Art / illustration

Interview: Molly Fairhurst

By lowie trevena, Thursday Aug 8, 2019

“I guess I’d say my work is silly and rooted in absurdity but it’s still human-led,” says artist and illustrator Molly Fairhurst.

Molly was born in Yorkshire and studied for four years at Leeds Arts University. She moved to Bristol in 2018 and currently lives in Henleaze.

“I knew a friend here who needed a housemate,” Molly explains. “I thought the city seemed nice so moved on a bit of a whim. Turns out it is really, really nice.”

Molly Fairhurst is making waves throughout the world – photo by Jack Johnstone

Molly shares a studio space in The Island with three other artists; Sophie Filomena, Honey Parast and Ollie Silvester. Despite being very much rooted in the city, her work is quickly going global.

Her journey began on the It’s Nice That 2017 graduate scheme, with commissions coming in from the exposure.

Since then, Molly has worked for a range of large presses and companies, including The New York Times, Mailchimp, Throw & Co and Nobrow magazine.

“I loved drawing the book review in The New York Times,” says Molly. “It was for a really nice essay and the art director was lovely.

“Working with Mailchimp was really cool too. It was such a big open brief, they just said ‘we need some silly characters.’ I thought, ‘how about a cat in cowboy boots?’. I sent it to them and they were like ‘we love it’ and I didn’t expect that at all. Normally I have to reign in my ideas.”

Hundreds of thousands across the people across the world see Molly’s illustrations on Mailchimp, an email marketing website

A bookend for Life’s Library book club

Molly’s recent commissions also include illustrations for Life’s Library, a book club hosted by YouTuber and author John Green; and a design for Throw & Co, a blanket company.

She was invited to The Other Art Fair in 2018 at the Passenger Shed, drawing portraits of attendees, but her heart is in in supporting small art fairs.

As well as stalling at bigger events such as Brighton Illustration Fair, she will also be at Shake, taking place at Rough Trade Bristol in October.

Molly describes her style as “silly and rooted in absurdity”

Although Molly loves working on commercial pieces and is having great success, she wants to create more time for personal projects in the future as well.

Very much at the beginning of her artistic career, Molly is taking the world by storm, all from a small studio in the heart of Bristol.

See more of Molly’s work at

Read more: Bristol illustrator releases first graphic novel

Related articles