Getting to know Phillippa

Meet Phillippa Mills

Phillippa Mills is joining us at Breed, and rather than simply telling you what we know of her and her work, we thought we’d ask some questions so she can tell you about herself in her own words.

Did you like to draw as a child?

Yes, I was always drawing and making things. I was pretty industrious.

Did you study art?

I studied graphic design at Camberwell, although I veered more towards photography and the dark room.

How did you get into illustration?

I stopped drawing for a very long time, until I went along to a life drawing class. That’s where the illustration began. I started showcasing my work, and was approached by Breed.

How would you describe your style?


You live in Devon – has your local environment had an impact on your art?

Massively. I’m very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. It’s full of birds, hedgerow life and ridiculous creatures. Dartmoor, in particular, has a certain ‘otherness’ to it. I find it very inspirational.

Is there anyone who influenced you, or your work?

So many influences. Egon Schiele, Leonora Carrington, Juergen Teller, Walt Disney – to name but a few.

What mediums do you work in? Do you have a preference?

All sorts, anything to hand, but I do love Unison pastels, oil Paintstiks and Essie nail polish.

How do you choose subjects for your pieces?

I think it starts with anyone/thing that holds my attention.

Who are your models?

My chief muses are most cats, a bull lurcher who sleeps for Britain, and a large orange horse, who’s basically an extension of myself. They have so much personality, I never tire of watching them. I also have things in my freezer that we probably shouldn’t talk about.

What do you do for inspiration?

Scour Instagram, read a book, research, add to my wall, go for a ride.

Are you influenced by fashion at all?

All the time.

Is there any one you’d like to work with?

Lots of people! Vivienne Westwood, Simone Rocha, Ventiments, Vogue, Pushkin Press, Penguin Books… I could probably summon an endless list.

Is there any artistic territory you’d like to explore further in the future?

Plenty. I’d like to paint, write and illustrate prose, progress beyond knit swatches to an actual jumper. Learn taxidermy.

Photos: Chloe Winstanley