing I did was to keep a drawing diary, which I managed for over a year. It meant at the end of the day I would scribble an image of something that had happened that day. I am sure this gave me the focus on everyday things that people can connect with.

Second Hand Books - Roxana de Rond

What is the story behind your work / how do you get your ideas?

Most of my ideas come from the ordinary things that many people do like drinking coffee with a friend, gardening, reading or teaching. Sometimes it is a humorous take on those things like one illustration which is of a girl walking her black labrador. Both are wearing wellies which seems like a good idea after a long muddy walk. I love seeing someone laugh at one of my drawings or chuckle as they recognize something in them that makes them think of a special time or person.

Walking the Dog in Wellies - Roxana de Rond

Is your work produced traditionally or digitally?

I use pen and ink and watercolours.

Can you tell us a bit about your workspace?

It is very cramped now as I do more and more work. However we are just about to do an extension which includes a studio. I am very excited about this!

Do you ever have creative slumps? If so what do you do to get motivated again?

Mostly I seem to run out of time to do the things I would like to do but if there is ever a creative slump then a bit of observational drawing is relaxing and helps to get back on track.

The Meeting - Roxana de Rond

What was your favourite commission?

There have been many lovely commissions. One of them was a drawing for a lady in Cambridge who wanted me to do a drawing for her husband. She had a great story and wanted me to show it. Her husband had been rowing and fell in the river loosing his glasses in the process. She put on a wet suit and searched the area where he had tipped over and amazingly found them. The drawing was of her in the wet suit as she finds the glasses. Another time someone asked me to do some illustrations for a lullaby she was writing for her great niece.

Open Studios - Roxana de Rond

How do you get the word out about your business?

Mostly through word of mouth, fairs and open studios. 

If you had the time to learn one new skill what would it be?

I would love to explore etching and printing.

Where are your favourite places to go in Cambridge?

Grantchester meadows with The Orchard are amongst my favourite places hence they show up many times in my drawings.

Find out more about Roxana's work via her website and how to visit her studio here.

 Open Studios - Roxana de Rond

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