Illustrator: Amy Lesko

For our series of interviews with the artists behind Counterpoint, we talked illustration heroes and pet hamsters with Leicester-based Amy Lesko.

What do you like drawing the most?

Food!!! For some reason I just really love drawing food – mainly donuts and fast food. I like making the lil’ doodles into a groovy patterns so I can remind myself of my true love in life. I also love to draw small scribbles of me participating in daily tasks, I find those the most fun when I have a chunky 4B pencil to scratch them out in.

Any illustration heroes?

So many my word! Off the top of my head it has to be Gemma Correll doesn’t it. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting her a few weeks ago and she is so lovely! A few others and I went to see Trainspotting T2 with her; I can’t get over how cool that was. Other illustrators are Amy Victoria Marsh, Nina Cosford, Ashley Ronning, Frannerd and John Bond.

How do you approach your illustration process?

Initially fear, then joy. I am always slightly scared to put pencil to paper. Mainly when first drawing an idea I have had in my head for ages; will I go right?! Will I fuck it up!? Who knows, it is the ultimate gamble. But as soon as I have drawn down the first lines, it becomes clear and my fear goes away. If it goes wrong erase it, start again, if anything it will be better the second time round. With my ‘rough’ sketches it usually takes me around 4 doodles to get to the ‘100% totally just drew this’ look.

Amy did this beautiful puzzle poster as a pull-out print for Counterpoint #11

Amy did this beautiful puzzle poster as a pull-out print for Counterpoint #11

What's your day job?

I am lucky enough to say that my day job also involves illustration. I work for an amazing company called Ohh Deer - we make cards, notebooks and all kinds of stationery! Some days I’m illustrating new ranges, other days I’m contacting other illustrators we work with, and in-between I’m simply matching Pantones to some swatches. I dabble in all sorts! We get to work with brands such as ASOS and Urban Outfitters and I think it’s pretty cool!!

You're based in Leicester - what's the illustration scene like there?

You know people slate Leicester, but it’s alright! I love Leicester – we have a decent creative scene with quiet a few small, but brilliant design agencies in town. We have a creative quarter that offers coffee mornings for creatives to chat and we have places to put on exhibitions. My friend William Wright put on an exhibition in LCB Depot last year - ‘Three Years On’ featuring Leicester based illustrators such as myself; it was a pleasure to be part of it! We have some decent stuff going on!

Is there anything you wish we'd asked?

“Do you have a cool studio pet?” Mainly because I want to mention my strange one-eyed hamster called Hillary. She is currently digging away right now which is the constant background noise in the evenings at my studio. She’s so weird but so fluffy.

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