One of our coolest 1000-piece puzzles yet, LONDON takes you on a tour of the British capital’s architectural highlights, from St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern to the London Eye. But who’s behind the elegant line drawings that make the puzzle come to life?
Meet Amalia Sanchez de la Blanca, the driving force at UK-based studio Linescapes, which specialises in CAD architectural portraits. We asked her to tell us more about her work with Cloudberries, and why jigsaw puzzles fit together so nicely with simple, pared-back architectural drawings .
What art styles and art forms are closest to your heart? How have these shaped you as an artist?
As a former architect, I’ve been heavily influenced by Modernist and Brutalist architecture in my choice of the buildings I like to draw. However, I’m fascinated by all types of architecture. In fact, it was my move to Brighton and falling in love with its Regency buildings that inspired me to leave my job as an architect and dedicate my life to drawing all types of buildings and exploring their beauty, whether it is an elaborate frieze at high level, or an exquisite minimalist junction detail between architectural elements.
What made you want to work with Cloudberries? How was your experience working with the brand?
As a child I always loved doing jigsaws. I think they resonated with my slightly OCD traits as I enjoyed making things fit in the right place (something that I also enjoyed while I worked in architecture) but I never really did any jigsaws as an adult because I never found interesting designs.
So when I was approached by Cloudberries I was delighted to see that they had such a great choice of contemporary, original and beautiful designs so for me it was a no brainer to collaborate with them! From the first moment they contacted me they made me feel that my work was good enough to be part of their business so I had to say yes of course.
What makes LONDON special from among your other works?
Even though I have created cityscapes of London before, Cloudberries gave me the chance to create one where not all the buildings were instantly recognisable but allowed puzzlers to observe in detail the myriad of architectural styles you can find in London.
Does the LONDON puzzle have any underlying message or theme that you want fellow puzzle nerds to know about?
Most of my work is made of illustrations of individual buildings but they can lack context so I decided to do a composite image with my most popular illustrations so they could be seen together and show all the different styles found in London and how they sit together. The top part of London features some of its most recognisable landmarks but I wanted to add other buildings that people don’t normally associate with London such as the stunning Temperate House in Kew Gardens, and the historically fascinating Queen’s House in Greenwich.
Describe your day as an artist.
I get up around 8am and take my dog for a walk. Then I have breakfast while I check my emails and make a list of things to do with priorities. I used to use a Filofax but now I just make endless lists on my notebook. I then prepare any online orders but only go to the post office when I have a few things to send. Currently I’m working on a new collection so I’ve been very busy designing and creating lifestyle images to upload on my website. This is taking me a few weeks and most of my days but it’s nearly there.
Do you ever get artist’s block? What do you do when that happens?
Yes, I do. In fact my new collection was the result of a roadblock during lockdown. In a way it was good that everything stopped because it gave me the time to sit down and look at what worked in my business and what didn’t. I wanted to reach different audiences so I did a lot of research on what is selling out there and adapted my work to be more in line with that without losing my own style of course.
Do you have any upcomingprojects we should know about?
Yes, as well as launching my new collection very soon, I’m planning to publish a book on the history of British architectural styles through my illustrations. I still need to create 4 or 5 more drawings to complete it but I’m hoping I can launch it for Christmas 2020.