There’s a charming, sensual fluidity in the work of British illustrator and animator Alice Bloomfield that feels like a current traveling into the deepest depths of human emotions. Her imagery is surreal and populated by exaggerated figures, and her use of the rich and luxurious coupled with the dark-sided and uncomfortable is the perfect mix for something irresistible.
Let’s have a chat with her!
Hello Alice and welcome to Visual Satiation!
Let’s start with an introduction: Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and the background that shaped the person and the artist you are today?
Hiii! So I’m Alice Bloomfield, a London-based illustrator and animator.
I graduated from the University of Brighton with an illustration bachelor in 2018.
The course was really experimental and focused a lot on animation which is how I got into it, starting by making small gifs and loops.
Once I graduated I was lucky enough to get a commission from my friend Puma Blue to animate his music video “As Is”.
That got me an “It’s Nice That” article and a prize at the BFI Future Film Festival, so a great foot in the door meant I had more work coming in and was able to start freelancing part time!
What feeds your imagination, and what kind of themes do you find yourself returning to in your art?
I love anything creepy, sleazy or over the top.
I’m kind of obsessed with the contrast between glamour and darkness, like how cigarettes used to be so romanticised before they were so closely associated with death, or like how people who live idealised lives of luxury and wealth are never actually happy.
I often explore this throughout my work where I pair characters – dripping in jewels in their lavash surroundings, with darker, more melancholy narratives.
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve been involved with? What are you working on lately?
A few years back I got to work with Gucci which was a dream come true!
Up until then I’d always drawn my characters wearing various Gucci outfits so it was amazing to be approached by the brand itself and commissioned to work on something so inspiring to me.
Later this year I’ve got a fun project coming out with the Outernet in their new building on Tottenham Court Road. It’s an immersive animation which will be shown on 360º, 16 meter tall screens. Definitely the biggest thing I’ve worked on and its going to be crazy (and nerve wracking) seeing my work at that scale!
Alice Bloomfield x Gucci
How have you been doing during this last couple of years, and how’s your life nowadays?
I’ve been doing good thanks!
Obviously we’ve just all been through the Covid lockdowns for the past two years but I’ve been really lucky as it hasn’t affected my work too much.
I’ve always worked from home and animated / illustrated in my bedroom so there wasn’t much change there.
I actually had more jobs come in as lots of live action shoots were canceled due to lockdown restrictions, so lots of projects switched over to animation which can be done remotely.
As an animator yourself, can you name some of your favorite animated movies?
My all time favourite is “Perfect Blue”.
The animation used is so clever, merging scenes with the character’s hallucinations in such a disorientating way that you feel like you’re going mad while watching the main character’s descent into psychosis.
I also love the “Æon Flux” series, just for the way Peter Chung animates his elongated, Egon Schiele-esq figures and the unsettling plots where the main character dies at the end of each episode.
“Perfect Blue” by Satoshi Kon
“Æon Flux” by Peter Chung
Since you’ve got a great eye for fashion as well, who are your all-time favorite fashion icons?
FKA Twigs and Dua Lipa always look so good and wear the clothes I wish I could afford haha.
You can tell they have so much fun with their outfits and just wear what they want without worrying too much about it which I love.
I also watch a lot of reality TV and think Jaime Xie from Bling Empire always looks great. Watching her wardrobe tours on Youtube soothes my soul.
FKA Twigs, Dua Lipa and Jaime Xie
Beside making beautiful illustrations, what are some of your other favorite activities?
Apart from art I dabble slightly with cooking and foraging, making sloe gin, elderflower cordial and wild garlic pesto. Nothing too crazy!
It’s just nice to be able to pick something from the ground and eat it.
Name something you like to collect, and name a phobia you have.
I’m a complete hoarder and can’t throw anything away, which I guess is ideal for collecting stuff. At the moment I’m stacking up Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage plates and shopping lists I find at the supermarket.
I’m absolutely terrified of spiders.
Last year I came home in the early hours to a massive spider in the middle of my front door, so I had to sit on the street outside and wait for a passing milkman to come and get rid of it for me.
Bordallo Pinheiro Majolica Cabbage Leaf Tableware
What’s your favorite cocktail?
I always have time for a margarita <3
Please show us an early drawing of yours.
Lastly, let’s give you a few minutes to draw a caricature of yourself and see how it goes! Ready, set, go!
Thank you so so much for being with us Alice!
We wish you all the best!