Niki Groom on building a career in illustration, slow fashion and why the industry must change

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Creative Boom Podcast Episode #64 - Niki Groom on building a career in illustration, slow fashion and why the industry must change

Our next guest is Niki Groom, also known as Miss Magpie Spy, an award-winning fashion, beauty and lifestyle illustrator from the UK. Creating work that is colourful, hand-drawn, and feminine, her clients include Vogue, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Liberty.

Whether it's for ad campaigns, window displays, editorial pieces, or live events, Niki favours a mixture of watercolour paints, marker pens, ink, and fine liner. Before her venture into illustration, she was a fashion designer for 15 years, something she says helps her enormously in her career, as she has a unique understanding of colour, fabric and print.

Aside from her freelancing, Niki is part of the brilliant live-illustration LIL Collective, which brings together a selection of talented fashion illustrators who specialise in events illustration. So far, she's illustrated at venues such as Selfridges, Harrods, and even live on air for BBC Radio 1.

I met Niki in London last month to hear more about her creative journey. Our conversation threw up lots of helpful advice on freelancing, marketing, and surviving as a professional illustrator. We hear of her fascinating experience of being a fashion designer, her time living in India, and how a backpacking trip to Australia led to her first illustration commission and work with Vogue. And we dive into cultural shifts, slow fashion, and diversity in the creative industries.

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