Liven up

Joining the likes of Lady Gaga and the pointy-eared blue folk of Avatar in the Design Week Hot 50, it’s clear there’s something rather special about ever-smiley illustrator, Lizzie Mary Cullen.

The deft-of-pen lady is currently embarking on a two-day project in partnership with London’s Somerset House to create a large-scale wall illustration at the RSVP 11 event show at London’s Business Design Centre in Islington.

Lizzie Mary Cullen draws mural live
Lizzie Mary Cullen draws mural live

RSVP is a trade show for the events industry, firmly putting the ‘organised’ into ‘fun’ with stalls of event suppliers, talks and seminars.

However, Cullen’s addition to the event is no forced-grin round of charades, bravely drawing a wall-mural, live for two days only, for the Somerset House stall.

No stranger to putting a performative element to her doodling, back in December Cullen indulged in some Tweet based Yuletide cheer, holding court at Blue Hive Communications’ HQ and drawing people’s tweets on the wall in real-time.

Lizzie Mary Cullen for Somerset House
Lizzie Mary Cullen for Somerset House

Cullen says, ‘It’s a great job, it’s quite exciting.’

Where for some people, just the thought of drawing live in front of an audience is enough to make the palms sweat, Cullen’s past pen-wielding adventures have made her a dab hand by now.

She says, ‘When I started doing it I was nervous. When I make the first mark, I’m like, “oh my god…”; but after a few lines its really enjoyable and you get really into it.’

The Somerset House Stall in progress
The Somerset House Stall in progress

Somerset House briefed Cullen to sue her own signature illustration style, but depict the main Somerset House venue.  ‘They asked me to be quite free with it’, she explains.

‘I really wanted to put the main venue and the courtyard with its lovely view, to include the old fashioned lights to make it beautiful and intricate. I love including modern vs old architecture – it gives it a lovely contrast.’

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