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Heads up! This is an older article which has been moved over from our old blog. As a result, some of the styling on this page might be a little off.

At Papergang HQ we love seeing all sorts of illustration and design. With this in mind we thought the lovely Papergang Blog could be a platform that allows our audience to not only see cool stationery but also cool creatives!

Today we are featuring the lovely Grace Ives-Farren or “The Mighty Ink” as she’s otherwise known. Based in Southampton, Grace has been dabbling in the field of illustration for quite a while. She graduated in 2015 from the Winchester School Of Art in Graphic Arts - Illustration. She has her own wonderful shop on Etsy in which she stocks the likes of tote bags and cute pencil cases. We decided to sit down with Grace and have a lovely chat with her and her work!

Hello Grace it’s lovely to meet you!

First of all we noticed that you like to go by the handle of “The Mighty Ink”, what inspired your brand name and how long have you been creating for?! Aswell as this, do you have any qualifications in design and if so what are they and how have they helped you become the creative you are today?

I went to Winchester School Of Art thinking I wanted to be a Graphic Designer but decided I wanted to draw more so specialised in Illustration. Graduating in 2015 with a degree in Graphic Arts - Illustration.

I created my little brand name ‘The Mighty Ink’ about 4 years ago whilst in my 2nd year of Uni. At this point I had just discovered the brush ink pen and was obsessed with using it in all of my work. I loved the raw textures it created. The simple if not slightly disjointed shapes and variety of lines you could create with it. So my love of my ink brush pen went on to become the main influence of my name The Mighty Ink.

You have a beautiful use of pattern and mark making, how do you start your process and how do you go about creating your designs? Is there anything that sparks your inspiration or do you just generate ideas at random?

I like to pick a theme to set myself for each illustration, for example my latest pattern of the boats. Honestly other than that, what I choose to draw usually stems from what I like or what interests me. I really enjoy drawing animals and things from nature as they have the best inspiration for textures and marking making.

Sometimes what I draw is influenced by people around me or who see my work and go “Hey, you know what would be good? A cat pattern” Or something like that. I like to see what’s trending in terms or themes sometimes to see what might be open to a wider audience. After that I just draw using a mixture of materials until I have something I can compile into a finished drawing, as I like drawing in pieces so they can be manipulated and put together.

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What are your favourite things to illustrate at the moment?! We love your crystal patterns as they show a way of expressing the object without directly drawing it, which shows signs of a pro!

Aw gee thanks! I must say I’ve gone back to drawing crystals at the moment as I think there’s something else to develop with that but I must say I also love drawing from film at the moment. I’m compiling a personal project where I draw a scene from 50 of my favourite films so watch this space!

We’re looking forward to that Grace!

We love anything ceramic here at Papergang HQ and your work is no exception. What got you into using clay and would you say it’s one of your favourite forms of media to work with?

I started using clay in my final Uni project about childhood memories. I decided to create 3D Models that looked like children’s toys as a way of depicting the memories and since then it’s stuck! Clay has become a brilliant way of creating something that replicates my illustrations on a piece of paper to something more 3D and tactile. They’re also a good way of creating scenes and scenarios with the characters. As a kid I used to collect figurines of characters from my favourite movies and cartoons and I guess this has helped my love of this.

Finally! Who would you say are your favourite influencers in the creative-sphere?

There are two artists that have particularly stuck with me or influenced me and that’s Oliver Jeffers - with his use of colour and mixed materials and Chloe Regan. Chloe was one of the tutors in my 2nd year at university; I think her way working where she does reportage illustration and drawing on-the-go really helped me understand and appreciate things – that I don't need to draw things as precisely as they appear. This went hand in hand with exploring mark making and different ways of using materials that we see today.

You can follow Grace on Facebook - Grace-Ives-Farren-Illustration
And check out her Etsy shop – TheMightyInkStudio

If you’re a creative with something to share, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Check out our ‘contact’ page for more information!