Meet Lucy Kirk

WRITTEN BY: Equator Coffees

In celebrating the release of our latest B’Cause Artist Series, we sat down with the illustrator behind it all, Lucy Kirk.

Lucy is a UK based artist whose whimsically colorful and optimistic illustrations can’t help but bring a smile to your face. As we dove deeper into Lucy’s work, we began to see the complexity and diversity of her medium. Lucy was able to bring out a playful and fresh edge to our second B’cause Artist Series campaign.

Lucy’s interpretation of our iconic 26-year old bengal tiger icon has ushered in a new era of how we view our brand icon. Not only is our tiger a representation of rarity, strength and beauty, but now she is an ally, a supporter, an uplifter. And now, fierce as ever!

 

Lucy Kirk x Equator Coffees

(Photo credit: @edschofieldphoto) 

Who are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m Lucy Kirk. I’m an illustrator and ceramist based in Bristol, UK.

 

How did you become the artist you are today?

I studied Illustration at Brighton University in the UK, during my time at uni I got really into ceramics. I love making ceramics of animals and people and I like to explore different subcultures and themes like farming or wild animals. 

My ceramic work has really informed my illustration, I sometimes feel thinking in 3D is easier than 2D. The heavy brushed black line and form of my shapes in my illustration is heavily influenced from my ceramic work.  

Since graduating I have worked on a range of different projects and commissions from editorial, clothing, branding and ceramics. In-between collaborations I try to work on personal projects and my own products.

 

How does working and living in Bristol influence your work?

I’ve only been living in Bristol for just over a year. My partner and I moved from London to Essex and now Bristol. We’ve bought an old police station and are slowly renovating it! We moved in the middle of the covid lockdowns so I haven’t had much time to explore the city but I love what I have seen so far. It will be interesting to see how living here shapes future work, maybe I will have to do something police themed!?

 

You’re both an illustrator and ceramicist - how do you find these distinct mediums to compliment one another?

I normally get new ideas for each medium, when working in the other. Illustration is a much faster process, with quick results which allows me to experiment with colour much more freely. Whereas ceramic work is a slower less forgiving medium, but allows me to create my illustrations in 3D and teaches me a lot more about patience! Ultimately I think they compliment each other by fulfilling a creative need that I don’t get fully from one medium. 

 

Lucy Kirk x Equator Coffees

(Photo credit: @edschofieldphoto)  


What is your creative process? Can you walk us through a day in the life of Lucy Kirk?

Get up, make a coffee and walk my dog Eddie. I’m not a morning person but I do try to get in the studio early. Write a to-do list, go through emails and try my hardest to be organised, which does not come naturally!

If I’m working on sketches, I’ll start every project in a sketchbook with paint brush and ink. Then I do my colour work/editing on an i-pad and mac. I share a studio with my girlfriend Ruby, who is also an illustrator. We normally both have headphones on and try to ignore each other. Although we do stop for lunch together and we will talk through our ideas and current projects or show each other hilarious TikToks. 

I like to try and have another walk in the afternoon or at least have a small break in my garden if it’s not raining. I’ll then continue drawing until we argue about who’s turn it is to make dinner.

 

Lucy Kirk x Equator Coffees

(Photo credit: @edschofieldphoto)


What drew you to choose It Gets Better as the beneficiary of this campaign?

I first became aware of the work of It Get Better project from their videos on YouTube. I think growing up LGBQT+ can sometimes be a struggle or feel isolating. I loved the It Get’s Better mission to uplift, empower and connect the LBQTQ+ youth globally and create a global community through storytelling. I wish I’d seen their videos as a teen. Just knowing you aren’t alone can be so powerful. I knew then I’d like to do my bit to help.

 

Lucy Kirk x Equator Coffees

(Photo credit: @edschofieldphoto)  


Your designs are full of optimism and inspiration. What about this messaging do you hope resonates with the next generation? Did you pull from personal experiences? 

I think if things are tough and you are struggling it’s hard to not think that things may never change or it’s never going to get better. I personally feel like teenage years can feel like the longest, hardest time. I took inspiration for our collaboration from those years and how teenage journalling can be an escapism/safe space, along with a way to process your feelings and emotions. 

 

You’ve worked with some great partners from Alexander McQueen to Campbells to Oprah’s Book Club! Do you have a favorite project and why?

I absolutely loved the McQueen project. It was one of my very first jobs and it still feels like a really special collaboration. I had a lot of creative freedom so that will always mean a lot to me. I also still really love the illustrations I created for it!

 

If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be and what would you make?

If it was dead or alive, cliché as it is I would have loved to have made some ceramics with Picasso. If alive I’d love to do some more fashion/clothing collaborations. So maybe British fashion designer Paul Smith, as he is also from my home town of Nottingham. I love collecting, especially folk art and outsider objects and I know he has some great collections which would be amazing to see. 

 

What inspires you to create and where do you turn to for inspiration? 

I’ve always loved drawing big cats. Some of my most early memories are painting large tigers on my parents hallway walls. Since then it’s sort of always been a continuous theme in my work. 

 

Lucy Kirk x Equator Coffees

(Photo credit: @edschofieldphoto) 


What is your favorite coffee and how do you take it?

I’m not sure about my all time favourite but I love trying new coffees. I like it strong, with oat milk.

 

How would you like to be remembered?

There’s a Victorian cemetery around the corner from my house and one of the gravestones has just the word “moody” on. Seems fitting.

 

To see more of Lucy's work, check out her website.