Design Links: Lara Hawthorne, Sophie Bass & Sophie Glover


Note: This is part 16 in Emily Potts’ inspirational series, Design Links. Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the fifteenth part in the series, featuring Monica Ramos, Rachel Levit, and Harriet Lee-Merrion.

Harriet Lee-Merrion is inspired by …

Lara Hawthorne

Lara’s work is a wonderful imaginative world, in which mini beasts and creatures have intriguing narratives. She inspires me because her work is beautiful, playful and poetic.


I particularly like the Snake Palace because of its intricate detail and largeness; you can interpret miniture narratives within one image. The old folk tale it’s based on is a strange story, where a woman accidentally marries a snake. He turns out to be royalty and they live in his grand palace. This makes her sister jealous, so she tries to find herself a similar boa husband, but ends up as his dinner instead.


I also love The Owlman, which is based on a local myth from Mawnan Smith in Cornwall. The myth is based on real people’s sightings of a man sized owl, said to have red eyes and to hang around near the coastline. It’s an odd, dark tale but Lara’s depiction of the character is so charming.

Lara Hawthorne is inspired by …

Sophie Bass

Sophie’s work inspires me because it is very personal and beautiful. She paints meaningful subject matter in a very bold, decorative, and colorful way. Her work is a total reflection of who she is and her interest in different cultures, human nature, and the natural world. She’s not afraid to boldly and beautifully embrace themes such as sex and death—subjects that a lot of people would shy away from. I also like how she makes factual and informative commissions such as maps and posters into individual, clear and inspiring artworks.


I love her use of color here because she’s limited her palette to some really pleasing reds, greens, and yellows. I like how satisfying it looks to paint and that there are many artworks all in one space. It’s also very unique—you won’t often find posters that focus on such a unique and exciting subject.



“Self Love” is a project of two images she did for a feminist zine called Girls Don’t Do That, and is a reflection of her interest in feminist issues. Both are dynamic and beautiful paintings: from the women with hairy legs to the blue foliage and pleasing patterns.

Sophie Bass is inspired by …

Sophie Glover

Sophie’s confident yet delicate approach to image inspires me every day, not just in her execution but in her perception; her way of seeing the overlooked minutiae of life. For instance, when I notice pennies inlaid in concrete or where the tin foil peels away from the colored plastic chocolate wrapper, I think, “God Soph would love that.”

To her, drawing is this powerful infinite tool. Her lines resonate and vibrate with energy and yet her work is so measured and examined. More than anything Sophie is a highly skilled draughts-woman—she doesn’t rely on any tricks or trends, she just draws with this undeniable skill and style that leaves me in awe.


Sophie draws artists in their creative spaces. Her studio drawings show the evolution of line, and they take you on both the journey of her work and the artist in question. The rapidity of her line and the layers she builds up have history and meaning. She somehow captures a person’s soul and character so effortlessly; every line has a purpose – even all her mistakes.


During her artist in residency on Kokar, a tiny island in the Baltic sea, Sophie examined rocks. She explored the possibilities of representation and produced a body of work that amazed me. To look at such an abstract thing as a rock and create so many beautiful images from such seemingly flat objects was magical. Her depth of texture and subtle color in these almost tangible sketches is so powerful. I feel the heaviness and solidity of the object, yet it’s drawn in this light and free manner.

Tune in next time to see who inspired Sophie Glover.