illustrator interview – lord whitney

:: by Lizzie


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

Definitely old school. Our work is very hands on, we like to use traditional methods like screen printing and letterpress, as well as real film and polaroids for photography. They all add to the visual aesthetic which makes up Lord Whitney’s style. Laptops are only really used for research and basic editing.


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

The print is based on old school anatomical posters that you might see on a classroom or museum wall. It was put together in a traditional Lord Whitney style, using mostly found objects and then screen printed as a final piece.


LordWhitney_Anatomy of a Lion_ screenprint_border copy


What is your creative process?

Kettle on, open biccies, chat and let the ideas flow. The collaborative core of the process is a very playful one and includes a lot of researching exciting imagery and sourcing props at our favourite charity shops.


Does your work represent your personality?

Definitely – it doesn’t take itself too seriously, is playful, has a sense of both humour and nostalgia. We never want to do things a normal way, even if it’s not the easiest or cheapest route, which like us in general.


Send in a picture of your desk now and describe your studio space.

Our studio is an organised mess of treasures and trinkets, props and costume on the top floor of an old mill. We’re collectors – of shell covered items, ships lanterns, fur coats the list goes on…




What’s your earliest memory of drawing/creating?

Rebekah Whitney: Making paper people. Drawing and cutting out little families made of paper and organising them on the floor and making them talk. I just kept making more and more, it became a slight obsession!

Amy Lord: Making a volcano out of paper mache with real foaming lava. I still think it’s my greatest achievement to date!


Did you have an imaginary friend?

Rebekah Whitney: No, I had 3 brothers!

Amy Lord: I just made toys into elaborate characters and got really attached to objects.


Did you know at school what you wanted to be?

YES! We both wanted to be marine biologists (we didn’t go to school together) and both loved dolphins.


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

That it’s OK to do what you want to do, you definitely don’t get told that enough when you’re younger. Also don’t paint cardboard with poster paint, it curls like crazy!


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

Probably red. It’s bright, stand outs, is playful and has an air of aristocracy about it which works well with a lot of themes we cover.


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

Amy Lord: The Swan scarf. Why not?

Rebekah Whitney: Extendable metre ruler, always handy!