Artist Feature with Alice Potter
As part of our ongoing blog series of Artist Features, we are profiling the incredible illustrators that help bring Piccolina to life. For our second installment, we talked to Alice Potter, the artist behind many of your favorite Trailblazer portraits like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Frida Kahlo, Jane Goodall, and more. Alice is a children's book illustrator and surface pattern from London, UK whose clients have included Igloo Books, Harper Collins, Hallmark, and more. Alice divides her time between working on new projects and playing mom to her daughter Pipper.
Tell us how you got into art and illustration.
I studied Textile Design at University and it was there that my work became more illustrative. When I graduated I became more interested in the field of illustration and decided to explore it as my career. Taking a short course in the subject helped me to clarify this decision and also guided me in the creation of my first portfolio of work.
You illustrated Jane Goodall. Tell us what she means to you, what inspires you about her the most, what we can take away from her today, etc.
My illustration of Jane Goodall is probably my favourite. She was a pioneer in her field and her knowledge of primates hasn't really been equalled in all the years she has been working. I recently listened to her on a science podcast that I listen to, and she struck me to be a funny, charismatic woman who shows so much devotion to primatology. Jane went off to observe the primates of Gombe in her early 20s. Her tenacity and bravery is something to live by.
What did art mean to you as a kid? What does it mean to you now?
Growing up, my lifestyle was pretty creative. My mum was a textile designer before a career change when pregnant with my older brother led her into childcare. She designs incredible floral prints for highstreet brands. We would always be visiting the museums and galleries in London and were encouraged to express ourselves through our art. I suppose I didn't realize until recently how much my mum has influenced my career. Even now I am really grateful for her input into my creativity and I hope to encourage my own daughter to explore and learn through her art, just as I did.
Tell us about your process for illustrating Trailblazer portraits.
I always start with a sketch in pencil on paper. Researching my subject online gives me a variety of photos which I can use to compose my illustration. I then draw these out digitally before converting the colors to Pantone.
What piece of advice do you wish you could give your younger self?
If I was talking to my childhood self, I would wish myself to be more outspoken and less timid. If I was talking to my teenage self, I would say to take everything at this point with a pinch of salt. It all gets infinitely better. If I was talking to myself 10 years ago, I would wish I had made bigger and bolder strides in my career early on so that I was reaping more rewards now.
You can follow along Alice’s adventures on Instagram at @alicepotterillustration. Who else would you like to see Alice illustrate for Piccolina? Tell us in the comments! In the meantime, you can shop from her current trailblazer portraits below: