Perusing Instagram, we stumbled across Ali Scothern's (Herbert & Rose) images and we knew we had found our next cover artist.
Her Instagram feed featured her beautiful illustrations of some of our most cherished and historic buildings so we approached her to take on this edition's cover. Ali lives in Chesterfield with her husband and two teenage boys, she is a local teacher who loves being out in the Peaks and browsing the local market. We asked Ali about her unique style, her inspirations and what she loves about living in Derbyshire.
How old were you when you started drawing?
"I honestly cannot remember, starting out in primary school I enjoyed drawing and painting. It was my teacher in secondary school who encouraged me to hone my skills. As a teenager, I steered my studies towards a career in art and design. In my late teens I lost confidence in my artistic abilities however, and pursued a career teaching languages instead."
How did your unique style of illustrating evolve?
"When I began painting again as an adult, I fell in love with watercolours, I love the different effects they create. I also love to draw with ink and a dip pen, so many of my illustrations combine the two."
How did Herbert and Rose come about and where did you get the name?
"Herbert was my grandfather’s name and Rose, my mother’s name. When mum died a few years ago I felt compelled to really push my art and wanted to create a brand name, it seemed fitting to choose the names from two prominent figures in my family and I thought Herbert and Rose sounded perfect. I didn’t choose my Dad’s name, because his name was Ron, and I didn’t think Ron and Rose sounded quite as good!"
Which is your favourite piece of work?
"My favourite has to be ‘Say hello’, an illustration of a young and older hare. It was one of the first pieces I made into a print and it continues to be a best seller."
What inspired you to illustrate Chesterfield’s Theatres and Museum?
"We’ve only lived in Chesterfield for the past couple of years and I couldn’t believe how many beautiful, old buildings there were and I wanted to challenge myself to try something different. In time I'd like to illustrate more of them, there are so many to choose from."
Who do you admire in the Illustrator world?
"I love Quentin Blake’s illustrations as they are so playful, and his uneven or exaggerated lines create the most delightful characters. I also admire Helen Oxenbury’s work, she uses watercolours effortlessly to create wonderful children’s illustrations."
If you could illustrate for any author, who would you choose and why?
"Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows was a childhood favourite. Endowing animals found in British wildlife with human characteristics and creating the imaginative stories really appealed to me as a child. To illustrate these stories would have been wonderful. Having said that, Robert Ingpen’s whimsical illustrations would take some beating!"
What’s your favourite piece of Derbyshire artwork or sculpture?
"It has to be the Green Man in the woodland area at Crich Tramway Museum. When my boys were younger, they loved going to find it."
What’s next for Ali and Herbert & Rose?
"My cards are available in a few lovely shops in Derbyshire and Yorkshire and I hope to expand to more shops nationwide. I would also love to create an illustrated map of Chesterfield, but it might take me a while!"
Words: Simon Paterson
Illustration: Ali Scothern, Herbert & Rose.