illustrator interview – stacie swift

:: by Lizzie


Do you use old school or new school tools when creating your work?

I use a bit of both. Pretty much all of my work starts out as a pencil, then pen, drawings. Once I am happy with the black and white drawn images I add colour and create compositions digitally.


Show and tell your piece of work. Describe your submission for Old School.

My submission to the Old School theme was a series of alphabet prints inspired by vintage flashcards. I think they are quite a good summary of my work as a whole; bright, bold and fun – and hopefully they are just as appealing to adults as they are to children.




What is your creative process?

All of my work starts out as a rough idea in a sketchbook or on a loose sheet of paper. I’m not one of these people who have beautifully presented sketchbooks! Scribbled roughs are usually followed by some internet research for image references from which I begin to make pencil drawings. When I am happy with those I reproduce a final version of the drawing in black fineliner and scan the images into Photoshop to colour, edit and compose my finished artwork.




Does your work represent your personality?

I’d like to think that my sentimental nature and sense of humour come across in my work so hopefully they are representative of those elements of my personality.


Describe your studio space.

My studio at the minute is a big white box! Having recently moved, the walls have yet to have any colour on them and nothing is quite finished. Eventually I’d like this studio space to have lots of well- designed storage and a bit more personality but for now it’s more function over style – though the view out on to fields, chickens and a horse more than make up for this!


What’s your earliest memory of drawing/creating?

When I was growing up, every Saturday we would spend the day with my Nanny Mary who lived a road away from us. She was a brilliant, straight-talking woman with a Scottish accent she never lost even though she’d spent 70 odd years in London. From the minute we could hold pens she was keeping us quiet by telling us to ‘draw a little man’ on the back of her placemats. I think the novelty of being able to draw on someone’s tableware made the creative process even more enjoyable.


Did you have an imaginary friend?

I don’t remember having an imaginary friend; my dad used to make up lots of stories about animals he’d met on his day at work and have me mesmerised for hours with their adventures so I think my imagination tend to stray toward characterful animals even then…


Did you know at school what you wanted to be?

When I was very little I wanted to be a hot dog lady. Then I wanted to be a journalist. Then a lingerie designer. I hadn’t even considered illustration as an option until I was almost 20 and when I was 23 that I went back to study illustration.


What advice would you give now to your ‘old school self’?

The advice I would give to my old school self would be to be more confident – and not to worry, it will all work out in the end!


Smug’s colour is yellow. What colour best represents you?

I think my colour is probably a teal blue. I use it a lot in my artwork and I think it’s a good strong colour that can be both sensible and a bit more fun.


If you had to choose one Smug product what would it be?

Argh, I find it so hard to limit myself to one. The vintage jumper toys are a long-time favourite though. Especially the pigs.



smug 012


SMUG was the first ever shop to carry Stacie’s work and we’re proud to have several exclusives designed for us by her. The Lizzie’s Favourite Things Mini Print Set pictured above, and our I Feel Smug Card can both be found in store and online.  Stacie is also running a workshop upstairs at SMUG, with Emma Block, called ‘Insiders Guide to a Career in Illustration’ and you can buy tickets here.



insiders guide