Spotlight on Illustrator Charlotte Croy Hudson

Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself, "I want to be friends with this person". I had this feeling when I met the extremely talented Illustrator Charlotte Croy Hudson. She is one of the many talented women I follow on Instagram and one day I decided it was time to reach out. Not too long after I sent my message, I received a warm response and before you know it we were meeting for coffee. 

When we first met I was greeted with a warm hug(after we confirmed who we were haha). The conversation started immediately and I was so happy with all the tidbits Charlotte was sharing with me about her life and experiences. About five minutes into the conversation I was already inspired by Charlotte, she shared with me that she recently became a full-time illustrator and even though we had just met I remember feeling happy and so proud. When we started talking about her artwork I recall thinking myself, "Wow, she's really humble" (not that I expected her to talk about her work in a conceited manner). I believe most people expect artists or people who work in a creative field to be pretentious but women like Charlotte remind us that this is false! The height of our conversation was when Charlotte and I started discussing our quirks such as changing outfits multiple times during the day and my obsession with the design of an establishments restroom. 

I do not get responses from a large amount of the artists I contact regarding a spotlight interview so every time someone replies it is truly exciting for me. After the time I spent with Charlotte I was reminded not to give up just because I don't always receive the response I want. It is such a  great feeling being able to learn about an artists process and sharing it with others. Continue reading below to learn all about the marvelous Charlotte Croy Hudson!

What sparked your interest in art?

Growing up, I would play really hard core dress up and go into these crazy elaborate worlds and have the funnest adventures, and I just never let that part of me go. At some point I guess that transitioned into writing stories and that transitioned into illustrating and stealing my parents video camera and 35mm and joining the choir etc. Anything creative I was interested in, but I was never the kid in class who was the art kid whose always drawing, so I didn't realize I was artistic. Then in middle/high school when people started hanging my drawings in the classrooms and hallways, or asking me to do flyers or posters, I was like, "Yeah, I had fun doing this and it looks cool and good, and I am happy and everyone else is too, so I guess I'm good at this." It is still hard for me to call myself an artist because my career path has kind of gone that way as well. I've tried to hold down other jobs but freelance work has always taken priority.

Who or what inspires you?

Knowing that if I keep going, I'll get better, and if I get better, I'll want to get better than that. I can't wait to see the work that I'm making in 5 years, and in 40 years. I spent so long trying to figure out what to say and what I am all about, but I've turned this corner that's like, no one ever really knows, even if it seems like they do. And even if I somehow miraculously figure it out, what then? Who cares? Just get better. So a year or so ago I decided to just focus on pen and ink. I wanted to get to the point where I could draw a person in any shape or form without pencil sketching first, and now I can and I am a better artist because of the limitations I put on myself. I am now picking up paints again and putting color back into my work. I am trying to get to that confidence level with color and light.

What is your artistic process?

I like to sit down and put on some music or a podcast and just go. I've always had attention issues, so I've started using meditative techniques to help me focus. It's really hard to get into the zone, but if I keep trying it's totally worth it. If I have a specific project I need to accomplish I like to give myself an hour or so of free play with that media to kind of warm up and relax myself. Other than that I carry a pen case and sketch book almost everywhere. I don't always use it, I just like to have it incase I get bored or need to remember a cool idea for later.

Has your style evolved over time? 

Oh my god, yes. I think the day I realize my style has stopped evolving will be the worst day of my life.

Would you say there is a theme to your work?

I try to look for little moments or little feelings to capture and just play with that. Like the sound of someone sighing as they're waiting for the coffee order to be up, when else would that sound happen, or at what level? Is it the same sound as waiting for your mom/dad to come home from work when you're a kid? Or is it closer to the sound of the sigh when your internet isn't working and you don't know why? It's definitely not a dog sleeping sigh. How are these feelings all the same, and when else would they happen and how can you string them together etc.

What has been your favorite project or creation so far?

It's hard to say, because I move on from things pretty quick. I am not too emotionally attached to the physical projects, more the ideas of them. When I took up lithography in college, it was the first time I had real boundaries set for the artistic process, and that made me really have to calculate outcomes and figure out how to communicate in a real way. Those were some of the first projects I did that when they were done they felt "complete" so those hold a special place in my heart.  

Tell us everything about the #100Jackets project?

I was playing around with doing the #100daysofdrawing project for a while, and I did this little sketch that I was digging of a star and a fern, and thought it would look great on a jacket, so I started painting it on an extra I had laying around. Then when I was posting it I impulsively decided to just go for it! There's been a little lull because it turns out it's pretty hard to find all these quality jackets at thrift stores, but I'm determined to complete the 100, no matter how long it takes!

Any last words? 

Here's a list of some amazing illustrators to check out! Thank you so much for chatting with me, and thanks to the people who are reading this for making it all the way through!

  • Stacey Rozich

  • Carson Ellis

  • Vanessa Lilak

  • Marleigh Culver

  • Maaike Canne

  • Tabor Shiles

  • Katie Scott

  • Kyle England

  • Jess Farran (she's a photographer but also a friend and her work constantly is a huge source of inspo)

  • Jen Mussari