Manchester-based illustrator Caroline Dowsett’s work is full of colour and movement, inspired by feels, sounds, words and the everyday. We talk to her about her creative process, and her new art series with Evermade.
Working with a variety of colourful palettes, in a bold, playful approach, alongside fluid shapes and words to convey messages and joy. Caroline has created a diverse body of work over the years in her recognisable style. from murals, textiles, stationery, varied packaging and branding, with no boundaries to where her work can be applied.
We catch up with Caroline about to learn more about her creative process below.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How and when did you start working as an artist?
I’m an artist from, and based in Manchester. I work from my shared studio in the NQ, perfectly situated near the best art shop going for all my creating needs. I studied Graphic Design at University, where my work at the time was heavily influenced by my love of Graphic Novels, and story telling. During this time, I started to take part in print fairs in my city, and beyond, meeting so many amazing creative friends along the way, which prompted me to take a year out and see where my style was taking me. I then moved into a studio with pals at Islington Mill, an incredible creative playground where I spent 6 years exploring my craft through painting, printing, and ceramics.
I landed with my current aesthetic in 2018, where I was hit with an illness which made moving around very difficult, brain fog, chronic pain, the whole package. I spent a lot of time in bed recovering, yet I still wanted to create, so I spent my days painting with what I had around (acrylic paint/tester pots and black ink) painting very abstract small pieces, with words in, sometimes optimistic for my own need, but also sometimes words of frustration. This work was a far cry from my previous illustrative style, but I think my abstract symptoms from this autoimmune condition heavily influenced the outcome of my pieces, they also didn’t acquire too much time/strength to create impact on the paper.
What does your day-to-day workspace look like?
My workspace is a shared studio with my friend Ben, where I have all my paints, sketchbooks, paper, canvas’ and my ipad. It’s a colourful space filled with lots of inspo from artists I admire. I enjoy both sides of my practice equally, getting lost in a painting for hours, where the process is a lot slower and I’m normally plugged into a podcast, music or audiobook, getting properly into that flow state. With my ipad, I use mostly procreate, which I enjoy the unlimited use of colour and textures.
In what ways do your surroundings inspire your shapes and colours?
I’m inspired by Manchester to create my bright colourful pieces, as it is usually pretty rainy and grey here for most of the year! A little escapism through my paintings/colour palettes. Manchester is full of lovely peeps, who most certainly inspire my work and optimistic mind set when it comes to creating my works.
What's the most challenging and most exciting part of being an artist?
The most challenging can be the thought of “as if I get to do this as a job” thing… As I come from a family where no one else has ventured professionally into the creative world, I didn’t spend a lot of time in art galleries as a child or anything like that, but I always loved making/drawing, and have luckily kept that alive into my adult life! The exciting part is meeting other creative and people through my work, by collaborating, always feeling very inspired, and also I would say the same, the fact I get to do this as my job, pretty mad.
Let’s talk about your new designs with Evermade. What is the story behind each of the 5 different designs and what links them together.
These pieces I have created for you at Evermade are all inspired by the thoughts of spring, growth and how when we plant a seed, anything is possible. The colour palette has been curated to inject the feels of spring onto your walls, no matter what time of year. To convey a message of fun and optimism too!
What music have you been working to at the moment?
I mostly listen to Charlie bones Do you show in the morn, NTS shows such as Golden Ratio Frequences, Motive, P-Rarell, Born and bread… and also Charlie XCX’s new album on repeat.
Who are some artists and illustrators you really admire at the moment?
There’s so many! This is hard, I would say Ellen Rutt, Evi O, Kelly Anna, Hattie Stewart, Keith Haring, and my pals DR.ME and Aliyah Husain always.
What long-term dreams do you have for your practice?
My long term dream is to continue to create art, develop as I go along, travel the world to collaborate!
See Caroline's Instagram here.
Shop Caroline Dowsett's exclusive limited edtion art series with Evermade here.