Tiffany Beucher on illustrating with humour
Tiffany Beucher is a London based illustrator who creates images that inspire and empower in their simplistic and colourful way.
We spoke to her about her playful use of humour in her work and how creatives can take inspiration from their surroundings to create artwork that raises a smile.
How did your visual style develop? Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from? Who or what at are your main influences?
I’m inspired by people, objects, nature and other artists work (all media: writing, painting, ceramics, architecture etc…). I’m drawn by the quirky, the diverse and everything bold and colourful in any work or person I encountered.
How do you use tools like exaggerated poses, facial expressions, scale and funny situations to make people smile and laugh when they look at your work?
Expressions and poses are big ones for me. I simply love playing with side looks, annoyed or surprise eyes. There are so many possibilities when you’re drawing. But yes eyes and poses in characters say it all so I’m working to get it right. I want people to read a comical expression straight away.
How do you make your work relatable?
I try to represent only the things I’ve experienced or that I really understand. It has more impact and engagement this way. It is what I observed with my hermit crab’s small comic. I’m a big introvert person for whom it takes time to feel comfortable in society, say the wrong thing and I’ll be back to square one. The hermit crab is the perfect metaphor for this feeling.
With reference to a recent illustration piece or series, can you briefly talk us through one of your well honed art techniques for creating character illustration with humour?
Following my trip to Lisboa and more recently Japan, I really wanted to share something very personal inspired by my experiences during these trips. I wanted people to feel engaged, and feel the humour the right way. So even if it is not always me that I represent, it is really me being the silly tourist who just does what people expect from him: posing front of the Azulejo tiles, got the sacred saint Pasteis in Lisbon or running away from the greedy deers of Nara in Japan. This way feel truer and I’m not really mocking someone else.
Keep your work as simple and relatable as you can by representing things that you know or experienced and think about how you can make it even more universal with exaggeration.
For creatives who are interested in playing with humour in their work but are not sure how, can you offer a trick, a tip or piece of advice to get started?
Keep your work as simple and relatable as you can by representing things that you know or experienced and think about how you can make it even more universal with exaggeration. I’m sure someone somewhere will see it and smile.
Extracts from this interview appear in 20 tips for using humour in your illustration, published by Digital Arts, February 2020.