Molly Russon

We are really getting into summer now..

We have a brand new Full Artist Feature by talented Illustration Molly Russon! Keep Reading to find out more…

Q1: What is your Name, Age, and Where are you based?

I’m Molly Russon, I’m 22 and I’m an illustrator based in London.

Q2: How did you first get into your creative practice/ work?

A: I’ve always been interested in art and I think just had it in my head that art was what I was going to do. My mum is an artist, so I grew up drawing and painting, but I think I wanted to Illustration when I realised that working with lots of different clients means you can work on so many different sorts of projects. I’m one of those people that wants to do everything, so the fact illustration gets used in so many ways really appeals to me!

Q3: Are there any main or overarching themes you explore in your work?

A: I don’t really purposefully have themes in my work, but I always want to make work that kind of points at maybe the mundane, ordinary or the stuff we take for granted, and says ‘ah, that’s a weird/beautiful/funny thing’. 

I also really love history and want to do more work telling stories about people from the past and how they lived their lives as it really interests me. I’ve done a few projects looking at figures from the past. My book about Alfred Wallis which looked at his work but also his battle with mental health, and also the LGBT lives of the Bloomsbury Group. Often the stories that don’t get told interest me a lot.

Q4: How has the COVID- 19 Pandemic affected your work?

A: Lockdown has allowed it to just be me and my work, and that has been really good. I think because I’m quite good at comparing my work to others, having this time to just focus a bit more has been great. Also being forced to get into a good routine and work out how to work from home- as that would be the situation for me Covid or no Covid- has been really useful in setting myself up for being a freelancer after uni!

Q5: Highlight one of your biggest inspirations!

A: I suppose I kind of have to say Alfred Wallis. I’m obsessed with him. Then I wrote about his work and life and that got worse. He’s a folk artist – so completely untrained – and he just communicates his love, obsession, knowledge and concern for the sea and boats in a way that I don’t think any trained artist could. It’s that translation of passion and a point of view into art, that I would love to be able to do. For it to come completely from someone’s heart and to be able to feel that as another person is amazing to me, and often kind of dampened by training a lot of the time. It’s very rare to find trained artists that are able to do that.

Alfred Wallis
The Blue Ship

Q6: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

A: I don’t know really. Part of me wants to just sing the lyrics to the Noah and the Whale song as a response instead ! I do have things I’d like to do though. I’d liked to have worked on illustration jobs for magazines or publications by then. That’s one place I’d like to see my illustrations. I also would like to have maybe written or illustrated another book? Ive got a few ideas so maybe by then I would have decided which one to do. I also love the idea of working with other people such as writers on collaborative projects. Also ceramics, I hope I get access to doing that again soon. Apart from that in five years I’d like to maybe have a studio space somewhere!

Q7: If you could share a message with the world, what would it be?

A: I think probably just be compassionate. To others and especially to yourself. How you treat yourself will help your interactions with others. Respect yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself time to learn and grow. Listen to yourself. Once you’re doing all that for yourself you can do all that for others. So everyone should start there. 

Illustration by Molly Russon
Illustration by Molly Russon
Illustration by Molly Russon

You can find more of molly’s GORGE art work on her Instagram! And also her Website