We are thrilled to introduce our latest artist collaboration, with artist and illustrator Annabel Pearl - creator of all things joyful. Working closely with Lulu, she has lent her playful hand to colourful interpretations of the iconic Lip, some of Lulu’s most beloved bags and - the centerpiece - her 3D cardboard forever flower arrangements. We caught up with Annabel to find out more about her work and what makes her tick creatively.
What are you inspired by with your drawings and illustrations?
I like objects and the stories they tell, especially if they are related to emotions or the history of something or somebody. For illustration, I really love Jean Cocteau, and the painters Elizabeth Painton and Chantal Joffe. I also really borrow from the techniques of Andy Warhol’s line drawings, which I love.
Why did you choose this as a career path?
I think because I found it really joyful - seeing the beauty in life. Because I can get quite depressed at times, it helps to draw the beautiful things in life and then communicate that to other people. Sharing what it is to be human, I guess.
What is it about your work that you love?
I love the physical act of drawing and thinking about what I’d like to create. When it came to working with Lulu, I love that she’s so imaginative and thoughtful and takes her work from so many sources. It was really nice to be able to push myself more and see how far I could go. Working with Lulu was one of my nicest illustration commissions.
Could you talk us through where the idea came from for the 3D flowers?
It was a real collaboration with Lulu. She had the idea for these flowers that never die for a while but didn’t know how they should look. To begin with she wanted them to be half card and half real flowers, a bit like Cecil Beaton’s set designs. She likes that surrealist element – pretend versions of the real thing. We tried first with a rose bowl but that never really worked, then we went for the urn from other drawings I’d done of some ferns. So I just adapted that and then it worked really well.
How did you create the designs?
The process is borrowed from Andy Warhol - a very basic print-making technique. You draw the design first in pencil on tracing paper then attach it with tape to a piece of hot pressed smooth watercolour paper then ink it up bit by bit with a dip pen and black waterproof ink. Then you press it down so you are doing a repeat print. Once it’s dried I fill it in with a loose wash of watercolour inks, which are quite intense colours. Because it’s quite a hit and miss process you get these charming blobby bits that you can keep if you’re happy with them. I used the same technique with the lips and other drawings. The motifs were borrowed from Elsa Schiaparelli, another Lulu favourite.
Where do you hope these pieces end up?
I think it’s so lovely seeing photographs of the flowers in people’s houses. It’s such a nice idea and so special. They’re not exorbitantly expensive either so even if you’re not feeling flush you might be able to treat yourself. Plus they add a sense of grandeur to any house, so I like that too.
Lulu loves is about championing female creatives, what does that mean to you?
It means a lot! At the event I did in the Lulu store, it occurred to me how powerful women can be when they get together. One of the things I admire about Lulu is she is so open and honest, for example talking about mental health or being a woman - she leads by example. Lulu is also so generous to the people she champions – pushing them creatively and she really shares her power.SHOP ANNABEL PEARL X LULU GUINNESS