Do you love the cover and poster artwork as much as we do? If so, you've got the extremely talented Liv Auckland to thank for it. We caught up with the Notts-based artist to find out how she managed to come up with such a cracking performance themed piece for us...
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a writer, illustrator and designer from Sussex. I came to Nottingham for uni back in 2009, stuck around for the summer after my third year, and before I knew it I’d built a life here. My accent’s a little funky now.
What was the inspiration behind this month’s cover?
I was thinking about Nottingham Poetry Festival and the act of reading great literature. Reading is one of the most solitary acts you can embark on, yet it never makes you feel lonely. If anything, it’s one of the warmest, most loving places you can be.
The clouds formed when I was considering all the pockets of community and creative spaces across Nottingham. They provide us with somewhere safe to escape to. They’re higher places, in a way. There’s something rebellious about taking back time for yourself.
How does it compare with some other projects you’ve worked on?
This was probably the most freedom I’ve ever had on a project. There was no brief to follow or guidelines to stick to, which is, of course, exciting and terrifying in equal measure. But my process is always the same, no matter what. First there’s a big rush of ideas and sketching, then panic, self-doubt, more panic, and eventually a breakthrough. Then, it takes over all my thoughts until it’s finished. It’s always served me well, somehow.
Tell us about some projects you’ve worked on in the past…
I’m the brand and communications manager at Castle Rock Brewery, so my day job is where I do the majority of my design work. They really let me loose a couple of years back and it’s great fun. Designing can labels for new beers has quickly become a favourite pastime of mine.
I did Creative Writing undergrad and postgrad degrees at Trent, and writing projects have definitely been my focus. For a long time my art was just for me, or for work, so I decided I’d share more this year. I’ve got some exciting commissions lined up and doing this cover is definitely one ticked off the bucket list. So far so good.
What do you think about Nottingham’s creative scene?
I think we’re very lucky. Creativity is everywhere here, if you know where to look. Honestly, it can be really hard to make friends as a “grown up”, but having such a thriving creative scene means there are lots of ways to connect with other like-minded people. I made an amazing group of friends through Nottingham Writers’ Studio. I’m collaborating on a textiles venture with one of them. It’s a really supportive, inclusive, vibrant community.
What have you got planned for the future?
I’d really like to buy a house on the coast and spend my days writing, painting, doing pottery, and tending to my many pets and plants, all while wearing elegant thrifted gowns. And I want to be sending my novel out by this time next year. Either will do nicely.
Have you got anything else to say to the readers of LeftLion?
Just to keep going to those higher places and making time for yourself. It all moves way too fast. Also, I’d really like to know if I have accidentally drawn someone’s doppelgänger.