Illustrator Corner: Holly Exley

It’s no secret that I love watercolor, so when I saw Holly’s painting of Reggie I was in awe! As it turns out, Holly is a professional illustrator with a very impressive portfolio! Learn a little more about Holly by checking out her bio below!

‘Watercolour has been my “thing” for a long time now, ever since I received a watercolour lesson from an artist friend of the family at the tender age of five. I remember I painted a fruit bowl, and even though I signed and dated it with all the numbers back to front and wonky, I’m still kind of proud of that painting, and the journey it’s led me on since.

For the past two years I have been working full time as an illustrator in London which, for me, is just a dream come true. I get to spend all day painting, and hanging out with my dog Quentin. It does sometimes get lonely, and the hours are really, really long – but it suits me well enough and it’s pretty varied day to day.

Recently, I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing clients, including Universal Music, Marks & Spencers and Lonely Planet. I would say clients mainly request animal illustrations, which is lucky because I am a huge fan of animals. I get asked to paint a lot of food too – also lucky, also a big fan of food! But I really just love to render anything in watercolour, I just love the texture and fluidity of it.

Outside of work, I have discovered my passions are becoming rather similar to those of a retired pensioner – I’m only 26 but I’m searching for the quiet life! Weekends are spent walking my dog in Epping Forest in Essex, drinking a sherry (read: gin) in a country pub and I’ve just signed a lease on an allotment which means I’ll soon be an avid gardener too. I really love the idea of being self-sufficient and one day dream of owning land for chickens and sheep!’


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