Hayley Wells

After graduating with a degree in illustration from the University of Lincoln, I worked in children’s publishing as a designer for several years before studying an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art.

My work tends to be deeply personal, often incorporating political and autobiographical elements. I am particularly interested in subverting narrative expectations and using irony and parallel viewpoints to confront difficult topics. I do not believe in traditional happy endings, but instead prefer to explore bittersweet relationships, the intersection between joy and tragedy, and moral ambiguity. Visually I am inspired by printmaking processes; my work sits somewhere between being painterly and graphic, combining expressive line and texture with limited colour palettes.

My main sources of inspiration are the DIY ethics of punk, strong coffee, and cats.