Laura Callaghan Quotes

Laura Callaghan is a London-based illustrator. Her images caught my eye with the expressive use of patterns and color. She incorporates fashion and surface design influences in her work. Her characters are strong, sophisticated women, who love literature. I was intrigued by her process and researched more information about it. Below are excerpts from various interviews.

Laura Callaghan,  The Pink Room .

Laura Callaghan, The Pink Room.

Laura Callaghan,  for NYLON-magazine .

Laura Callaghan, for NYLON-magazine.

First, Laura approaches a brief or editorial comission by researching and collating reference images. She uses Pinterest to create her mood boards.

I’m not someone who draws out lots of thumbnails, I’m too impatient so usually dive straight in to sketching and figure out layout and composition by trial and error.
— Laura Callaghan, MagCulture, 2015.

I found this quote particularly relevant to my own practice where I rarely sketch or plan complete compositions. Usually, I draw various elements on paper separately and then I assemble them in Adobe Illustrator using a trial and error method and intuitive placement. 

Laura creates an authentic feel to her images by imagining a backstory.

My illustrations are very characters-based, so I always begin with an idea of who that person might be, their back story or mood - it keeps things interesting for me and I think it adds to the final atmosphere of a piece. I try to cram as many details as possible into an illustration: photographs, handwritten notes, hidden details and clues about the characters that occupy them. It makes the viewer look closely at the image and perhaps come up with a back story of their own.
— Laura Callaghan,, 2013.

On the question, why she draws only women, she replies:

Women inspire me and I relate to women, so for me they make the most interesting subjects. When it comes to narrative work, the stories I want to tell are from a female perspective. I think ample space is given to male stories and characters within comics and illustration and I don’t really feel a need to contribute to that.
— Laura Callagan,, 2015

 Callaghan keeps an active online presence and she often is contacted by art directors, who first noted her work online.