Fay Ford

Fay studied Printed Textile Design at Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design in London and worked for many years in-house as a textile designer at both Designers Guild and Diane Harrison Designs.
She paints artwork by hand, using pretty much anything from gouache, watercolour and acrylics to coloured pencils and inks, before using digital tools to finish things off, retaining a strong hand drawn feel.






Where do you live?
I live in the UK. I split my time between the countryside in Oxfordshire, west of London, and on the coast in Cornwall in the South West.

Where have you lived?
I grew up in London, went to college at St Martin’s in London and then worked in Manchester and London. I’ve also lived in Seattle in the USA.

What medium do you use?
I trained as a textile designer when traditional painting was the only way! I still love to paint and draw by hand, and I use pretty much everything, gouache, watercolour, inks, acrylics and colour pencils, for my artwork and then use digital to finish things off. It took me a looooog time to get used to working digitally, but I’ve got my combined techniques working now, and it means my work retains a strong hand drawn feel.

How do you stay inspired?
The natural world around me is a great source of inspiration, I get loads of ideas just being outside. I’m also extremely lucky to be close to London with its wealth of galleries, museums and regular exhibitions, which always inspire me.

Where do you buy your art supplies?
Since my local art shop closed it’s mainly online (Cass Art Supplies). When I’m in London a treat is to visit L. Cornelissen & Son near the British Museum. I could live in that shop (and I’d be skint)!

What color combination are you most excited about right now?
Lots of Pink & Green.

If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
A garden designer, or a florist, or an interior designer.

Name something you do in your spare time.
I love walking with Ewok and Yogi, our two Labradoodles. Although it’s more like they take me for a walk.

What’s the strangest work experience you’ve ever had?
Before college I pushed the tea trolley around the Ford car plant in Dagenham, making sandwiches and serving drinks for the workers on the production line. It was a bit of a shock going from that to Central St Martins School of Art and Design.

What recent book do you recommend for a good read?
Anything with pictures!!!

What show have you binge-watched?
The Bridge. I love Scandi-noir, preferably with subtitles and an off-screen murder or two to solve. One day I’ll binge- watch Inspector Morse.

Do you wear shoes when you do art?
Slippers, always slippers! (Doesn’t everyone wear slippers when they paint?)

What do you listen to while you work?
Whatever Spotify has queued for me. Right now it’s a lot of Waxahatchee, Suzanne Vega and Elvis.

If you could eat only one food, what would it be?
Moules frites. In a beautiful cafe somewhere.

How do you take your coffee?

What question would you most like to be asked?
Are those Australian Labradoodles? Can you tell me all about them in intricate details, we have all day to chat…

What was your favorite illustration assignment?
A set of locally themed murals for a sheltered housing development. It was a challenge to work at scale (they covered the elevator lobbies on each floor), and a huge privilege to develop something to bring joy from the outside to the inside spaces for the residents.

Client List

Cinnamon Joe Studio
Designers Guild
Diane Harrison Designs
Environmental Funders Network
Flippa Interiors

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