Helena Covell

Helena Covell grew up between the green, rolling hills of Yorkshire in the UK and the Spanish island of Lanzarote, surrounded by mountains and sandy beaches. Paired with an innate love of nature and video games, this wonderful childhood has influenced Helena’s work and can be seen in her bizarre characters and brightly coloured worlds. She graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2015 and currently works a freelance illustrator, based in Yorkshire.

To find out a little more about her work, we asked Helena the following questions…

What inspires your work?

I spent a lot of my childhood growing up on an island (Lanzarote) at my dad’s old house-exploring, rolling around with the dogs in the sand, and wandering in the mountains. When I wasn’t there I was with my mum, in the green, leafy middle of Yorkshire. Me growing up in these wonderful places, as well as watching a lot of animal docs as a kid, fostered a huge interest in nature, which plays a big part in the aesthetic decisions I make in my work.

I also played a lot of video games when I was young and found myself immersed in the culture of imagined worlds and bizarre characters. I looked for other worlds everywhere and loved to make them up. Studio Ghibli’s incredibly immersive worlds influenced me greatly.


Tell us a bit about your process…

I love the fun and immediacy of the sketches in my notebooks and try to hold on to that through to the refined image. To do this I work a lot with the initial sketches, muddling them up on Photoshop with a combination of brushes until I deem them passable. Because I prefer to work with a restricted palette, and love the aesthetic, I usually make my work tailored to a screen printed/ risographed finish.