Profile: Illustrator Pip Johnston

USING simple tools such as pencil, watercolour and a piece of paper, illustrator Pip Johnston creates stunning drawings featuring celebrities, fashion, images of nature and everday objects.

After studying Fashion Design and Marketing at Central Saint Martins, Pip embarked upon a design apprenticeship at Derek Lam in New York, before starting up her own website and pursuing her art full time.

Aside from working with paint and sketching her dreams out, the talented lass loves, ”custard cremes dipped in tea, walking on Wimbledon Common, rummaging through flea market junk to find that one hidden gem, spying on the fox that haunts my garden, and drinking too much wine with those I love.” Adorable.

A recent convert to Photoshop and how it can facilitate her creativity, after completing a Parson’s photography course in New York, Pip has now also started to integerate her snaps in her drawings, bringing her unique style bang up to date.

Here, she tells Pillow Magazine the secrets behind her five favourite illustrations and what her inspiration was for each piece.

Alexa Chung


Alexa Chung

“I originally drew this illustration of Alexa Chung for a magazine’s article on ‘style icons’. Since the extravaganza of the Royal wedding and the enthusiasm for all things British with the run up to the Olympics, I’ve decided I’m going to do a series of British icons on top of the flag. Kate Middleton is of course on the list!”

Mary-kate Olsen

Mary-Kate Olsen

“I wanted this illustration of Mary-Kate Olsen to have a real hippy and almost hallucinogenic feel to it. The background is a photo of lily-pads which I took in a serene garden in Dublin – I enjoyed totally redefining the image.”


Shakespeare’s World

“This is a painting I did for Stoke Newington’s Shakespeare Festival, which is currently running. I wanted to condense some of the iconic characters of his plays into one circle, and represent both the dark and light-hearted themes that he is so well known for.”

Kate Moss and Natalia Vodianova

Kate Moss and Natalia Vodianova

“For this illustration of Kate Moss and Natalia Vodianova, I drew from two of their earliest photos taken. In both cases, Kate and Natalia were very young, and appear without clothes or make-up. I loved the idea of creating a new image which combines such iconic models from different generations.”

Edith with elephants

Edith With Elephants

“This final illustration is an example of some of my looser work. Alongside my detailed drawings, I enjoy doing more energized pieces, where colour and mark-making are what makes the illustration stand out. Variety is essential.”

Visit Pip Johnston’s website, here.

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