This month’s cover was designed by Galia Pike. It’s difficult to sum up what Galia does: she is, of course, the canine fanatic behind Dogs of Lewes, and she writes about English wine, for trade publications and for her own blog, Sussex Uncorked. Most significantly, though, she’s one half of multi-award winning ‘toytronica’ duo Psapp, whose music has been used on a number of TV shows and commercials, and who wrote the theme song for Grey’s Anatomy – which is where her illustrative work came into play.
Galia created “a parallel Psapp universe, filled with monochromatic cats, imaginary keyboards and friendly monsters”, which would grace the band’s album covers, T-shirts and animated videos. These led to her receiving all kinds of commissions, from posters and flyers to tattoos and comic strips, and even a range of condom wrappers. She’s painted murals and built art installations for French fashion designer Agnès B. She’s exhibited her work in Paris and London, and she was Artist in Residence at the Institute of Contemporary Arts’ Heavy Pencil live drawing event. We could go on and on.
When we asked Galia to design our October cover, we weren’t sure what to expect; her illustrative styles are so broad and varying. “I decided to be really literal about the theme ‘larder’ and I got out all my spice jars and started drawing them,” she says. Then, rather than label them with actual spices, she decided to invent her own contents. “It was a total stream of consciousness. I had ‘ultimatums’, ‘worries’, ‘miscellaneous’… ‘Tony Hadley’ – he just popped into my head – and ‘dogs’, obviously.” We love the end result: a vibrant and joyful introduction to this month’s issue.
Working under the name The Monstrous Pencil, Galia is currently busy creating risograph prints, jewellery and homeware, stocked all over the UK. Recently she’s been working with the charity Global Action Plan, illustrating the teaching materials for their curriculum, which “teaches young people to look at their own morals and ethics”. She also works alongside her winemaker husband Adrian, who runs the Westwell vineyard in Kent. Galia designs all of the labels for the wines, which she illustrates with “super-detailed drawings of the earth and the vines”. You can see a selection of her work on her website and on Instagram.