This week’s Featured Artist is Sophie Jenner, fashion illustrator extraordinaire! Read on for our Q&A with Sophie.
How did you get started as an artist?
I started fashion illustration back in 2014 and began posting my illustrations on Instagram! I loved seeing all of the different fashion illustrators online post their illustrations of celebrities from red carpet events and just wished I could draw like them. So, I watched a lot of YouTube videos and read a load of blog posts all about fashion illustration and the proportions of the body, and I practised – A LOT!
What inspires you to be creative?
I’ve loved Art and Fashion since I was really young. I have always enjoyed designing and making things, from textiles to graphic design projects, but my main inspiration to start fashion illustration would have to be Hayden Williams. His fashion illustrations and collaborations – he’s worked with the likes of Kate Moss and Rimmel London – are so inspiring!
How would you describe your creative process?
I would describe my creative process as a relaxing time for me to just think solely about my illustrations. I find illustrating really mindful and it helps to ease the anxieties and stresses of everyday life – until I have to draw hands that is! Hands are not my strong point at all, I still have a lot of practice to do when illustrating hands.
What is your favourite medium to work in and why?
ProMarkers are my ultimate favourite markers as they blend so well and don’t leave any scratchy pen marks or lines on my illustrations.
How do you tackle a blank canvas?
A blank canvas is a daunting one, especially if I don’t have an image or outfit in mind. I usually have a photograph of the person or celebrity I’m illustrating in front of me for reference so that I make sure I include the important details.
What do you find the most challenging about the creative process?
It would have to be finding the time to do it! As I’m only freelance at the moment, juggling our own business with my fiancée Craig and my hobbies can be hard at times. I would love to set aside a few hours each day to illustrate, so I’m going to work it into my daily routine very soon.
In which ways do you differentiate your work from that of other artists?
I wanted my illustrations to be recognisably mine from the get go. I had researched other fashion illustrators’ work and they each had their own trademark style that set them apart and made their work theirs. I wasn’t going to attempt to illustrate faces as I’ve never been very good at portraits, so I drew my fashion illustrations without faces at first but they still needed a little something. So I started illustrating flicks where the eyelashes would be on the face and this became my trademark style.
What are your essential tools?
A good quality bleed proof white paper sketchbook, a mechanical pencil, a pencil eraser, a 0.01 black fine liner and my ProMarkers. I wouldn’t say Photoshop and my computer are essential as although they do help fine tune my work, I could finish an illustration without them.
How would you describe your studio/workspace?
My workspace is often my sofa, as even though we have a home office for our business, I rarely illustrate in there or at a desk. I’m a more casual illustrator. I love putting my favourite music or TV programme on in the background and curling up on the sofa with a cosy throw, my sketchbook, pencil and markers, and my cat Scottie.
Any tips for preparing a portfolio?
Do you have a favourite art tip that you can share with our readers?
I always used to illustrate from my imagination and not from what I was actually seeing in front of me. Even if I was looking at a scene I would subconsciously be drawing from my mind and not my eyes. I realised this in sixth form when I moved school, when most of my class where all amazing at drawing to scale perfectly! It was then that I noticed they all really looked ,and I mean properly examined, at what they were illustrating. Once I started to look-and-draw not think-and-draw my proportions and detail got a lot better.
Where can our readers find out more about you?
I have an Instagram page where I post the majority of my illustrations. which I’d love for you all to follow me on! I also have a blog where I review and post about new products, from beauty and lifestyle to fashion and technology. It would be great if you could check it out!