Get ready to live your best life, by way of the unicorn!
Wouldn’t it be brilliant if you could turn to a unicorn best friend for advice when ‘adulting’ got too much? Eat My Glitter Dust imagines a world where these fabulous creatures are alive in more than our imaginations and can teach us how to bring a bit of sparkle and sass into our everyday lives.
Beautifully illustrated by artist Lucy Kirk (who is also a ceramist), this self-care guide is packed with funny, motivating quotes and advice about love, friendship, work, and the all-important chill time. Eat My Glitter Dust will remind you to be fabulous in every way, to work hard but play harder, celebrate the sweet things in life (coffee, doughnuts, friends), and to remember to sashay every day.
Tell me about yourself! Who is the artist behind Lucy Kirk and how do you identify?
I grew up on a farm in Nottinghamshire, my Dad is a dairy farmer. I found out a few years ago I’m lactose intolerant which is pretty ironic, and unfortunate I can’t take advantage of all that free milk. I left Nottingham to study illustration in Brighton. I arrived at uni with a van full of stuff and my housemates quickly named me ‘Crafty Kirk’ so that gives you an idea of my vibe at uni. Currently I live in Bristol in an old Victorian police station with my girlfriend Ruby, who’s also an illustrator, and our dog Eddie. I love traveling and seeing new places, I really like to explore cities and eat my way around different neighbourhoods. I haven’t been able to do that this year for obvious reasons!
What is the idea behind your book and what shall we expect to see?
The creative brief from Michael O’Mara was to create something which felt like advice from a supportive sibling or friend – the one that cheers you on and helps you get through tough times, and encourages you to put yourself out there. Funnily enough, Michael O’Mara is the UK’s number one unicorn publisher and we agreed that they encapsulated the spirit of what the book was trying to say: be bold, bright and carefree, as well as sparkly and a bit special!
What is the message you want to spread with your book?
I wanted my illustrations to really bring the message of the book to life: to celebrate authenticity and embracing difference. Eat My Glitter Dust is a handbook for anyone who wants to be reminded that they are awesome, every day, no matter what. I hope my artwork gives just one person the confidence to go after what they want – and to feel happy within themselves.
You have worked with several brands including Alexander McQueen, Kiehl’s, Oprah’s Bookclub, MAC, Refinery29, TRESemmé, Grindr, Camden Brewery, Jamie Cullum, Lush, Coal Yard Drops and Facebook. How did you manage to collaborate with such big names?
I have great agents! Snyder New York women always come through. That paired with some good luck! I also think Instagram is great for sharing your work and also connecting you with brands and collaborators.
Which of these collaborations were the most special to you?
I really loved working on the McQueen scarves. I think it was one of my first major jobs out of uni and it was pretty much a dream client. Also my recent brand collaboration for pride with Kiehl’s was super fun to illustrate, I really enjoyed creating all the characters. Kiehl’s was also a bucket-list client!
Tell me about your work with Grindr. What were you asked to do and how easy was to illustrate naked sexy lgbtq+ men?
I collaborated with Grindr for their online digital magazine INTO. It was a magazine for the modern queer world, but sadly it’s ended now. I did some really fun article headers and actually unsurprisingly it was very easy to draw naked sexy lgbtq+ people. If you’ve seen any of my ceramics its probably up there with one of my most common themes! Who doesn’t love a naked man in pants?
Where do you find your inspiration?
I love folk/outsider art. Anything craft based or self taught I always find super inspiring. I’d say I’m a collector/hoarder so have a lot of reference from books and objects. I also love Pinterest as it’s a great way to collate imagery and discover new things.
How would you describe your work?
Playful, with an edgy humour.
What do you most enjoy sketching and drawing?
I love drawing big cats, angry women and muscly men.
Has social media helped your account and your work?
Yes! I think it’s become normal practise for clients to find new artists via social media platforms. A high percentage will reference my nstagram when starting new work. I think it’s good to also remember though that as much as it helps it’s also not everything and to not worry too much about likes or followers.
Apart from an illustrator you are also a ceramist! What do you enjoy most?
I love the faster pace of illustration but the unpredictability of ceramics. I don’t think I could do either without the other.
What is the best compliment you received?
I used to live in London and I regularly did a great market called the DIY Art Market. I was standing at my stall and a small boy walked by and turned to his mum and said “this is the worst art I have ever seen”.
What has been the funniest request from a fan?
I’d done quite a few unique ceramic commissions. I remember I once made a pair of newlyweds in full wedding outfits but also on ski’s. Although the weirder the better, I think!
What are your role models?
My dog Eddie, because he’s a good judge of character and doesn’t take any crap.
Which other artists do you admire?
There’s too many! But here’s a few I love: John Broadley, Tara Booth, Bill Rebholz, Ruth Mora and Pippa Toole.
What technique do you use?
For both illustration and ceramics all my work starts as an ink drawing by paintbrush. I’ve tried other methods but I always go back to this. Then my colour editing is done by ipad.
How has the global pandemic affected you and your work?
Like most I’ve changed from a studio to working from home. There’s also a lot more drawings of people in masks!
What shall we expect from you in the future?
I’m working on new ceramics and clothing/products for my website and will hopefully be launching in the new year. Possibly with a few things later this year. Also continuing being represented by the amazing Snyder New York and hopefully lots more fun and varied collaborations! If you want to keep up to date my instagram is: @lucykirk