London artist Lauren Mortimer uses her outstanding skills with the mechanical pencil to create incredibly realistic illustrations, but with a deft conceptual twist turns them into something softly surreal. The result is a highly individual style, which helps her clients’ projects stand out from the rest with their own unique atmosphere.
Lauren feels inspired and content when she’s sitting in a park, looking at birds through a pair of binoculars, listening to folk music or sketching. However, she enjoys the vibrancy of city life, and is influenced by the Surrealist movement and by the artist Marcel Dzama. Lauren studied Fashion Communication with Promotion at Central Saint Martins, but decided illustration would be her career. Recent highlights include her illustrated series of cocktail recipe books with Running Press.
Lauren draws on cotton paper using a variety of 0.3 mechanical pencils. However, she also has a Wacom Cintiq tablet, which gives her an alternative way of sketching and working out her compositions. When she’s happy with something, she’ll print it out, trace it and rework it in pencil
The pencil is dominant in Lauren’s work, and with her incredible shading skills little or no colour is needed. Her style often maintains a gentle warmth, despite that touch of the surreal. A brain-shaped soft ice cream, with a Flake, anyone?
Lauren’s clients include Penguin, Nike, the BBC, Nespresso, Running Press, Le Monde, Vanity Fair, Scholastic, Sony, the BBC and more.