Artisan Profile - Imagination Illustrated

Words and art by Nina Dogmetchi of Imagination Illustrated.

I have had quite a mixed career before the start of my brand. I was a visiting lecturer at Camberwell College of Art, I then went to work in NYC as a textile designer. I came back to London to do an MA at the RCA, and after that I spent a few years working in schools as an artist in residence. I then moved to Germany where I spent 8 years working as a graphic designer, first for Puma, and then for Adidas. I left Adidas in 2013 to follow a dream I had held for a long time, which was to write and illustrate a children's book.

With the help of Kickstarter, the dream was realised and I produced my first book 'The Lazy Leopard'. From there the brand basically took off with books, cards, art prints, stationery and now textile products. It’s been a long journey to get here!

Nina Dogmetchi Imagination Illustrated

Mostly the things I draw just pop into my head... I will go for a run and in the middle of the run I decide that I really need to go home and draw an elephant, for instance. I have a mixed heritage background - I'm half Iranian and I’m very much inspired by Persian miniatures and fables. I love all the colours and patterns that are used in their work, I also love the fantastical and magical aspects.

Nina Dogmetchi Wildling Magazine interview

Recently I lost my Grandmother, who I loved very much. She had a stack of very old paper that I found at her flat, and everything I have drawn on this has worked out wonderfully. I call it my lucky paper and think of her everytime I take out another sheet. She was very artistic and I hope that part of Grandma's spirit is helping me out through her old paper!


Imagination Illustrated Leo drawing

It is hard not to get sucked into checking instagram and finding yourself lost in a world that isn’t really real. Yet it is inspiring and important, especially for a creative business like mine. I find Yoga helps me and I run on the Heath as much as possible. I get out in the trees and spend time in nature. When I travel I also feel very much like I top up my creativity levels...seeing the colours and landscapes of a new place. Most importantly I make sure I get off the computer and get my pencils out. Drawing and painting has to happen every few days otherwise I get withdrawal symptoms.

 

Nina Dogmetchi Imagination Illustrated interview

I am very interested in human emotion and how we relate to each other and the world, I try to express this through my drawings of animals. I hope to somehow capture the essence of a feeling that we cant always put into words. I hope that my work moves something in you, and that if you buy something from Imagination Illustrated you will want to keep it forever.

 

Imagination Illustrated Taurus print

My big dream is to create a small studio/shop environment for me and my products; somewhere I can work and sell from, interact with customers and people, whilst being creative at the same time. I’d love to work on collaborations with people - The Natural History Museum or London Zoo would be a dream! I want to write and illustrate that 2nd book! It’s written, so I just need more time to illustrate it. To be known as that girl who draws all those beautiful animals woudn’t be bad either.