Kristjana S Williams is an Icelandic born artist famed for her unique, richly imaginative and multi-layered works of art. She worked closely with Lulu to create two prints exclusively for our SS17 collection which adorn several handbag styles – a first for the artist.Where do you get inspiration from for your illustrations?London is a huge inspiration – I love the architecture and the energy in London as well as the culture. But I also love nature, which has a whole different energy. When you’re in nature, it’s much clearer and purer.Could you describe your creative process?First of all, I need to make sure the collaboration choice is right, need to ensure it’s reaching the right audience, and also need to ensure it has the right creative. Ultimately you need to be on the same page of the people you are working with.My work involves a lot of history and finding out a company’s narrative – often it’s discovering the history of the building itself if I’m working on architectural pieces.We carry out quite a creative research process and carry out interviews, to get a feel for what the client wants, and then obviously move on to the creation process.To complete a 3D artwork it can take between 6 to 18 months.
If you could create a large scale mural or illustration of anywhere in the world where would it be?I would love to do some more work in Rio, like what I created for the Olympics, at the Copacabana Palace (pictured on the left). I’d love to do anything working on top of architecture again! The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona would be incredible to work with. Equally I like modern buildings like the Shard. Just as inspiring is the contrast of the modern and the old, which you often find in London.Which print design was your favourite to collaborate with Lulu on?I really loved seeing the transition of the navy rose print to the final version on the handbag. Something that was quite hopefully romantic became something quite contemporary and sharp in the end – that design went on a massive journey. We also had designs initially with crowns and mermaids, and obviously, the creative process narrowed these designs down. It was so interesting to work on!
Favourite bag?I love the Bobbi with the navy rose print – I also love the Olivia clutch, with the very graphic Rose Lip Lady design.What has been the main highlight in your successful career?I would say as well as the Olympics, the Connaught Hotel piece I created. Also the commission I made for the Shard. It was in a public place so anyone can see them.If someone was struggling to kick-start their illustration career, what advice would you give them?I think being in London is best for creatives. You just need to carry on creating, meet as many people as possible, and get as much feedback. Whether it’s doing a tiny show – just do as many things as you can and get sharing your ideas - that’s how you grow as an artist.