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A talented local artist has launched an ambitious project called ‘Southport Illustrated’.

It looks to create a very special hand-illustrated book featuring famous buildings from the scenic seaside resort both past and present.

Ruth Spillane is asking people to support her KickStarter appeal in order to fund the project.

The page is called ‘Southport Illustrated A look at Southport past and present’.
Ruth, who has been inspired by art in Paris, London, New York, Moscow and other places around the world, believes that “nothing compares to the variety and beauty we have here in Southport”.

Her instantly recognisable artwork already adorns prints, greetings cards and tote bags in shops around Southport and also on the Etsy Southport website.
She said:

“In 2016 I started a project called ‘Illustrating Southport’ in my home town, where I illustrated well-known landmarks, shops and streets, concentrating on the beautiful Victorian architecture we have here in the North West.

“My work was noticed and praised by local newspapers which published several of my illustrations.

“This brought my work to a wide variety of different audiences, for example local business owners, charities, community organisers etc who have since commissioned me to create custom made brands and logos for a variety of purposes.

“Alongside these commissions, I also create cards, prints and art work for local retailers which have proven incredibly popular and have enabled me to grow my business alongside my portfolio.

“I am now undertaking an MA in Illustration at Falmouth University.”

Ruth lives in Southport with her husband, three children, and a rabbit called Mango.
She said:

“You will usually find me walking around town, with a coffee, taking photographs of the beautiful buildings, architecture and landmarks we have here in Southport.

“I first became interested in illustration whilst undertaking my Art and Design GCSE at Greenbank High School in 2001.

“I studied drawing and painting by researching influential artists and illustrators. I began to explore different illustration styles, art genres and artists that I admired. My favourite artists are Paul Klee, Mark Rothko and Frank Lloyd Wright.

“During this time I travelled extensively and visited Paris, London, New York and Moscow. I was inspired by the wonderful works of art and architecture of The Louvre, Monet’s House, StPeter's Square, The Empire State Building, The MOMA, The V&A and The Lowry.

“I began drawing and illustrating the interesting places I had visited, using different illustration styles and mark making techniques, incorporating old books, postcards, tickets and receipts into my work - I obtained a Grade A in GCSE Art and Design.

“Following my GSCEs I attended Southport College to undertake an Advanced BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design. I enjoyed studying historical and contemporary art, applying my previous knowledge of Art and Design to create and develop my ideas, work to set briefs and developing my portfolio. I obtained a Grade BB in Advanced BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design.

“This enabled me to incorporate a professional element into my work and prepared me with the necessary experience and background knowledge to commence a BA (Hons) Graphic Design Degree. This I did in applying to the University of Central Lancashire in 2010, where I covered topics such as creative thinking, professional practice and visual communication.

“I enjoyed hand-drawing lettering, editorials and illustrations for books and magazines, exploring the great graphic designers and typographers that have influenced us today. I graduated from UCLAN in 2013.

“Following my degree course, I began working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, providing professional illustrations and logos for a wide variety of different companies.

“This experience was invaluable and enabled me to start an online bespoke illustration business called Ruth Spillane illustrations, which showcases my current works and ongoing projects.”

Reported by Andrew Brown of Stand Up For Southport