North Hop

Behind the Scenes with WhimSicAL LusH

Friday 24th August 2018

When it came to the design side of things for Spirit of North Hop Dundee we knew there was only really one person for the job, Suzanne from WhimSicAL LusH!

Having previously attended North Hop festivals on the market trader side of things Suzanne had a good grasp of what the brand was about. Also, with her being based in Dundee and her love for penguins (we had to get a nod to Dundee into the design somehow!) it made her the perfect candidate to create something unique and different for our new Dundee festival.

Suzanne really has created the most amazing, fitting illustrations for Spirit of North Hop Dundee and we are excited to pull them through all our designed elements for the festival! So without further ado, let us introduce you to the lovely Suzanne who will talk about WhimSicAL LusH and where the inspiration/ideas came from for our new illustrations...

Hi, Suzanne Scott here from WhimSicAL LusH. I’m an artist and illustrator based in Dundee. 

I produce unique, quirky illustrations that often feature on ranges of prints, stationary, mugs and wearable art. I also enjoy working on commissioned pieces and collaborating with others. I love how it pushes my work and really makes me think outside the box. I shall stick to talking about my work in relation to the drinks industry as the festival is all about food and drink after all.

One of my favourites has been creating Harold and Pip aka Bird and Bear for the bar of the same name here in Dundee. Most of my work starts with a story, and it was no different here. We created the story of Bird and Bear, which lead to the illustrations that feature on all the menus, outside the bar and even the walls with a big hand painted mural.

Within the drinks industry I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with companies such as BrewDog, Alechemy and Porter’s Gin producing labels for their products. I feel so proud when I spot my drawings up on a shelf or bar. Sticking with the drinks industry, my most recent project has been to create the illustrations for Spirit of North Hop Dundee that you can see popping up all over social media and town.

My other half is a brilliant bartender, who really pushes creativity and high standards in his work. His passion for bartending has definitely influenced my thoughts about drinks, so much so, I now view them as stories in their own right. Each drink tells the tale of a bartender with years of learned skills, creativity, and hospitality as well as those of the ingredients going in to make them.

I wanted to tell some of the stories of the bartending trade through my illustrations for Spirit of North Hop, Dundee. There are the tools of the trade, the shaker and bar spoon alongside nods to the ingredients that are found in drinks. A sprig of juniper represents gin, a hop - beer and star anise, allspice and cardamom are spices that can be found in warming winter drinks, as the event will be in November.

When working on a commission, sometimes I get creative free reign. Other times people want specific elements incorporated, which can sometimes be tricky to tie in but I love the challenge. Initially when Michelle asked for something to represent Dundee it was hard to agree on something that was obviously connected to the city but not too obvious... and that would work with the rest of the illustrations. That’s where the penguin came in. They are very closely associated with the city, with connections to the famous RRS Discovery expedition to the Antarctic. Dundee loves penguins, and even more so this summer, with everyone enjoying the hugely successful charity public art trail, Maggie’s Penguin Parade.

I modelled the bird on an Emperor Penguin, covered in warming winter spices, which tied in with my main botanical theme. Michelle named him Aviation after her favourite gin cocktail (and it’s Latin for bird).

I love going on inky adventures and adore the little things in life. Whether I’m creating creatures or castles, houses or robots, drawing trees or flowers, or turning people’s ideas into reality there is always a story on my drawing board. Come and join me on my journey in ink and step into the little world of WhimSicAL LusH.

You can find more of my work on Instagram, Facebook, Etsy and Twitter  @whimsicallush 

My website is: 


And here's a wee video of Suzanne in action creating the Spirit of North Hop illustrations...