A chat with the artist Cara Davies
“Originally from Ynys Môn, I moved to Manchester in 2013 to study illustration at Manchester School of Art. I fell in love with the city instantly, and as I’m sure most graduates do, I started planning to move back there as soon as possible to continue living with my friends in the big city after graduating in 2016. Unfortunately, art took a back seat when I took a sales job for a few years; I found it hard to create art after that break, and there was a time that I thought maybe I’d fallen out of love with creating. But (thank God!) Gomer got in touch with me to design i book for children in 2019, and this gave me a big confidence boost, and so I started illustrating more and more every day. I decided to leave my sales job and I started a design and print apprenticeship that has very beneficial! I love creating fun, colourful and positive pieces – almost like escaping from normal life. On the apprenticeship side, I run ‘Cara Davies Illustration’, a small online shop that sells prints and special occasion greetings cards.
I used to see so many successful artists saying that they haven’t developed their own personal style yet and I used to laugh at them. Now, slightly older myself, I really agree. My style is constantly developing, I try my best to use new and different colours, something that was completely out of my comfort zone a few years ago. Even looking back at the children’s book that was published by Gomer in 2019, I can see a huge improvement in my work, which is really positive, especially when I doubt my creativity. I try to create an escapism from real life in my pieces, sometimes with a utopian feeling. I like to keep things fun, light, and relevant to all ages.
With a mix of pain textures and digital illustration, I have created a little world for the character in this image – there’s no specific story here. An experiment with shapes and new colours, which is how I usually start my illustrations – sometimes it works out and sometimes it really doesn’t, and I’m learning that that’s ok!”
Read issue 4 here.
Follow Cara Davies on Instagram.