An Interview with Lydia Bourhill, Illustrator

In 2021, we were delighted to collaborate with Lydia Bourhill, renowned illustrator, to create a series of images celebrating the reimagined showroom at 87 George Street. Lydia’s work has commemorated the iconic exterior of Hamilton & Inches and brought our new showroom to life, in her iconic and unique style.

We sat down with the artist to discuss her approach to her artwork and what, she feels, makes Hamilton & Inches quite so special. 

You have achieved a large amount of success at a young age. How did you develop such a unique style?

I have always enjoyed a loose approach to my drawing, and over the years I have experimented with various materials and techniques to eventually find the soft and whimsical style I now adopt in my work. I enjoy the minimalistic and elegant line work of artists such as Rene Gruau, Christian Dior, Ludwig Benelmans, Carl Erickson, Pierre Mourgue and like to use limited palettes and accent colours to bring out the main elements of each design, observing where harder, stronger lines meet softer, nuanced marks to play with the texture and weight of the finished composition. 

What have been some of your favourite illustrations to date and why?

My heart is in Scotland and am proud to have collaborated with a number of wonderful, luxury Scottish brands through projects such as creating pieces for Hamilton & Inches, cocktail menu illustrations for Fingal, label designs for Tobermory Gin, The Balmoral's Christmas Campaign and more.

Some further projects I have particularly enjoyed include my recent work for Northacre in partnership with Oliver Burns and Walpole, where I created the visual marketing backdrop for the launch of their latest luxury development, House Of Walpole at No.1 Palace Street. In addition, illustrating the limited edition Hildon bottle labels for Sketch London during the RHS Chelsea and Mayfair Flower Show was a lot of fun, as well as drawing up the concept design for the Ruinart collaboration with Beast restaurant in London. 

What does your creation process look like? Do you work heavily from images or seeing the building in person? Do you need to research in advance?

I think of my approach like styling in a shop; you’ve got to attract the customer from the moment they walk through the door. Therefore, I always start with observational thumbnail sketches to pinpoint where the eye of the viewer will be drawn. Wherever possible, I like to visit the site I am drawing, to get a sense of the space. I then reference various images to start piecing together the composition, paying close attention to harmonising elements of texture, shape and colour. 

What materials do you use in the creation process?

I used pencil, watercolours and inks mostly, occasionally collage to incorporate organic textures, and then sometimes digital to finalise.

 What do you think is the most beautiful part of H&I?

I think the diamond bar and curved wall cabinets are exquisitely designed. I have always felt that the iconic showroom pillars represent the strength and backbone of the showroom, whilst giving the space grandeur. I adore the chandeliers as well as the Ginkgo silver plated leaf installation, as each leaf represents a token of thanks to H&I’s members of staff, both past and present. What a unique, thoughtful and beautiful centrepiece.

What do you hope your illustration conveys about Hamilton & Inches?

I hope the illustration evokes allure, elegance, charm and curiosity, and that the image will stand the test of time. It was my intention that the artwork inspires appreciation for the sleek, luxurious and contemporary style adopted by H&I since their refurbishment, whilst acknowledging the brand’s underlying traditional, classic heritage. 

Discover Lydia Bourhill’s stunning interpretation of 87 George Street and find out more about the artist on her website and social media.