Up Close With
Nila Aye

Nila Aye studied illustration at St. Martins College of Art graduating in the mid 90s, currently residing in Brighton. She is an established illustrator and has worked on numerous international card ranges. Much of her inspiration comes from all things whimsical and cute but with a strong design sense. It could be anything from America 1950s to Japanese packaging to French children's books. She is the mother of two children, Lili and Tom and a kooky dog named Coco and likes to every now and then illustrate their antics together.

What would be your perfect day?
"My perfect day would be lying on the beach in the Maldives, snorkelling, snoozing and reading a good book followed by dinner and a party with all my closest friends and family."
The last thing you brought which you love?
"My Fendi bag. It was a bit of a splurge but I absolutely love it. It's beautifully crafted and goes with everything I wear. To top it all it also has my name monogrammed on the tag in case I forget who I am."
What is playing on your music player?
"I don't listen to as much music as I'd like as my children seem to have hi-jacked my music accounts and it's been either a constant stream of Disney songs when they were little to now lots of party dance tunes. Sometimes though when I'm cooking I like to put on some traditional music from the country of whatever dish I'm preparing. For instance if I'm cooking a curry I put on some Indian sitar music or if I'm making a stir fry I'll put on some traditional Chinese opera music. It's really fun as it almost transports you to a different place within your kitchen and I'm sure my cooking tastes better because of it. It sounds a bit crazy but try it."
What book are you reading?
"I'm re-reading my collection of books published by Persephone. They are all reprints of works by women writers from the 20th century which have somehow been forgotten or neglected. They are the kind of books that you snuggle up to on a rainy day with a cup of tea and some biscuits. I love the fact that they have no distinguishable covers but they have the most gorgeous endpapers."
The best gift you have received?
"A painting by Joel Penkman, another gift from my generous husband. It is a gorgeous painting in Egg Tempera of a teacup form his 100 teacups series. It is just so small and delicate and the colours are so calming."
Favourite city and why?
"Again very difficult to just chose one. I have a close affinity to Paris, I'm not sure why, but I feel like I've lived there before in a past life."
An object you would never part with?
"A pair of Staffordshire dog figurines which was a Christmas present from my husband. I have kept my eyes open for years but never found the right pair. I love them for their totally English kitsch factor and the fact that they make me smile every time I see them but I believe they are getting more popular these days. Hmmm maybe I should start collecting Toby jugs next!"
Connor McNally

Author: Connor McNally

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