Sophie Corrigan lives in the United Kingdom where she works as a freelance illustrator. Her quirky characterisations make people chuckle in a series of delightful puns. We the put the kettle on the stove and sat down over a cuppa with Sophie to chat about fulfilling stereotypes and the art of keeping things cute and creepy.
What’s your favourite drink at Happy Hour?
My absolute fave drink, which I only discovered very recently, was a matcha green tea latte I had in Manchester. Chai lattes are high up on my list as well. Only if you can’t really taste the coffee-ness though (it took me ages to try one as I really don’t like coffee). I’m not one for alcohol, and would prefer a tea or lovely hot cocoa any day of the week.
You live and work in the UK. Do you have any character traits that could be described as ‘typically British’?
I think I’m a very typical Brit! I drink tea constantly and have no problem with that stereotype. The kettle in my house never goes cold. I think tea is the answer to most things—things go good or bad, tea is there to enhance the situation, or to solve a problem. I’m from the North, and have quite a strong Lancashire accent too. I also adore British comedy!
How did you get into drawing, and when did you discover that you wanted to be an illustrator?
I’ve loved drawing since I was little, and was always encouraged to do so by my family, but I never really thought about what job I was going to get. I’ve always liked writing and used to write poems a lot when I was younger (they’re terrible). My older brother and sister are also very creative, so that has had a huge impact on me.
Throughout school I didn’t really know what sort of jobs drawing could get you (more education needed there methinks, schoolteachers!), so I just winged it and took subjects I knew I enjoyed. Once I got to uni I realised how many opportunities are out there, and that I could actually illustrate for a living if I was willing to push myself.
How would you describe your style? In what ways has it developed?
Cute and creepy. It started out more creepy than cute, now it’s quite a bit cuter than it is creepy (I think). I might go back to full creepy again soon. I’ve added a lot of humour to my work since I first started illustrating. I love the naïve look, and try to keep my work looking as traditional as possible, despite colouring most of it digitally. It’s very fun to experiment with characters, and I love trying to capture expressions and getting the humour I see in things across to people!
A lot of your artwork depicts cute animals. Why are they your subject of choice?
I just love animals! I never grew out of that phase when you become obsessed with them as a child. It’s always a good idea to draw what you love. Plus, cute things can bring a lot of joy into people’s lives—if I can help to do that even in a small way, that’s a job well done in my books. I’m also very keen to work on children’s books. Animals are the perfect characters for children to relate to.
Your portfolio includes a list of prestigious clients. What is your biggest challenge you when you start a new project? Where do you find your drive?
I’ve been very lucky! I’ve realised that thinking about taking on a job makes it seem a lot more challenging than it actually is; so just starting to sketch can break that cycle of worry. I always remind myself how lucky I am to be doing something I love for a living. That always gives me enough drive to do the best job I can.
If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
Very tough question. Maybe Vic Reeves, just to see the kind of stuff going on in his head! Or David Attenborough to gain some extra knowledge.
Where do you go when you need some headspace?
I usually hang out with Tilly my cockatiel—she always puts me in a good mood and brightens up my day!
Dreaming or drawing?
A lovely mix of both! Drawing what you dream and dreaming up what to draw. It’s a shame to just dream something without drawing it, I think.
Thanks Sophie !