Open Studios: Michelle Thompson

In the last of our series of interviews with participating members of Cambridge Open Studios we speak to Illustrator Michelle Thompson.

Where did you originally train?

I studied for my degree at The Norwich School of Art and then a Masters at The Royal College of Art, both in Illustration.

You mostly work to commission, how do you cope with the deadlines?

I thrive on deadlines. I tend to work at my best with more than one deadline and the shorter the better. If I have just one long deadline I generally leave it to the last minute and then work on it.

Who inspires you most?

I really love fellow illustrator Paul Blow's work and recently I've found the work of image maker and animator/filmmaker Quentin Jones.

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

I don't have time to have creative slumps, life is so busy with juggling two boys, walking the dog and deadlines.

Can you tell us a bit about your workspace?

I work anywhere. I share a studio across the road from our house with my partner designer Gareth Wild. Although to be honest I either tend to be working on the dining room table or upstairs in the spare room. That way I can sneak upstairs to work in between school drop off and feeding the children, etc.

How do you get the word out about your work?

I've been working as an illustrator for over 16 years, as well as promoting myself through my large mailing list, I also have illustration agents in the UK and USA. I sell my collage and personal work through a few galleries in the Uk and overseas so they promote me too. It's also amazing how people have found me by just just coming across my work on the internet. I'm an avid user of Facebook and Twitter too, which I truly believe helps to get my work out to a wider audience.

If you could learn another craft, what would it be?

Printmaking and of course I'd love to know how to use my sewing machine.

If someone was considering joining Open Studios, what advice would you give them?

This is my first time participating through the Cambridge Open Studios, from previous Open Studios I would say it's important to promote as much as you can. Through Twitter, Facebook and usually I hand deliver 600 postcards of my work within the town. Last summer 50% of my sales were all from one street, so I know the postcards work.

Visit Michelle in her studio during weeks 2 and 3

Welcome to the Cambridge Creative Network where we invite creative professionals to promote their work through our gallery, find events and opportunities and network with other like-minded people in Cambridge. Want to join us? Apply here...

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