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Courtney Burnan On Being A Creative - Ottoman Hands
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Courtney Burnan On Being A Creative

  • 2
  • August 4, 2015

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We catch up with Courtney Burnan our featured illustrator this week…


What have you been up to this summer? – I’ve been so busy this summer illustrating at any opportunity I get, along working full time. I went to Paris with my mum which was lovely and spent so much time at the Louvre which is honestly the most mesmorising place I’ve ever been . I’ve also been home, to the Isle of Wight, for the first time in months , I absolutely love the countryside and beaches.

What was it like being part of the UAL which is such a creative hub in London? – I’ve attended both Wimbedon College of Art and London College of Fashion, and I feel incredibly lucky to be at UAL. The tutors have such amazing experience and I’ve had such great opportunities . I love being in London with with so many galleries and museums only a tube ride away the National Portrait Gallery would have to be my favourite.

Do you feel creatives should go to university or is it more about experiences and internships? – Going to university gives you three years to entirely dedicate to improving your work that’s a pretty amazing thing in itself. University is also more then just learning, it also teaches you how to work to a deadline and all the other stuff that helps you become an adult. Experiences and internships happen at university I’m probably incredibly biased but I think if you can, go to university.

Any advice you cold give to people wanting to go into illustration or a creative career ? – Do a foundation, and take it seriously. There are so many skills that you learn on a foundation that could take you down a completely new path that would never have occurred to you before. For people wanting to study something creative it has to be more then just a job but something that you honestly love doing, so do more then just your course work but create because you want to.

What are you currently working on ? – I’m just starting my summer project which focuses around the role of gender. It’s a relatively new to the public eye, and I have to admit growing up I didn’t put too much thought into gender stereotypes. Now that I have been been making myself more aware I release that gender roles deeply set into our society. I just accepted that girls were made of sugar and spice and all things nice, and boys were made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails. With this project I’m trying to unravel these deeply ingrained ideas and question what society would be like without them.

How would you describe your illustration style?- It varies a lot, I mainly use water colour and dip pen. I love to do everything by hand I think it’s more honest.

What is it that inspires you the most ? – I find inspiration in weird and unusual things that stick out from the crowd. In terms of people I love Yo-landi from Die Antwoord she has such a unique style.

Last but not least, what is your favourite pieces of Ottoman Hands jewellery – It would be so hard to choose just one! I love the leaf earrings, They have such a delicate feel to them, but I also love labrodite it has such a beautiful aesthetic, especially the chokers!

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