Catriona Phillips

  • 2020
  • Design
  • Illustration - MFA/MA

Catriona Phillips: Bessica Raiche and her Fantastic Flying Machine

Catriona Phillips
Bessica Raiche and her Fantastic Flying Machine

What do you want people to know about your graduation project?

My final project is a picture book telling the forgotten story of Bessica Raiche, an early female aviator who built a biplane in her living room in 1910. I am fascinated by the stories of these pioneering women who defied the conventions of their day to follow their dreams and take to the sky. Their huge ambition and daredevil adventures spark the elusive feeling that anything is possible and I hope to capture some of that spirit in my work.
 

What or who is your inspiration and why is following this route important to you? 

I am inspired by Bessica Raiche and all the other ambitious, adventurous women I came across in my research. Their stories have a timeless appeal and deserve to be told, but they are especially important to me because I was following an improbable dream of my own when I applied to study llustration at ECA. With no artistic background to speak of and an established career working in communications, these women gave me the courage to take a leap into the unknown.

Catriona Phillips_Illustration - MFA_MA_2020_Bessica Raiche and her Fantastic Flying Machine_2.jpg
Catriona Phillips
Bessica Raiche and her Fantastic Flying Machine
Catriona Phillips_Illustration - MFA_MA_2020_Bessica Raiche and her Fantastic Flying Machine_7.jpg
Catriona Phillips
Bessica Raiche and her Fantastic Flying Machine

What has been your favourite thing about ECA and Edinburgh? 

The studio environment at ECA has been really wonderful. My fellow students have pushed me, encouraged me, and inspired me in so many different ways. The atmosphere was always supportive but working alongside so many talented people definitely gave me the drive to improve my own work.
 

What are your hopes for life after ECA? Do you have any plans? 

I plan to take the illustration world by storm! The ultimate goal is to become the new cake illustrator for the Great British Bake Off, but in the meantime, I hope to find a publisher for Bessica Raiche and her Fantastic Flying Machine and have plans for a whole series of books featuring forgotten female adventurers and pioneers.
 

Is there anything you’d like to share about your experience studying here? 

I have really learned the importance of having a supportive creative community around you. That’s something I will be taking with me as I head out into the big wide world of freelance illustration.

 

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