Reinventing Eva Herzigova
Design heroes: Charlotte Thomson
Inspired by 1940s and 50s pin-up girls Charlotte Thomson gives 'Hello Boys' a retro twist.
The Nottingham born and bred artist and illustrator specialises in retro and vintage inspired art and design.
"I draw a lot of burlesque performers, I do a lot for the entertainment industry but my favourite work is portraits for women."
Charlotte draws the women as 1940s and 50s curvy pin-up girls.
"It's celebrating how they want to see themselves - being sexy, cheeky and fun."
Charlotte decided she wanted to make her living from her art whilst studying at South Notts College in Clifton.
Portrait by Charlotte Thomson
She set up her own website, began selling on eBay and was pleasantly surprised to find the commissions start rolling in.
She's picked up work as a freelance illustrator for several publications including women's magazine Scarlet. As well as artwork for a whole host of club nights, film production companies and fashion designers.
This all sounds very easy but Charlotte puts her success down to her passion and determination.
"I was completely single-minded about it so there wasn't any other option for me."
Talent is obviously another factor. The internet opened her work up to a global market and she now receives commissions from all over the world. These commissions include one for Wonderbra.
"I got approached to recreate their famous Eva Hertzagova 'Hello Boys' advert. The one that caused car crashes. I was asked to recreate that in the 1950s style because they were doing a calendar for Breast Cancer Research."
Charlotte with one of her portraits
She has now achieved her initial goal, which was to work full-time on her art. Future plans include more exhibiting overseas, further shows with Nottingham artist collective Danse Macabre and her new bi-monthly anti-art night - a live cabaret drawing event - in Nottingham entitled Dr Sketchy.
And if she was to give one bit of advice to artists wanting to turn their passion into a career?
"You've got to get some attention. Get your stuff online - even if it is just a MySpace or a Facebook site. Start showing it to people. If people like your work they'll start commissioning things. You've just got to have the guts to do it."
Bid to be World Design Capital
Nottingham bid to become the World Design Capital in 2012. The city council, the Arts Council and Nottingham Trent University are behind the application to the International Design Alliance (IDA). Charlotte supported the application along with Nottingham-born designer Paul Smith.
You can hear more 'design heroes' every Tuesday with Frances Finn, 09:00 to 12:00 on BBC Radio Nottingham (95.5 & 103.8FM, DAB and online).
last updated: 20/07/2009 at 11:58