Nina Cosford - Author Picture

Nina Cosford - Author

As a child

I grew up in Reigate, Surrey at the foot of the North Downs, which I frequently drew and painted from my bedroom window. My dad (Mike Cosford) has been a commercial and concept artist for almost 40 years so inevitably I had glimpses of what it could be like to make a living out of illustration. I drew every day from an age too young to really remember, and would try to imitate and understand the great masters whilst at college. This then flowed into far more personal and expansive projects, mostly stemming from a subconscious love of architecture, whereby I would construct stories around derelict buildings that I explored in my home town. Whilst studying Illustration at Kingston University, one of my favourite exercises was Reportage drawing - going out and about and documenting people and places wherever I happened to be, indoors, outdoors, home and abroad.

As an adult

Before, during and after University I travelled as much as I could to places including India, America, Borneo, Singapore, Barcelona, Oslo, Prague, Australia and Amsterdam. From each trip I would come back with trinkets - I own an ancient letterpress draw which is mounted to my wall and holds an object from every place I have visited - and sketchbooks full of drawings and mementos. I have an insatiable desire to document almost anything I see and learn, not only to help me to remember, but to help me to understand what I come across. Hopefully this bordering-on-obsessive habit will stay with me for most of my life. Having graduated from University, I moved from Kingston down to the seaside to spend some time at home before preparing to move to London. Hastings proved to be an inspiring place and enabled me to be highly prolific yet have space to breathe and reflect on where I had been and where I wanted to go with my work. After establishing a fantastic studio space, collaborating with other local creatives and finding myself nearer to London than I presumed (only a 90 minute train ride away) I realised Hastings was the place I wanted to call home.

As an artist

Since completing my degree, I have managed to sustain a constant and exciting career in freelance illustration. I have worked on projects that have taken me around the country and the world and the list of clients I have worked with remains varied and interesting. The most consistent jobs I have had in the last couple of years have been the Pocket Pops collection from Walker Books, having illustrated books on Dublin, Edinburgh, Royal Palaces of London, Prague, The Palace of Versailles, Cumbria and the Lake District and the Tower of London. Another ongoing project of mine in collaboration with Zero Lubin is a series of quirky colouring books for children, with titles ranging from 'Hankies' and 'Toys' to 'Circus' and 'Kings and Queens'.

Things you didn’t know about Nina Cosford

My studio is high above a coffee shop I play my piano just about every day I sometimes walk under the pier at night when the tide is out I like Ikea too much I like Ikea meatballs too much I treat my dog like a human I aim to own every Miroslav Sasek book in the next 5 years I can't resist tacky souvenirs I like to think I am green-fingered Mary Blair is my idol

Featured Books, with extracts, by Nina Cosford

Shakespeare: A Three Dimensional Expanding Pocket Guide
Nina Cosford
2014 marks the 450th Anniversary of William Shakespeare Beautifully packaged and full of detailed information this is a stunning fold out version of the life and plays of William Shakespeare. Opened out one way, the details of Shakespeare's life from...
Lovereading Price: £4.00 - Saving £1.00 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 03/04/2014
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