Vicki Turner: passionate illustrator with an environmental affinity

Vicki Turner is passionate about the environment. This British illustrator and designer’s work echoes her love of the natural world and the causes she gives a damn about. Vicki has worked on projects with some big name companies such as Disney/Pixar, Elle Decoration and Grand Designs magazine, and more recently on Taste: The Infographic Book of Food. But, she still puts equal gusto into the more humble causes that sit close to her heart. She talks to Khoollect about career highlights, and some interesting initiatives she’s working on.

The Taste

A Day in the Life of Vicki Turner

You’ve done illustrations for some amazing high-profile publications and organisations. Which job or project has been the highlight of your career?

I’ve enjoyed many projects for different reasons, yet the self-initiated print project Drop In The Ocean was a meaningful one for me. It was inspired by our great oceans and their plight with plastic waste, and a percentage of the money made was donated to the good people at Surfers Against Sewage.

Another highlight was when I got the opportunity to work on the book Taste: The Infographic Book of Food. It was a dream. It was hard work, which meant many late nights, but to feel and see the Taste in my hands was an incredible feeling.

Tell us about any interesting projects you’re working on right now?

I recently launched a side project named Feist Forest. This is a return return to my product and furniture design roots. I work collaboratively with friends Ben and Mike to make wooden work tables for independent minds and makers. They’re made by hand and built to last using sustainably sourced British Ash.

Feist Forest

What does a ‘day in the life of’ Vicki look like?

There’s no typical day as such, but today I got up early, went to the woods for a walk, finished an editorial illustration commission, caught up with a friend about a new magazine project, then explored some wood finishes for a new Feist Forest collaboration.

What illustration are you most proud of?

I’m not sure I’ve reached that stage yet – I still see all the faults and think it could be better. Hopefully one day I’ll think, ‘whoa, nailed it’.

Who are your top five favourite illustrators?

Oh this is tough, as there’s so much talent out there. If I had to choose five image makers that inspire me the most, they would be:

Best Kept Secrets

I khoollect a few …

Nature and beach finds.

https://www.instagram.com/p/u-K08LnYK9/?taken-by=vickimturner

What’s your favourite item in your #khoollection?

A Bali Starling feather. They were on the brink of extinction, but after lots of hard work by a local initiative, their numbers have risen. I found the feather on the forest floor and it sits in a box alongside me and radiates good vibes.

A life lesson that you’d tell your younger self?

Trust your instinct.

Your go-to recipe for a busy weeknight?

I’m the worst cook. But I do love making pancakes. My favourite is a cinnamon spiced pancake, topped with natural yoghurt, blueberries, raspberries, almonds and a drizzle of agave.

Urban Favourites

Where do you call home and what do you love most about it?

Devon. It’s where I was brought up. I left at 18, and returned a couple years ago aged, 34. It’s a magical place – the moorlands, the folklore, the oceans. It has a certain kind of grit, energy and beauty that I value a lot.

Your favourite place for coffee?

Town Mill Bakery in Lyme Regis. It’s an organic bakery that has returned to the old fashioned way of doing things. Passionate and friendly too.

Best spot for dinner?

Same place!

Where do you go to pickup fresh produce?

Riverford Organic Farms.

The best nook in Devon for illustrating, designing, reading or writing?

Boston Tea Party in Exeter – it has big windows, lots of light and a good, down to earth atmosphere. Great Chai too.

Best green space or park?

Oh Dartmoor for sure!

How do you spend a lazy Sunday?

It’s been a while. I’ve been renovating an old rust bucket of a tin tabernacle to become a studio space. It’s taking up most of my weekends. Yet, a dream Sunday? A Devon beach, attempting to surf, laughter, good friends, big blankets and barbecues.

https://www.instagram.com/p/rfQ3D3HYGy/?taken-by=vickimturner

If not in Devon, where would you be?

Japan or Iceland.

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Find out more

Visit Vicki Turner’s website.

Read more about Vicki’s new project Feist Forest.

Find Vicki Turner on Instagram and Twitter.