23 - 26 September 2021 |The Truman Brewery
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Eliza Southwood: The Interview

02 March 2016

Exhibiting at this year's London Coffee Festival in the Milk & Sugar area, will be East London-based Illustrator Eliza Southwood.

We commissioned her to design this year’s poster, of which there will be 30 Limited Edition signed copies available to buy. Read the interview to find out more...
How would you describe your style?

Probably retro-ish and I’m very particular about colour
You specialise in printmaking, painting and illustration. Which is your preferred method and why?

Printmaking and painting are my favourite media because the results are more tangible.


What inspires your work?

Stuff that isn’t ‘pretty’ - gritty urban landscapes, quirky stuff.
You’ve been commissioned by Rapha, REW Reynolds cycling shoes and many of your designs feature bikes. Is it fair to say you’re a keen cyclist?

Yes – I’ve ridden a bike around London for years. I’m not a competitive cyclist though, just a commuter. I own 2 Bromptons and an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra

What’s your process of creating a print, from inspiration through to fruition?

It all starts with a lot of hand drawings. I then ink them with pen and ink and scan them into the computer so I can choose what colours go where. Each colour layer is separated and turned into a stencil, which I transfer to a silk screen. Ink is applied through the screen one layer at a time. The process is fairly complicated but hopefully I can explain more at the workshops!


You’ve created pieces using dark-roasted coffee beans. Can you tell us more?

I was messing around in my studio one day and started making coffee mug prints on a piece of paper…I thought - ‘they could be wheels’ - and did a quick sketch with the rest of the coffee in the mug. I took the sketch to an exhibition I was in and was surprised at the interest it caused. There seems to be a real cycling-coffee correlation.
Visitors will be able to take part in a ‘technical introduction to screen printing screen’ workshops at your stand during LCF. What can they look forward to?

I will prepare some backgrounds on paper with various colours and visitors will be able to print one further colour through the screen themselves. There will be five coffee-themed prints to choose from or people can print all of them as a set.


You live in East London. Where do you usually go for a cup of coffee?

I usually go to the E5 Bakehouse, which is around the corner from my studio.
What’s your coffee of choice?

I’m a basic flat white no sugar kind of person. Although years ago I couldn’t live without an espresso and a shot of amaro after lunch every day (I lived in Italy, so that explains it).
What are you most looking forward to at the festival?

It sounds like it’s going to be buzzing. Literally!

Find out more about the fashion and design district, Milk & Sugar here. To buy tickets to the event, head this way

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