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Waterfront Festival

Under Cover Artist: Fiona Carr

22 February 22 interview: LeftLion

LeftLion’s Design Assistant gives us the rundown on her first ever cover, a celebration of all things scientific…

Tell us a bit about yourself…
I moved to Nottingham to study at NTU. I completed my BA in Fashion Communication and Promotion and went on to study Textile Design for my Masters. I’m a mixed-media artist so I enjoy working with different mediums from textiles to collage and photography. In September, I landed a job as Design Assistant at LeftLion and it’s pushed me as an artist so much. I love going to work knowing I can be creative and try new things artistically, but I couldn’t have done it without the support of such a great team.

What was the inspiration behind the cover?
I was given ‘Science’ as the brief and it was actually my least favourite subject in school. Despite me winning a competition when I was eleven called ‘Why I Want To Be A Scientist’.

However, I always found interest in the diagrams and drawings in science books and I’ve always loved vintage botanical and anatomical drawings. I wanted to use them as a starting point of inspiration but recreate them in a more futuristic way, so some of the drawings aren’t necessarily scientifically accurate.

How does it compare with some other projects you’ve worked on?
During my time at LeftLion, I’ve created various designs since October using painting, collage and digital illustration. I also designed the December Independent Christmas Guide, which was really rewarding. I like being given a specific brief to work from as it narrows down the scope of overthinking, but I did feel more pressure with this project as the cover is something big and it puts you directly face-to-face with the audience.

It’s easy to be your own worst critic and you can never please everyone, so enjoy what you do and everything will work out

What was the biggest challenge that you faced in creating the piece?
Getting over my own psychological brick walls, for sure. When I was first asked, I was afraid I wouldn’t do a good job of it, but realised it was my chance to have fun with it. LeftLion is a magazine I’ve admired since moving to Notts and I appreciate how different each of the covers are. So much so that I took inspiration from LeftLion when I created my own newspaper for my degree. If someone back then told me that I'd work for them and have my artwork on the cover I’d be asking, ‘Who paid you to lie to me?’

Tell us about some projects you’ve worked on in the past…
For my MA, I created a collection of 3D textile art pieces discussing climate issues and the importance of nature. My favourite was the Sad Earth Rug, which took me over six weeks to complete. Using ethically sourced yarns I hand-punched each individual loop using a technique called punch needling. My plan was to present them as an art installation, but unfortunately the final show didn’t go ahead due to the pandemic.

What have you got planned for the future?
I try not to plan too much because the future can easily be unpredictable, but I just want to keep pushing myself creatively and keep trying new things. 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the LeftLion readers?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s easy to be your own worst critic and you can never please everyone, so enjoy what you do and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.


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