Sunday, 28 November 2010


After this post I got in touch with the lovely Gemma Luker of Sketchbook Magazine to give you one hot interview. And low and behold she was more than happy to give me some of her time to give us a lil peep. Thanks my South London sweetheart. Let's do it.

Chicken and Chips or Chicken Chow-Mien and Noodles?
Mmmm usually I would say chicken chow mein, especially if you are having dinner out but every now and then you have to get all ghetto and hit the cheap but brilliant chicken and chip shop! Gotta love a bit of Morleys!

What are the first 3 songs are on your iPod 'Most Played List'?
Gyptian – Hold yuh
Nicki Minaj – Your Love
The entire Lady Gaga album!! ( I know that’s cheating but hey!)

Everyone has a favourite something but that's so boring, what's your least favourite food, colour and song?
Least favourite food is easy can I have 2? Peas and bananas! I can't stand green food its like you are eating straight from B&Q garden center or something how can it taste nice? And bananas, well the smell says it all, makes me hurl!
Least favourite colour would have to be orange, because it clashes with my red hair!
And least favourite song would have to be anything by Hannah Montana – I can't stand her she sounds like she has something stuck up her nose! I wanna give her a big slap on the back to help her out poor gal!

If you could have unlimited store credit at any store where would you pick?
OMG could you please make this happen?!Mmmmm that’s hard because any girl would love to pick her favourite clothes shop right? But Im going to be smart and say John Lewis – I'd spend all day in their haberdashery department (I'm an avid knitter!), and I can pick up everything a girl needs in terms of clothes, jewellery, shoes etc, kit out my house and then hit Waitrose to fill up my belly with good food after all that shopping!

I've always wondered what an elephant's breathe smells like, what have you ever wondered?
I reckon it smells so wonderful and mysterious that if you could bottle it then it would make you as smart as they are, never forgetting a thing.

What inspires you on those days where everything feels really Jade Goody (i.e. crap)?
Everyone else. Sometimes you just don’t feel like working, or totally can't think of a solution to a brief, so I realised that taking time out isn’t actually a crime and can be a good thing. I'll surf the net and check out other illustrators’ work, or various websites hoping inspiration hits (and it usually does!) or go out and visit friends. Sometimes seeing what other people are up to helps. You can’t beat a good ole laugh with friends to get you in the mood to get on with things again (and a few bottles of wine doesn’t hurt either!).

Where would you like to be in 5 years times?
Having a steady stream of illustration work coming in so I could leave the part-time supermarket job and be a full-time illustrator! I am always looking on new things to do, and plan to start my own range of greeting cards, stationary pieces etc, so hope that these take off and people love to buy them!

My dream is to have a childrens book published, and set up my own magazine, im working towards these so if I complete them I will be a very happy bunny!

Illustration is such a wicked talent, when did you first find out you had the nack for it?
Cliche answer but I have always been ‘arty’, always with a crayon in my hand when I was younger, and my xmas list consisted entirely of ‘Get Set’ kits (remember them? You could get so many things to do, they were so wicked, do they still make them?).
It was only when I decided that I had had enough of doing ‘academic’ subjects after my GCSEs that I decided to do art for my A Level, and spent my entire 2 years painting! Then I hit my foundation, and as they say, the rest is history . . . .

We hear Sketchbook is where it's at, how cool is it to be working there?
Working as part of the Sketchbook team is really as cool as it sounds! I've followed them from the start, and seeing how they have expanded is amazing, nothing is impossible for them and no one is turned away for fear of missing a brilliant idea. Getting the email from Wafa (the Editor) asking me to come in with my portfolio was such a big thrill, that despite recovering from a leg injury I hobbled down to Carnaby Street to meet her on my crutches! It's a lot of hard work but totally worth it, each time we have an event they totally take off and seeing people respond so well to them is brilliant. It’s a great way to network, and gain experience and opportunities, I've had quite a few interesting jobs working via Sketchbook that I wouldn’t have gotten on my own, for example me and a fellow Sketchbook illustrator and friend Annie Driscoll are about to start work designing a massive fashion-inspired billboard for Carnaby Street! Big things will come from the Sketchbook team while everyone continues to work hard together and push boundaries, as well as being loved by our SketchBook mom Wafa!

Did you go to Uni and if so, what course did you study?
I did a foundation at Chelsea originally in fine art, but it was during this that a tutor directed me to illustration, embarrassingly at the time I didn’t even know what it was, let alone you could make a career from it! From there I went to Middlesex University and did a BA (Hons) Illustration degree, which was the best three years of my life. That course is the best in the country, the tutors are fantastic, the facilities are great and the opportunities rival any other course. I learnt so much there, and made some great friends, which equal some great collaborations! Although more hard work has happened since leaving uni, they don’t prepare you for dealing with the really awful clients you may get!

How would you describe your illustration style?
It has changed since I left uni! For the moment I'm queen of paper, my work consists of collaged materials mixed with found objects and/or photography, sometimes taking on a digital touch!

Apparently Digital work is now coming ‘out of fashion’ so to speak, as more people want to see more ‘traditional’ illustration which makes me very happy as I can provide that. Often there is nothing better than seeing something created by hand, no matter how good computers get (and they can really try!) they cant quite rival it.

Any advice for anyone wanting to get into illustration out there?
Keep working constantly and work hard. Your ‘style’ may not be the first thing you actually start doing (I started out as an oil painter!) and your way of working can change and get better the more you go along. Find what you like doing and keep at it, sometimes doing what you love really has to be more fulfilling than just doing something for the money (or lack of).
Once you know what you’re doing, I found building up a web presence vital. Start a blog, get your work online, follow other companies and their websites etc, that way when work comes up your ready to pounce! With all the social media these days it’s much easier to find out stuff and keep in touch with the community, so theres no excuse!

And lastly, if we want to get our hands on some of the Luker magic how can we get at you?
My website and blog would be the first port of call to check out what I do, with my contact details on there also or for any work, questions or hiring you can get at me via!

Or you can find me at one of the Sketchbook events, the latest happening next Friday December 3rd at the Design museum, London (see our Facebook event page or the Sketchbook website for more details!).

Seriously how delicous is she. Love her and her work. I've known Gemma through that lovely cousin of mine Brends and remember being younger and going on day trips with Gem, Brends and the rest of her hot ass crew in Brixton town and it's so lush to see her going places. And trust me she is going to get there no worries. Question is will you be here to see it happen?



  1. amazing! i loved reading this!! :) xxxx

  2. i have a warm glow reading this! thank you so much! xxx

  3. No worries at all. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of you on here! x