Tombow Talks to: Julia Cusworth | Tombow

26 September 2022

Tombow Talks to: Julia Cusworth

Did you study art or are you self-taught?

I studied surface design at The University of Huddersfield and continued to work in sketchbooks and create mixed media pieces once I graduated. Although I have a creative job as a designer, I still feel the need to play and make art in my own time.

You have two beautiful children; how do you balance your time creating art with your family commitments?

It is definitely a struggle to balance! I make use of nap times, weekends and evenings. I tend to create in batches during these times and also make notes when I have an idea but no time to put pen or paint to paper in the moment.

Describe your art in 3 words.

Energetic, colourful, pattern based

We love your vibrant mark making, how did you develop your style as a mixed media artist?

I have always loved to create with layers and shapes which often form into patterns. I always come back to a bright and colourful palette; more is more in my mind!

What inspires your creative process?

I am inspired mainly by nature (shapes, colours, movement) but I also love repetition and the way making the same mark over and over can look as well as how calming that process can be. 


Which art materials can you not live without?

Obviously my tombow dual brush pens! As well as good quality paper and acrylic paint.

Tell us about the Get Messy Art community. Any tips for us on how to keep an art journal?

Get Messy is an online art club where you have access to prompts, online tutorials and a supportive community to help you create and grow your art practice. It is a great resource to help you keep an art journal! Art journaling is like keeping a diary and tapping into your creativity all at once. My best tip would be to give yourself permission to be free inside the sketchbook and try new things, regardless of how you think they will look. It is all about experimenting and having fun!

What is your favourite piece you have created?

Tough question!! I always love my mixed media vibrant pieces the most (example the pic on the right)

Who are your biggest artist influences?

  • Ellen Sherman for mark making (@ellen_the_lemon)
  • Iris Apfels fashion
  • Melanie Johnsson for colour

How valuable is the online community to your work?

It is huge for me; from where I get my inspiration to where I feel most supported.

How do you use Tombow products in your work?

I love to use the tombow dual brush pens for creating vibrant patterns and marks. They often are the base layer for any mixed media piece I create as they look so cool when mixed with water or watercolour. The brush nib makes mark making consistently effective and the pigmentation is perfect for layering colour on colour.

Quick fire…

Pen or Pencil? Pen

Favourite thing to draw/sketch/doodle/collage/paint? Leaves

If you could have dinner with three artists (past of present) who would they be? William Morris, Yayoi Kusama, Jackson Pollock

Favourite gallery or museum? The Design Museum

What should we be watching on TV right now? For inspiration, the art of design on Netflix is amazing!

Piece of design you wished you had created? Anything and everything by Yayoi Kusama

Favourite city? Tokyo

I wish someone had told me… You don’t have to be great (or even good!) at drawing to enjoy making art

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