Many thanks to Gemma Knight and the team at The Cheshire Magazine for such a lovely article!
the text of which follows...
"If ever there was a success story, Kerry Lemon is it. Still just barely in her thirties, her intricate hand painted murals, pen drawings and innovative art installations have rocketed her into the international spotlight. garnering commissions from global brands such as Sony. Swarovski and Harvey Nichols, not to mention a host of assignments closer to home. “You’ve probably walked past her art on the way to work a hundred times and not even known it!’ her PR tells me, and she's probably right.
‘I can't believe my luck that I get to draw all day long,’ is the very first thing Kerry says to me, her happy air making it impossible not to like her instantly. ‘There is nothing in the world that I would rather do.’
She may attribute it to luck, but it seems to me that she doesn't give herself enough credit. In fact. I have the immediate feeling that this is one of those instances where the profession chose her, rather than the other way round.
“I was always drawing from being very little. I loved to draw in obsessive detail. each hair on a rabbit's fur and every tile on a roof,' she muses. as if this sort of talent and dedication were the height of normality for an eight year-old. She followed a childhood spent drawing with a degree in Fine Art, during which she spent four years working on highly conceptual installations and turning entire rooms into vast sculptures which utterly transformed their environments.
Having begun creating art on what she candidly terms “an ambitious scale', Kerry Lemon was never going t0 be content with the limitations of a canvas. Having slowly established herself through small UK-based projects. it wasn't until last year that things really took off and she suddenly found herself creating large scale, breath-taking installations and window displays for achingly high-profile brands, among them Smythson, Liberty London and London Fashion Week. Two of her most elaborate commissions were those for legendary Parisian department store Le Bon Marché and long standing British brand Boodles - commissions which, it’s plain to see, are two of her favourites.
‘I created all of Le Bon Marché's New Year windows in January 2013 which was a mammoth, exciting challenge' she says, showing me pictures of the life-sized ivory animal figures perched on coloured plinths, from beneath them springing the elaborately hand-drawn legs (or, in one case, tentacles) of mismatched creatures. She looks at the bizarrely beautiful scene fondly and says she's delighted with how they turned out.
She brings out pictures of the Boodles window displays too, gorgeous wintry scenes of spindly icing-white trees peppered with line-drawn woodland animals carrying immaculately-wrapped Christmas gifts and bags of Boodles jewellery.
‘It was a wonderful commission,“ she smiles ‘creating bespoke Christmas window schemes for seven of their stores across the UK [including those in Liverpool, Manchester and Chester]. Each store had completely different sizes and numbers of windows and so they had to be individually designed. I love drawing animals, and so it was great to create the owls, robins and rabbits for this job.‘
Kerry also takes commissions for illustrations and album covers (meaning she has worked with an impressive array of newspapers, magazines and music companies around the world), and continues to teach art workshops, classes and courses, something she began doing while still a student at university because, not coming from an arty family, she admits being drawn to “people who are nervous of drawing and helping them to find their confidence by teasing out their unique drawing style.'
She's currently engrossed in her latest project, an art book set to be launched next spring, a development which seems to have taken her by surprise more than even her most ambitious commissions.
‘I'd never even considered writing a book until my publisher got in touch last Christmas, it came completely out of the blue.‘ She explains. ‘They had seen details of an art retreat I was teaching in America about drawing, and were interested in commissioning an instructional art book. I am passionate about enabling people to find their own way into drawing and making it a part of their life, and the book enables me to teach a far wider audience than my schedule allows.‘
Kerry Lemon is a contradiction. On the one hand, she is a down-to-earth freelance artist and illustrator living in Surrey with her boyfriend and two cats, subsisting on ‘pink wafer biscuits, and oceans of tea (while, no sugar) '. On the other, she is a rapidly rising superstar of the art world, in cross-continental demand and praised by some of its most eminent figures. Perhaps it is her enduring ability to balance the two which is responsible for her meteoric success - but whatever it is, hers will certainly be a name to listen out for in 2014."