“Some see empty space. Others see opportunity”

12 Sep 2019

Based in London, Charlotte Trounce is an illustrator with an enviable client list that includes The New York Times, Airbnb and Man Repeller. We wanted to change the way people look at vacant stores so commissioned Charlotte to bring these empty spaces to life with a new campaign. Working mostly in paint, Charlotte adds colour to the everyday. We speak to her about her artistic journey:

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How did you get into illustration?
I’ve always enjoyed drawing and painting from a young age. Whilst studying an Art Foundation at Falmouth, illustration seemed to make the most sense for me. I was always drawn to being freelance; I love the flexibility it allows and how every new commission is different from the last.

What was your biggest career turning point?
A visit to NYC in the final year of my degree led to a meeting with an Art Director at the New York Times, who gave me my very first commission for the Book Review.

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You have a big following on Instagram. How do you balance offline and online life?
Instagram has become very important for illustrators to get their work seen, including those who commission us, so I consider it more like another online portfolio rather than something personal. I don’t like to share too much of my offline life!

What are your past/present favourite projects? Why?
One that definitely stands out was a commission from It’s Nice That and Art Fund. I spent two weeks travelling around museums and galleries, in and out of London, visually recording everything I saw. Other great projects have been for Shiseido and Linnaean; both allowed me a lot of creative freedom to explore techniques and focus on simply making lovely painted marks!

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Which are your favourite cities? Would you ever move?
Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, and Edinburgh. I’m hoping to move somewhere new next year.

What defines a great city?
Beautiful architecture, big green spaces, and great food! I think the best cities are by the sea.

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What are your favourite areas in London and why? Be specific!
As my home, I think South East London is pretty great. I love Bonnington Square in Lambeth; it’s a beautiful green space with a couple of great cafes and country dancing on Friday nights! I’ve always loved the Barbican too.

If you could launch your own store, where would it be and what would it look like?
It would be a gallery space with a carefully curated shop and a cafe selling wine and snacks. I’d like it to be somewhere busy enough for lots of visitors but local enough to feel part of a smaller community. It would probably have a Japanese aesthetic.

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