We are incredibly pleased to introduce you to one of our most popular artists… Cheryl Boland! From Prince to the Spice Girls, and even Ross Geller, Cheryl Boland has created portraits of all our most loved celebrities and characters. Her unique style is a modern twist on the typical celebrity portrait, in which she still manages to capture the energy and likeness of the muse with her minimalist approach. But Cheryl doesn’t just do portraits, her portfolio also includes pattern-focused designs and typographical pieces too! With such a large selection of pieces to choose from, she is definitely an artist to keep an eye on. This Q+A will give you a small introduction to the artist behind these much-loved designs…
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your name? Where are you based? What does a typical day look like to you?
I’m Cheryl Boland, and I’m based in the North West in St Helens. I work full time as a Data Protection Officer for my local Council, so my days are pretty hectic – school run then work, then some designing and processing orders!
How would you describe your style of work?
My style is colourful and bold! I particularly love minimalistic celebrity portraits but also really enjoy creating typography designs too.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in life?
This is a hard question – probably to be myself and do what makes me happy, wise words of my mum.
What inspires you?
All sorts of things! For my portraits it can be something as simple as hearing a song on the radio or a particularly funny scene in a TV show or film
Is there a piece of artwork on Art Wow that you are most proud of? Why?
I really am proud of all of my art, they’re like little extensions of me; but if I had to pick a favourite it would be my new Moira Rose Fruit Wine illustration
If your artwork were music, what would it sound like?
As my art is a reflection of me it would definitely sound like pop punk! Upbeat and meaningful with a funky edge!
What artist, past or present has inspired you?
Who are your biggest influences?
I’m going to say my family for this one. My daughter is always so happy and bubbly, and I’m often influenced by her views and young perspective on things!
What was the last gift you gave someone?
I gave my daughter a bumble bee necklace (I got myself a matching one) to support the bumble bee project.
How did you get started as an illustrator?
It was a totally out of the blue thing. I started out just before Christmas 2019 doing handwritten fauxligraphy as a relaxation hobby and it spiralled from there pretty quickly. I got my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil in Feb 2020 and never looked back!
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
I’d be a dolphin, although I’m terribly afraid of things touching my legs in the ocean (especially seaweed!). I can just imagine how fun it would be to experience a new part of the earth in such a freeing way.
How did you develop your distinct style? Was it an experimental process?
It was definitely experimental, and because it’s such a crowded market its difficult to have a unique style emerge that is uniquely yours! I think part of my style identity is the colour palette I use – I’m always drawn to pastels!
What have been your biggest creative challenges to date?
Honestly, dealing with copycats – there’s nothing worse than seeing your design being copied especially when it is so clearly traced. So much time goes into getting designs just right and it’s such a proud moment when you finish your latest piece and so it’s a bit soul destroying to see them copied.
In one word, describe how art makes you feel.