GUEST BLOGGER: Freelance Illustrator & Cartoonist – Britt Wilson

Freelance Illustrator, Britt Wilson

What can I say about this lady and her witty, whimsical (I love using that word, I even created this alliteration based around it) and wonderful work! Britt probably doesn’t even know it, but I’ve been following her blog in secret for a long time and admiring her illustrations and comics from afar! And not always from afar, I sometimes even approach her if I run into her at a show, and check out her latest books and goodies. One time she even had mini cupcakes! Her hand illustrated type BLOWS MY MIND. I want her to write all over my body with those mad skills! I have also been admiring her cat, Panties, for a VERY LONG TIME and I love him as though he is my own. I am honoured that he loves my catnip toys! We also share a love of mustaches, Twin Peaks, TED Talks… and Vicki Nerino (if you haven’t read Nerino’s guest blog post yet, get on it!) The 3 of us definitely shared at least one or maybe two laughs during the ol’ college days… and Britt tells a pretty good one below! Enjoy! 🙂

nerdbiskit: So, what’s the story? Who are you, and what do you do? How did it all start? Short bio!

Britt: It started when I was born. Hairy and jaundiced. A few years later I discovered crayons. That’s when my parents knew it was over. The chances their daughter ever had at a successful, normal life, were shredded and a little soggy, like the paper wrapper I ripped off those crayons. Move forward a bit more to now, with my BAA from Sheridan (received a scant year after the lovely nerdbiskit herself) which I placed lovingly in the envelope it arrived in, and promptly lost, I’m a freelance illustrator, cartoonist, and work the dreaded part-time day job to keep the other pursuits funded.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

Britt: I do it because I am simply not good at anything else. Including things like “small talk” and “patience” and “tolerance” which are three essential traits for working an office job. I like the immense feeling of satisfaction I get after completing something difficult. And I like to be able to hold it in my hands, and say “I made this.”

nerdbiskit: What’s unique about you and what you do? What sets you apart from the pack?

Britt: We are all perfect little snowflakes or some shit like that, right? What makes my work different is all the different media it intersects/borrows from. I usually paint with my hands, and real paint in bright colours, reminiscent of children’s books, with very animated and lively characters. I’ve often been told I should have been an animator, but sucks to them, they draw the same thing all day. Also technology is allergic to me. My comics and graphic stories are also very animated, and though child-like in sophistication, they often contain enough violence that most parents give me dirty looks while they herd their children past my table at conventions.

I’ve recently also gotten into hand drawn type in a BIG way. I’ve always loved drawing letters, but I’ve started going at it like a mare in heat! In an attempt to improve my lettering skillz I’ve been fumbling my way through old-school calligraphy. Using a scratchy old nib and ink to address all my Christmas cards, and sometimes even my grocery lists!

AND, I’ve been doing pattern design for textiles or your desktop, whatever! I have my fingers in ALL the pies. My gooey fruit-fingers are what make me special.


nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Britt: I have too many artists that I love and who’s work I gobble up like some sort of troll living under a fan-girl bridge. But also I am inspired by my friends. More precisely by my desire to be better than them. It keeps me working very hard. So far, most of them are still better than me, but that’s good, it keeps me motivated to keep going and trying new things.

nerdbiskit: What are some of your favourite things? (To do, to eat, to think about, etc.)

Britt: I’ve been swallowed whole by pinterest. It started because I got engaged, and a friend recommended it for keeping track of all my ideas, and the next thing I know, ADDICTION. If I ever manage to leave my desk, I love to walk around Queen West (in Toronto, where I live) and go to all the little cafés nearby. I have an insatiable sweet tooth, and love nothing better than good coffee, a pastry of some kind, and a comic book in my hand.

I love to BAKE. I don’t get to do it very often outside of Christmas-time lately, but cookies, cupcakes, PIES, I am THERE.

Recently I can’t stop watching nature themed TED talks. And Twin Peaks, and Futurama, and historical dramas, and audiobooks. I listen to audiobooks while I work, and I go through them like crazy. Currently, I’m listening to “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”

nerdbiskit: How do you know Lisa Bell of nerdbiskit? Do you think her mustache obsession is a little ridiculous?

Britt: Lisa and I went to Sheridan together, I transferred there partway through the program from OCAD, and was scared to death when I walked into class and this loud, tall (I’m short), fashionista with giant hair and very red lips was sitting there probably saying something gross and/or inappropriate. I remember one day, towards the end of our last year (I had to come back for 3 random credits the next year) we were all sitting around goofing off during one really stupid class, and Lisa had an orange shopping bag with two clementines in it. I believe it started off with the doodling of balls all over Vicki Nerino’s sketchbook, but it ended up with Lisa dangling the bag of clementines between her legs and thrusting around to make them swing back and forth. I thought I ruptured something that day. Hopefully that isn’t too awful a tale to tell. Lisa, I give you permission to edit that. Here’s an alternate version: I like Lisa, she has pretty hair and my cat likes her cat toys. I also like moustaches, so I think she’s alright in the head, mostly. (note from nerdbiskit: I KEPT BOTH STORIES – chose your own preference! I liked both!)

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up! Check out more of Britt’s work via the links below!

xoxo Lisa

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