The Royal Academy of Arts shop is delighted to introduce their new collaboration with established designer, artist and illustrator Cressida Bell.
These breath-taking designs, featuring a flock of swallows swooping and diving among stars and clouds, were conceived in the RA Archives, where Cressida found inspiration in the work of renowned illustrator Walter Crane.
Cressida Bell on collaborating with the RA:
“The Royal Academy gave me a brief to find inspiration in the RA archives – and I was delighted to find a large collection of Walter Crane books and prints in their library. I loved Walter Crane books as a child (my mother has a good collection) so I was happy to spend an afternoon poring over them.
I made a selection of my favourites which included an end-paper with stylised clouds and sunrises. This was the starting point for my design. Birds are a common theme in many of Crane’s illustrations so I used a selection of them to superimpose on the clouds. I first had to make an all-over design from the clouds and put that into repeat (not an easy process) and then I drew and refined 12 separate birds. These were then arranged so as to look like a flock of birds swooping and diving amongst the stars and clouds.”
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