Lydia Graves

I grew up just outside of Atlanta Georgia, got a BFA in drawing and painting, and then became a nanny and portrait painter. Now I live in Birmingham Alabama with my little family. While working on my master’s degree in Art Education, I discovered the world of illustration and fell madly in love. I love sweet treats, salty treats, iced coffee, and fizzy water….all at the same time and independently.

Graves Headshot


Where do you live?
Birmingham, Alabama

Where have you lived?
I grew up in Marietta Georgia, just north of Atlanta. I lived in Atlanta for all of my adult life until 2016 when I moved to Birmingham for my husband’s job.

What medium do you use?
I primarily use Procreate for digital work. I use gouache and acrylic when I create traditional work.

How do you stay inspired?
I am a curious person by nature. I love to learn! I travel as much as my wallet will allow. I enjoy going to museums and galleries. I especially love all things vintage–postcards, toys, home decor, fashion, etc.

Where do you buy your art supplies?
If I am buying traditional media, I go to my local art store Alabama Art Supply.

What color combination are you most excited about right now?
I am obsessed with every shade of pink, especially  “blush” and “bashful”! (Any Steel Magnolia fans out there?) I have also been using a lot of deep blues and yellows lately. If anyone asks what my favorite color is, I just tell them that it’s “rainbow”.

Why do you like being an illustrator in 15 words or less?
I like being an illustrator because it is meditative and involves a lot of problem-solving.

If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
A dermatologist! Dr. Pimple Popper is my favorite but I don’t want to go to medical school.

What illustration job would you love to get (your dream job)?
My dream job would be to write and illustrate a children’s book that gets turned into a TV series.

Where would you like to travel to next?
I would love to go to Thailand or Japan or Spain or Egypt. Really I just want to go everywhere.

What podcasts do you like?
My current favorites are Windowsill Chats, Creative Pep Talk, The Daily, and Jeff Lewis Live.

What show have you binge-watched?
I am currently re-binge watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Peacock. I am a sucker for all of the Bravo shows.

What’s your favorite movie?
It’s a tie between “Troop Beverly Hills” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.

Who is your favorite cartoon character?
I love the Australian animated series “Bluey”. The parents are hilarious and it’s a feel good show to watch with my son.

What is your favorite cheese?
I’ve never met a cheese that I didn’t like but since I have to pick a favorite I would say gouda.

If you could name a nail polish, what would you name it?
Sausage toes! LOL!

What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to tv shows and podcasts for the most part. On occasion I will listen to music. My favorite musicians are David Bazan and Sufjan Stevens.

What artist are you reincarnated from?
I am not sure that my artwork reflects this, but I would like to think that Mary Blair and Johannes Vermeer are my ancestors.

What’s your middle name?

What do you wish your middle name was?
Anne- I like having my middle initial as an “A” and my mother’s middle name was Anne.

If you could eat only one food, what would it be?

How do you stay in shape?
In the summer, I swim with my son several days a week. Otherwise I am off and on with working out. I like healthy foods and have recently started to cook a little more.

How don’t you stay in shape?
I have a giant sweet tooth…and salty tooth. I love junk food. I would also consider myself to be an inside kind of person. I enjoy sitting on my couch and drawing for hours at a time.

What is your current favorite font?
Bodoni is a classic. I like serifs and sans serifs that look a little retro.

How do you take your coffee?
I have been drinking iced oatmilk lattes lately.

Whom would you like to meet?
Joe Biden

What was your favorite illustration assignment?
I am obsessed with MATS My Toy Pitch assignments. My favorite was my Groovy Getaway playset.

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