Drawing inspiration from fashion, Amy breathes life into her ethereal illustrations through a unique combination of hand-rendered and digital techniques. Check out her charming story and dapper illustrations below.
Say hello to Amy:
Where are you from? Where have you been?
I am from Newcastle Upon Tyne in northern England, but I have also lived and worked in London, and travelled to Paris with work several times. I have had fantastic holidays in many destinations around Europe – but I can’t wait to travel further afield.
What’s your favorite place in the world?
A beautiful peninsula on the tiny island of Skiathos in Greece, it is simply magical.
What is your dream project?
My dream project would be creating illustrations for a brand I admire, and seeing my work on a large scale, on the side of a bus or on the London Underground or something!
For your portrait work, do you mostly work from photographs or live models?
I mostly work from photographs; I tend to think of my drawings as a combination of light and shade, rather than looking at the image as a whole. One of my art tutors used to say, ‘draw what you see, not what you think you can see’ – and that is what works for me.
Was there a particular artist who inspired you to pursue this path in the arts?
During my time at Northumbria University, I was lucky enough to have the talented illustrator, Tracy Turnbull, as one of my tutors. I was always good at drawing, but Tracy introduced me to Adobe Photoshop, and opened my eyes to a whole new world of tools and techniques! Thank you, Tracy!
Your background is in fashion design, and upon graduation, you worked as a designer at Concepts Paris – what prompted you to transition into illustration full-time?
During my time at Concepts Paris, I really developed my skills on Photoshop, creating print designs and gorgeous little lingerie drawings. It soon occurred to me that my favourite aspect of the trend books were the beautiful illustrations. I began by sketching every night after work – with the help of my battered old laptop, gradually developing my style and sharing my sketches on Instagram. Eventually I decided to take the leap and become self-employed in January 2016, and I haven’t looked back!
Who are some of your favorite designers?
I have always admired the late, great Alexander McQueen, and even more so after my internship with the McQueen embroidery department in 2012. I was (and still am) in awe of the detail and craftsmanship in each and every piece. Other favourite designers of mine include Valentino and Dries Van Noten, each for their stunning use of colour and texture.
What is your background?
I have a degree in Fashion Design, specialising in Womenswear and Print.
What mediums do you work with most frequently?
My number one medium has to be pencil, I use a HB mechanical pencil for most of my sketching. I also favour India ink and basic ‘Bic’ biro’s when working on paper. I spend around half of my time digitally colouring and editing my sketches, usually on Photoshop using a Wacom tablet. I love to create my own ‘brushes’ and textures, scanning pages of splattered paint and watercolour bleeds. Recently, I began using the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to illustrate, which has really opened up a new direction for my illustration style. I love to combine hand-rendered and digital techniques, playing around and making endless options before I choose the final piece.
Out of your works, which three are you most proud of?
I am really proud of my illustration for the Valentino X Drawadot open call earlier this year. This sketch was chosen by Valentino and shared on their social media in the run up to the Autumn/Winter 2016/17 collection which was very exciting!
This was the first time I saw my work in print, an Illustration I made for ‘The Beauty Effect’ magazine. I still love it!
This is one of my latest iPad sketches. It is completely digital, and I am really pleased with how it has turned out.
What impact do you hope your work leaves on society?
I hope people see my work and smile! I feel super lucky to be doing something I love as a career, and I want to share some of that joy!
What was the most memorable response to your work?
I recently made a portrait for a friend as a wedding present and she tells me she cried when she saw it. It felt amazing to have moved her like that.
Professionally, where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
To be honest, I am pinching myself that I have made it as far as I have! But I hope to be working as a full-time illustrator, continuing to learn and develop my style as I go. I would also love to spend some time working with students, perhaps on a Fashion design or illustration course.
What is your most life-changing event?
The day I decided to become a vegetarian! It felt fantastic and I have never looked back.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?
I have always wanted to travel! I would love to take a few months to explore some more of the world, and maybe get involved with some wildlife conservation projects.
For anyone that wants to get in touch with Amy, here’s some contact information:
Amy, thank you for sharing your story with us! 🙂
If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.