For the third instalment of their Scarlett series, Lee® invited illustrator, and self-proclaimed doodle bomber, Hattie Stewart to customise iconic Lee® styles, the Scarlett High jean and denim Rider Jacket.
London based Hattie creates bold and playful designs that transcend art and fashion. The characters and slogans are tongue-in-cheek and remind us not to take ourselves, or the world around us, too seriously. As Lee® approaches their 130th anniversary the Scarlett Icon project explores what it takes to be an icon.
Customers can pick up limited edition Lee® x Hattie Stewart patch from Lee®’s Covent Garden store today.
Find out more about Hattie Stewart in her interview below.
For those that may not be familiar with your work, tell us a little bit about the fields you work in and how your distinctive creative style came about.
My work is a bold, cheeky and colourful style incorporating characters and patterns into my own little world - usually by applying my artwork over the covers of influential magazines. I work in many fields like Music, Fashion, advertising and editorial but my main focus is art and illustration - from there everything else comes. Stylistically I've also been drawn to strong clean lines and bright colours - pouring over comics like Beano and Dandy and Beryl The Peril as a kid and painting cartoon characters onto the the side of school buildings with my uncle in Sheffield. Over the years it has gradually formed into the style I have today and will likely grow further in the years to come - I've only been working professionally for 6 years but have been drawing all my life so I'm excited to see what changes and forms my style takes as I get older.
When did the world of illustration begin for you? Had you always sought a career in this field or did a hobby get serious one day?
I enjoyed Photography, I enjoyed Fashion, I enjoyed Fine Art and Sculpture and Painting but ultimately, I loved to draw and focusing on illustration enabled me to incorporate all those other fields into my work - to draw was the core of my work which everything else could flourish around creatively I guess. I always try to keep the sense of play and experimentation in my work - both personally and professionally - to keep everything fresh and myself invigorated as I get bored very easily and I can be my own worse critic - as we all can.
The Hattie Stewart for Lee project celebrates Lee’s iconic Scarlett jean. You’ve illustrated for iconic brands and doodlebomb iconic titles, do you use ‘icons’ as a frame of reference in your work?
This project was a lot of fun as I was able to use motifs in my design like the eyes and heart character that are synonymous with my work and I think most recognisable iconography - that's why they were the perfect choice the incorporate into this project! Generally, in my own work using icons on my doodlebombs sometimes has the stronger impact as although the illustration can obscure the icon is still recognisable and therefore the tongue in cheek satirical approach has greater impact. Icons are important as they are what draw people in and are able to create that instant acknowledgment of your work, in only a passing glance.
What makes an icon in your opinion, and do you think what it means to be an icon has changed over recent years?
Time. Time makes an icon - it can't be forced or created - it takes a lifetime body of work to create an icon.