Maisy Summer


Maisy is an award-winning Illustrator & Animator based in Manchester, UK. Working closely with clients on projects that often have storytelling and community at their centre. Maisy adopts a playful approach to her practice, creating layers of delightful textures & carefully observed details within her illustrations.
Lydia Becker by Maisy Summer

Artist Spotlight

How would you describe what you do?

I am a Illustrator and Animator working on projects across publishing, animation, murals, installations and editorial. I’ve created work for brands such as Paperchase, Sunday Times, Hallmark, as well as independent Manchester creative and musical hubs, Night & Day & Magma. 

My practice delves into illustrating and documenting stories of places, buildings, people, their rich histories and narratives. This process of investigating by drawing, is then built upon with interviews and research  then evolves into a variety of outcomes; from illustrated publications, print and large scale character installations. Alongside my practice I’m a Lecturer at Manchester School of Art.

How does print feature in your work?

Print features heavily within my projects. I self-publish publications; this is something I love doing, from the planning, collecting research, illustrating and to finally, print. This bit I enjoy the most, from choosing the right paper stock, and finding interesting ways to bind the publication. The textures of the paper and print quality can really change the story of the work, and add an extra dynamic. We’ve also just got materials to screen print at the studio, which I want to experiment more with this year.

Your work largely consists of hand-drawn elements and collage which gives it a beautiful, tactile quality. Did you make a conscious decision to use more hands-on techniques in your work and how do digital tools support your practise?

Thank you. My process for illustrations and projects usually starts with paper collage, drawing with scissors! I enjoy this handcrafted playful approach as I find I can mix up compositions, and move things around easily. I then mix these paper cut outs with other traditional mediums such as oil pastel, pencil, & pens, adding textures and details.  

I usually then move into the digital realm, by scanning, adjusting and editing in Photoshop. After this process I sometimes add digitally drawn elements to the illustration in Procreate. I also use digital tools such as Illustrator to take my hand drawn characters into vectors to be laser cut for some projects.

In a perfect world where will you be and what will you be doing in ten years time?

In ten years time.. 2030 (wow!). I hope to be working on more publishing projects, exhibitions & Small Fry ventures! I want to keep challenging myself, whilst having fun — I don’t want work to ever feel too settled. As for where… Manchester feels like home, but I’d love to live in Berlin for a couple years! We’ll have to check back on that one.

We’d like to ask you to recommend a ‘woman in print’ to us

I’d like to recommend – Áine Livia Gordon, an artist working with inks to create atmospheric seascapes, intrigued by the rich seams of Ireland’s past. Áine is interested in the relationship between paper and ink, and the stories hidden within. She also delves into other print processes such as; monotype, screen print and monoprint. Gorgeous and delicious work!