Interview: Ashley Le Quere on Pattern Design and Illustration, Inspiring Instagram Feeds, and Relaxation

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Ashley Le Quere is a surface pattern designer and illustrator based in London, creating beautiful flowing and inky designs. We had a quick chat about her work, the artists she looks at to get inspired, and the cycle of self-doubt that comes when working on a project. I hope you enjoy finding out about Ashley as much as I did!

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Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Ashley! Would you like to introduce yourself and what you do? 

Ashley Le Quere:
Hi, my name is Ashley Le Quere, I am a London-based surface pattern designer. and illustrator. 

Magic & Musings:
If you could describe your illustration style in three words, what would they be?

Ashley Le Quere:
Inky, flow, and happy.

Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into illustration? Was it something that was important to you in your childhood?

Ashley Le Quere:
I was always drawing as a child! My mum recently sent me a few illustration I created when I was really young, which made me laugh a lot but I actually liked them! I got into illustration at university. I was taking an art foundation course to try and find out what direction I wanted to go in, but I was struggling to make a decision. I went to see the head of our year and she immediately said my sketch books were full of illustrations… so I guess that was it!


Magic & Musings:
Have you received any formal art or illustration training?

Ashley Le Quere:
I studied illustration at the University of the West of England, but my pattern design has been mainly self-taught. I guess they go hand-in-hand.

Magic & Musings:
When did you first start sharing your illustrations online and did you have to overcome any self-confidence barriers in order to get to that place?

Ashley Le Quere:
Oh my gosh! All the time I am filled with self doubt! A project usually goes full circle, starting with excitement, them being anxious that it's not good, to loving it again. 

Magic & Musings:
On Magic & Musings I love talking about female-identifying and non-binary artists and their work. Which female artists, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look to when you need some inspiration or motivation?

Ashley Le Quere:
Yes, I totally do look to other illustrator, designers, and photographers to feel inspired! I have filled my Instagram with designers that I love to look at every day. Here are a few of my faves - Rose Blake, Louise Lockheart, Lisa Congdon.

Magic & Musings:
What are your favourite tools you use to create your art? Are there any books on creativity and/or working for yourself you would recommend to others?

Ashley Le Quere:
I love to create with ink. I love how it flows and I guess I feel most comfortable with it. 
A book I'm reading at the moment is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert! That I am finding really inspiring! I would totally recommend it!

Magic & Musings:
Oh, I adore Big Magic!
Of all of your illustrations, which are you happiest with and why?

Ashley Le Quere:
That is a hard one to choose! At the moment I would say my Pool People designs. It was designed while I was living in Melbourne, Australia and I guess I'm feeling a bit nostalgic for that place at the moment.



Magic & Musings:
I’m interested in knowing how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done? A specific hot drink? A relaxing album?

Ashley Le Quere:
Well, I do like to listen to one particular set of books while I work… but I think when I tell people they think I'm kind of crazy, but here we go! I listen to Harry Potter when I work, every day! Yup, I have listen to them all properly thousands of times, but it helps me tune out the other noise! 

Magic & Musings:
Oh wow, I love that! I can totally see how that would work.
Have you ever explored working in another medium?

Ashley Le Quere:
I have recently started to work in gouache and really love it! I feels like the complete opposite to ink. It makes a very solid colour and great to layer over! 

Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively?

Ashley Le Quere:
I went though this recently and found it really hard to just relax! I tend to get guilty if I don't create and put pressure on myself (which doesn't help at all). So I guess I will have to say, just try and relax, do things that will make you happy!

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out working in this field?

Ashley Le Quere:
It's going to be hard, but keep going! I have nearly given up so many times but soooo glad that I never actually did!


Magic & Musings:
Fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you’ve enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song?

Ashley Le Quere:
I would recommend Big Magic for sure! One of my favourite books of all time is Wuthering Heights but I think that is a good, cozy winter book! I'm also reading Caitlin Moran's book Moranifesto at the moment, which is great fun, but also has loads of great political points! 

Magic & Musings:
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work?

Ashley Le Quere:
You can find my website at www.ashleylequere.com. I post a lot of my sketchbook on my Instagram - @ashleylequere. Thank you for taking the time to interview me, its been a pleasure :)

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