ILLUSTRATOR KRISTJANA S WILLIAMS

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Kristjana S Williams, whose clients include Chanel and the V&A, founded fashion label Beyond the Valley with two fellow Central Saint Martins graduates. Now focusing on her solo illustration and design, she tells us about the creative process behind her London Design Week show and how she broke into the industry…


Did you always want to be an illustrator?
If I asked my six-year-old self, I would probably have said yes because I was constantly drawing and painting, but when I became a teenager I thought, “God, surely nobody can make a living out of this”. I studied electronics at university in Iceland. I was slightly obsessed by designing and building logic circuits but my maths wasn’t quite as strong as it should have been. I went back to study graphic design at Central Saint Martins, majoring in Illustration. From there I ended up in fashion. I would create these huge digitally printed fabrics that became more and more like a story until I got to a point where each piece was more like an illustration in its own right. That’s when Outline Editions gallery picked up on my work and it went from there.

Why did you decide to set up Beyond the Valley when you left Saint Martins? 
It was about supporting up-and-coming designers and promoting the idea that you could do your fine art pieces and do commercial stuff as well. Now there are so many graphic designers and illustrators creating art work in its own right. All these boundaries are falling down and people are respected for what they do regardless of the name of their individual profession.





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