Meet the maker - Laura Quick, our Brighton Rock illustrator

To celebrate the launch of our Brighton Rock and Blousy fragrances, we asked award-winning illustrator and author, Laura Quick to design us some postcards depicting the character and colour of Brighton.
At Miller Harris, we're constantly inspired by art in all its forms, but more so, we're passionate about the people behind it. We sit down with Laura to find out the (Quick) Quirks our Brighton Rock artist has to offer.

What three words best describe you? 

Thoughtful, Funny, Kind. Oh no, that's my Tinder profile. Messy, Inappropriate, and driven.

Tell us about your illustration style, what do you try to convey in your work?

My illustration work is about people. Ordinary, everyday experiences in people's lives. Obsessions, interests, hangups. I eavesdrop. A lot. And write down what people do and say in my little black book and store them for the right moment, often splurging them out on my Instagram.  

You're the maker behind our Brighton Rock postcards and pier boards - can you talk us through them? 

They are based on the traditional British postcard, but with today’s angle. The scent, Brighton Rock is about the seaside as an experience, and part of that is to make people laugh, to surprise, be fun, and to give a feeling of warmth and kindness too. The nature of how we live and see things today means the old sexist jokes from the ‘Carry-On era postcards are well and truly out of the picture, in every sense of the word, but the seagull, for example, is still naughty, and hopefully relatable. Because we’ve all met one of those aggressive fuckers with the piercing eyes.

What's your favourite thing about Brighton? Do you have a memorable anecdote for us...?

Being at uni, and helping my friend climb up the drainpipe into his first floor flat, after a fancy dress party because he’d lost his keys. He was dressed in a ‘sexy' Rambo outfit, comprising of a camouflage mini skirt, crop top and black platform heels. There he was, gripping onto the drainpipe with all his might, 10 feet off the ground as it swayed gently under his weight, with his mini skirt flapping in the breeze, and a bottle of beer in one hand, singing the Rocky theme tune and trying to climb through the bathroom window. The image will never leave my memory.

What advice would you give to a budding illustrator/author?

    Find your own voice. Identify what you love, what interests you and do it. This will give your work true authenticity. People can feel that. Don't wait for work to come to you, or you might be waiting forever. Start your own thing, live and breathe it. Write things down as they occur to you, make something. Anything, and keep doing it. for the love of it, not for recognition. And the work will follow.

    If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

      Danny, Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl. 

      You're hosting a dinner party - who's at the top of your guest list?

      Steve Coogan.

      Where is the most unusual place you've found inspiration? 

      I think all my best moments of inspiration have been unusual because they always seem to come totally out of the blue. When my mind is relaxed, and I’m not asking for an idea to come. If you chase them too hard they run away. It’s like when you're lying in bed in the dead of night, and you can barely see the shapes of things, but if you look slightly to one side of something, you can suddenly see it much more clearly. (If you haven't tried this, you must, it really works) Inspiration is like this. If you look too hard at it, it fades. Look away a little, and out it pops. You can still be sitting at your desk, but you’ll be working on one thing when the idea for another comes to you.

      Is there a smell that holds significance to you or reminds you of a particular point in your life?

      Erm, I have 3!  Bees. A beehive. My Dad kept bees. He brought honeycomb home sometimes and we ate it fresh in the garden. In the sun. And now, when I cycle to my studio I often smell a hive as I go over the river. I don't know where it is, but I know it’s there, and I think it’s wonderful.  

      I also love turpentine. The real stuff in bottles that you buy in the art store. It's spectacular. It’s my Foundation course I did at South Nottingham College. The best art course I ever did. wonderful teachers, amazing friends and artwork 9 am - 8 pm every day for a year, we always drank sangria at a little live Spanish bar and danced every Friday afterwards... 

      And proper Tipp ex. It reminds me of sniffing it in Geography class at school, to curb the boredom. I use it daily in my work too.  I adore it. If I could have something that contained beeswax, turpentine and Tippex I’d be happy forever.

      What do you want a fragrance to express about you? 

      I am not sure about that. I have an ultimate goal with a perfume though: I know that I want it to represent me. I want the smell to be ‘my’ smell. To my friends, to my family. I left my jumper at a friends house a few weeks back, and their little girl knew it was mine from the smell. I liked that. I think that’s all I want. An olfactory identity, which remains even when I’m not there. (As long as I don't strike dread into the hearts of everyone I come into contact with, then the smell would remind them of horror, but I’m going to assume/hope, that the olfactory memory triggered is a pleasant one...)

      Laura's postcard designs are available in each of our Miller Harris stores.
      Pop in and pick up one for yourself!