Features / illustration

Reportage illustration by Niki Groom

By martin booth, Wednesday May 1, 2019

The latest creative to join Bristol24/7’s team is artist Niki Groom, aka Miss Magpie Spy.

Niki will be creating reportage illustrations for our monthly magazine in a new feature called Overheard.

It started in the April magazine with a visit to the Colston Hall’s Discovery Day and continues in May’s edition with a look at visitors’ reactions to Banksy’s Devolved Parliament painting at Bristol Museum.

Niki Groom’s first Overheard feature was the recent Discovery Day at the Colston Hall – click on the image to open it in a new window

Niki, who lives in Totterdown, is an award-winning fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle illustrator.

Over the last 15 years, she has been commissioned by many international brands, creating artwork for advertising campaigns, window displays, in-store graphics, live events, backdrops, editorial and social media.

For Bristol24/7, her reportage illustration work will involve Niki visiting events in order to get her own unique take on proceedings.

Niki Groom at her home studio in Totterdown – photo by Remco Merbis

“The first thing I do when I receive the commission from Bristol24/7 is to read up as much as I can about the event I’m going to, just so I’m up to date,” Nikki explains.

“Then I head to there, and spend at least a couple of hours soaking up the atmosphere, writing notes and taking photos.

“With the Colston Hall review I overheard a lot of opinions and comments because it was so busy, and with the Banksy I chatted to some people and trawled Twitter for opinions too. These all go in my reporter’s notebook. Sometimes I’ll make quick sketches whilst I’m there too.”

Niki added: “My next step is to sketch out rough ideas of how I’ll approach the piece, taking into account the dimensions of the column, and once I’ve decided I’ll start painting.

“I’ll often refer to my photos when I’m adding people in, if you were at the event at the same time as me there’s always a chance you my spot yourself.

“The last part of the process is to add in the comments. That’s what brings the piece alive I think.”

Read more: Banksy painting featuring House of Commons ruled by monkeys returns to Bristol

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