Ten Questions for: Lizzie Mary Cullen

Illustrator and designer Lizzie Mary Cullen on marketing yourself, her favourite projects and her ambition to ‘meet and seduce Mr Blobby’.

Lizzie Mary Cullen
Lizzie Mary Cullen

When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?

When I made a painting from my Alphabetti Spagetti. I was four and I knew I was talented. 

What was your first job?

Technically illegal – working at a dodgy local pub in Leamington Spa when I was 15. 

How would you describe what you currently do?

I like to think I spend most of my time drawing. In reality, a big chunk of my time is finding new work and marketing myself. 

What has been the biggest change in design since you started?

The way we communicate. 

What is your favourite project, that you’ve worked on?

I loved my wall mural for Graham&Brown. They’re an amazing family company based up North. I spent the week getting to know them all, scribbling on their wall in the reception of their HQ. I was very fond of them all when I left.  I also have my first ever wallpapers coming out with them next year, a part of their New Wave range. 

What is your favourite project, that you haven¹t worked on?

I wanted to go after the Google Doodler position last year.  For over a year I stalked Ryan Germick (leader of Google Doodle team.) I sent him drawings, proposals and blood. He never got back to me. 

Lizzie Mary Cullen wall project

Source: Trystan Franci

Lizzie Mary Cullen wall project

What was your biggest mistake?

I don’t know. I’ve made a lot of them, but I think time will tell which one is my biggest stinker. Watch this space. 

What is your greatest ambition?

To meet and seduce Mr Blobby. 

Love Live Discover, by Lizzie Mary Cullen
Love Live Discover, by Lizzie Mary Cullen

Who is the most inspirational person you have worked with?

I honestly don’t know how to answer that. Every client I have ever worked with has taught me something. Whether it’s pushing myself harder on a job, or having to reign it in on another. I’ve learnt a lot from naughty clients who don’t pay, and I’ve gained wonderful experiences from clients who value me and get the most out of my skills and what I can offer them. I think inspiration can come from the strangest situations, and lessons can be learnt in the unlikeliest places. 

All in all, I’ve found if you go into a job with an open mind and a determination to see the best in your clients, you’ll reap the rewards. Having said that, a small minority of clients are just wanky bastards, and there’s nothing you can do about that. 

What piece of advice would you give to people starting out in design?

Keep naive as long as possible. I had a lot more balls starting out, but I know too much now about how things should be done. Keep ignorant. 

Lizzie Mary Cullen (@LizzieMCullen)  is a designer and illustrator. Find out more at her website http://www.lizziemarycullen.com/


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