Hattie Stewart first shot to illustrator stardom in the 2010s, when her series of defaced ‘doodlebomb’ magazine covers – and their tongue-in-cheek take on celeb culture – caught the attention of the internet.
Since then, the London-based illustrator and ‘professional doodler’ has become well-known around the world for her trademark cartoonish style, which extends itself through the worlds of art, music and fashion.
Following on from her recent super-sized commission for Lotte department store in Seoul, Stewart has unveiled a new solo show at E03 Gallery in Beijing. A playful exploration of colour, pattern and form, I Forgot What I Was Doing features a new experimental body of work exploring themes of anxiety and sensory overload.
“The exhibition has a free-flowing narrative so each room has a slightly different feel, but as you move from one room to another it all connects as one stream of consciousness flows into another. The artworks morph and grow and constantly develop into new ideas and thoughts,” says Stewart.
Towards the end of the show, the illustrator quite literally forgets what she’s doing and in a moment of distraction, visitors suddenly arrive at a room dedicated to her prolific Doodlebomb project.
“It was important to me for the exhibition to be playful and visually engaging to the audience, whilst the process of creating the work was a therapeutic process for myself,” she says. “I wanted to find an engaging way to explore complex themes like anxiety, sensory overload and emotional overwhelm but in a visually striking way.”