I LOVE ILLUSTRATORS. My dream job (yes, like Dawn from The Office) is to be an illustrator... and a baker, the Belgrade bureau chief for Bloomberg and, well, a few other sundry things. Back during my more regular tenure in London, I spent a fair amount of time at The Hospital Club and particularly in the Bellini Bar. I like a fizzy cocktail as much as the next freelance writer, but it was the Julie Verhoeven walls that kept me coming back. Garance Doré inspires both jealousy and admiration (she's brilliant AND gets to snog The Sartorialist!?) in equal measure. Natasha Law has a strange, hypnotic hold on me and Quentin Blake brought Roald Dahl to life (not that he needed any help) before my very eyes... still does, in fact, as I don't think you should ever stop reading Dahl (and if you haven't, read his sinister short stories. Macabre and hilarious.... Tales of the Unexpected is a treat). My friend Carol Chu (the lovely lady who turned my vision for a logo into reality once upon a time. Thank you!) blows me away with her work. Teach me, I implore!
But, whoa, whoa, back to the point (focus, Jess, focus). There's another illustrator who has a certain way with a felt-tipped pen. Daisy de Villeneuve -- sister of photographer Poppy, daughter of Justin and model mum Jan, London aristo-scenster and... brilliant illustrator? Yes, it's true. Even those born into the sparkly life of the right class in the English public eye can (you listening, Peaches!?) harbour talent, contrary to what most folks believe. Daisy is of this ilk. 'A kooky illustrator of some repute' is right. Thank you, Sunday Times for putting my sentiment into words.
And her most recent project is a set of portraits for no one other than QVC. Why, you ask? QVC is promoting Beauty Month (July, apparently) and have found a pretty clever way to do it. According to them, recent research (sorry, no sources included with the email) has listed Audrey Hepburn, Cheryl Cole, Angelina Jolie and Marilyn Monroe as the top four beauties of our time. I would argue differently, as, surely, any intelligent measure of beauty would include personality, composure, carriage, education, ellocution, blah blah blah (thereby ruling out that lass Cole). But these illustrations do make for captivating work, all the more so because they've been drawn completely with cosmetics by the rockstar illustrator de Villeneuve.
My favourite portrait? The minimalist muse, Angelina Jolie.