Jemma Morgan - Dorkface

Where did you you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist? Have you always been creative?
Born and still living in Liverpool, and I feel really lucky as I think it's a really creative city. I've always been attracted to anything creative even as a kid, but I definitely didn't always think I'd end up doing this. I wanted to be a writer as a kid, then I envisioned being a photographer through my teens, and now all I think about is illustration. 

How did you develop your skills? Did you study art in school or are you self taught? 
After high school I decided to study Art and Design at college; taking classes on Fine Art, Textiles, Contextual Studies, Photography and Graphic Design. I then went onto University, but honestly I hated it. I dropped out in my second year and I've not regretted it once. I still loved Art, but the course I was on just wasn't for me.

Have your family and friends always been supportive in your artistic path, or has it been challenging for them to understand your choice?
Oh no way, haha! My mum told me I was being an idiot for not taking something like English Lit/Psychology (my other considerations!) at college. She's very supportive these days, she's really glad I'm doing something I love.

What was your strongest influence you had growing up (artists, cartoons, films, comics, etc..)?
I loved Guerilla art, zines, comics and photography. I'm really attracted to raw, messy, rough around the edges types of work especially; and these all contributed to my own style forming.

Do you have a routine when sitting down ready to get creative?
No not at all actually! I just do whatever I fancy, I need that freedom. As soon as something feels routine, it becomes a chore for me. I love trying out new styles and methods.

What part of the creative process is the easiest, what part is the hardest and what part is the most fun?
Easiest is probably when I have my main idea planned out and I get to just add the finishing touches; whether it be layering, colouring, whatever. The hardest is when you FIRST start work, it can be a little daunting when you have an idea in your head and you're trying to execute it well. And the most fun? Definitely the brain storming process! :)

Have you worked on any exciting projects in the past and are you working on at the moment (if you can tell us)?
Past projects I've absolutely adored have been creating illustrations for a stationery company and working on zines with friends. More recently I'm finding so much joy creating a huge sticker collection and I have exciting plans I'm working on for end of the year projects! I can't say more, sorry! Haha.

Do you have a long-term career goal and what would your dream project be?
I don't, and this always makes me feel guilty! I feel like I should be planning way more ahead, like a grown up. But honestly I'm such a spontaneous person mostly, going from project to project and just 'riding the wave'. Dream projects would be to create and sell my own monthly zine successfully, OR possibly have my own stationery line. Imagine how awesome that would be?!

Would you prefer to work for a company or work as a freelancer? And why?
Working for a company has SO many perks, but I genuinely feel so happy as a freelancer right now. I love being my own boss and making all the decisions myself. It's really taught me more about myself and how I work. I've realised as much as I'm a social person and love being with others; I really do work best alone. I'm a control freak!

What advise would you give to an artist who is dealing with an art-block? What do you do to keep yourself creative and boost your imagination?
I like to try something completely new when I feel like this. Even if it's something simple, or something I KNOW I'll be bad at; because it get's rid of all the pressure! So make a simple collage using magazines, try out a new medium; charcoal, watercolour, digital art. Explore new artists and remind yourself why you love to do what you do. A great playlist, Pinterest and chatting to other creatives can also be super helpful.
 

Do you have a favourite subject to draw? If so, what makes it so special?
I love drawing my own characters, I get to play god haha. I like making up a whole story and personality for each character as I'm putting them together and it makes it extra special when you finish them.

Who are the artists that inspire you the most today? And why?
I get really psyched about really colourful work, and there are a few photographers who I admire even though I work in a totally different medium; Petra Collins, Laurence Philomene, Eleanor Hardwick (who also Illustrates).

I also follow a buttload of amazing illustrators and artists on Instagram who excite me and keep me motivated (like you Mark!).

Do you have something that you've designed that you are most proud of?
Hmmm... to be honest nothing particular comes to mind. I'm so fickle and my mood and motivation changes daily, so I'm always creating new work. It becomes my sole focus and the thing I'm happiest with, until I'm 'done' and then I really do move on. There's always something new I love more. Is that terrible? Haha.

If you had to give 1 piece of advice to someone just getting started in the creative field, what would it be?
Play to your strengths, don't be afraid to try new things, surround yourself with people who inspire you.

Finally, where can we find you and your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
Sometimes I share my creative process on my blog - www.dorkface.co.uk, a lot of the time I post work to Instagram - @dorkfaceblog, and you can find prints and sticker designs I'm selling in my Etsy store