Illustrator, Kendra Grey

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kendra Grey is an illustrator and graphic designer who just loves dolls’ houses. Karen Bamford asked her about her work.

What inspired you to create your series of dolls' house artworks?

My inspiration for my dolls' house collection of illustrations started from a University project, where I decided to look into the world of collecting and the collector. I researched into a number of different collecting hobbies including stamp collecting, toy collecting, shoes collecting and finally dolls' housing collecting. Something about why people collect dolls' houses really sparked my imagination, and the fact that there are hundreds of different types of dolls' houses and reasons why people collect from childhood right through to adulthood. I felt enthused to create original pieces of artwork around the theme of 'collecting'. I remember one raining afternoon, sitting in Borders bookshop in a huge comfy chair surrounded by dolls' house magazines and books and just getting lost in them with my imagination thinking up a number of different ways to portray this particular hobby.

What do dolls' houses mean to you?

I feel that dolls' house are a way to get lost in another world, an ideal world where everything can be perfect and just how you want them to be. They are a way of gaining control in the crazy world we seem to live in nowadays. They also seem to me to be a way of looking back to childhood memories when the world was simple and all you worried about was what outfit you would dress your dolls in!

Do your images have a series title?

The title for my series of images is 'The Illustrator collector'. I have seven artworks in the completed series.

How would you describe them?

I would describe the series as hand drawn collage artworks, with black and white hand drawn imagery alongside wallpaper and textured papers backgrounds with a sketchbook, crafty feel about them.

What medium did you use?

The mediums I used were simple ink pen for the hand drawn dolls' houses, alongside scanned in wallpapers, textured papers, white luggage labels and general craft materials.

Is your artwork available to buy?

A. My artworks are available to purchase and can be available as prints. I have in the past been asked to make them into cards and other materials, so I can make them up into most requests, people just need to contact me via my email.

Did you draw the dolls' houses from your imagination or from the real thing or photos?

I use mainly photographs to complete my illustrations but tend to add in extra parts from my imagination once I have a fairly complete illustration drawn. I find I work best from photographs, being a highly visual creative.

Why are the dolls' houses all standing on pieces of furniture?

For my university project, I aimed to look not only into the world of collections, but into the collectors themselves. So my illustrations look in to how dolls' houses are stored or presented in the collectors' homes, so I decided to take that particular route and added room sets adding to my hand drawn illustrations.

One image features a pair of trainers. What does this signify?

A few of my images incorporate other objects such as trainers and matchbox toys, as I took three different collecting subjects initially but seems to focus more on dolls' house collecting.

What reaction have the images received from other people?

I have had such positive feedback from so many people about my illustrations. I think they love the cute, quirkiness of the artworks combining hand drawn and textured materials and I feel very lucky to receive such support for my creative work. 

Are you still drawing dolls' houses?

I am, when I get the time! I think that is the most used excuse but having a full time creative job does take up most of my time at the moment. But recently I have just completed a commission to design the marketing material for a friend who has just set up her own dolls' house business, so I got a lot of time then to spend drawing dolls' houses and completing logo designs, web banners and business cards for her which was really fun and the outcome was very positive.

Would you be willing to undertake commissions to produce similar artwork based on people's own dolls' houses?

Yes definitely! I miss having an excuse to draw dolls' houses so any commission would be more than welcome.

Have you ever made or decorated a dolls' house or similar model in 3D?

Honestly I haven't really ever had my own dolls' house. The closest I got as a child was having Sylvanian Families where I did have a mansion house, a canal boat and a restaurant which in a way was similar, and I used to have hours of fun getting lost in the world of Sylvanians and making up adventures and stories. My mum is currently in the process of looking to buy a dolls' house, so you never know I might get my chance to decorate my own dolls' house soon!

Contact details

Kendra Grey, email:



comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles