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Bee Willey

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What is your process, when creating a new piece? What steps do you follow?

My first stage, when working on a new piece is to doodle around, make illegible drawings and have a think. I never show these to clients. Then I collect reference, either drawing from life or taking photos, or getting other reference when that’s not possible.

I make loads of roughs and play around with layout, shapes, colours, patterns. I love textile patterns and print, and using texture, which I often collage into my pieces, to create atmosphere or allude to the context, where relevant.

What tools do you use? (both traditional and digital, if any)

I have lots of pencil friends, I am always trying out different inks and brush pens and use the iPad and i pen too.I love graphite, and pen and ink.I have special nibs which I have from Mr Philip at Cornellissen, bought ages ago after testing the line quality I needed then. He had an amazing book full of drawings signed by illustrious people, thanking him for his advice and expertise. It was areal privilege to see this book which he showed me to refer to, in terms of nib behaviour! I bought a good stash then which was really lucky, as some are no longer made. I still have them in glassine bags labelled with his lovely handwriting. I have been back more recently and have found other brands which I am also happy to use, which is a relief!