Saturday, 4 December 2010

Fiona Stephenson interview

At Thought Bubble we spotted the work of artist Fiona Stephenson- and you can easily see why! It is wonderful stuff. We got chatting and she ended up being as lovely as her work, so we thought we'd ask her a few questions on your behalf, because we're nice like that.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I attended Barnsley art college and studied illustration at Harrow school of Art in north London. After various attempts at being a freelance illustrator in London, I saw sense and moved back north. I now live in Barnsley with my comic artist husband Dean Ormston. No kids and no pets (not after the incident with Wayne, our now deceased goldfish).

I've been painting for about 4 years, I used to do lettering for Warhammer 40,000, D.C Vertigo and Judge Dredd. I also had a stint at being a colourist. 

'A Revealing Yarn' by Fiona Stephenson
How long have you been painting? What got you started?
I was at San Diego comic con' in the late 90's and someone showed me a pack of cards by Gil Elvgren, I was inspired, I loved his style. Years later (I'm a slow burner) I decided to start a copy of one of his works, 'No you Don't', in oil on canvas, it took me a year on and off, I still have it and it's rubbish! A friend then requested I paint one for them, I did a better job and really enjoyed the process and it went from there.

What are you working on now?

At the moment I have a list of things to do, firstly Stomp a t-shirt company have asked me to paint a girl on a Lambretta, I'm about 6 months late with that. Stockings & Romance are printing a piece of my artwork on a corsalette but I haven't seen it yet. I've also just finished an Elvgren copy commission.

What is your biggest frustration as an artist?
My biggest frustration as an artist is finding good reference, I can find the pretty girls but getting a decent photo of them to work from is another matter.

What is or has been a particular highpoint for you?
My highpoint so far is difficult, off the top of my head, I'd say Bernie Dexter a pin up model from the U.S.A, I painted her and she has one of my paintings, she's been very kind and supportive. Also Steve Niles who wrote 30 Days of Night commissioned a painting from me.

'Pretty as a Picture' by Fiona Stephenson

Did your education help or hinder the work you do now?
I don't think my education helped or hindered, I had a great time at college though and would recommend it, it opens you up to different idea's and experiences.

What is your work regime if you have one?
I don't have a regime as such, I'm easily disturbed and I try to paint most days or I get out of the flow and get scared to put brush on canvas.

What else other than art is important in your life?
I love music, I'm an old punk who now goes to 2 Northern soul night's per month (Dean DJ's and I get in free). I'm eclectic and like anything from Glenn Campbell to Holst 'Planet Suit' and loads of indie stuff in between. A few years ago I got an old organ for christmas (no jokes please) with the intention of learning to play 'Come on Baby Light My Fire' by the Doors, I'm still stuck on 'Love me Tender'.

Where can people find out more about you?
You can find me at

Thank you, Fiona, for taking the time to answer our questions. Now, everybody go to her site and buy something!

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