© 2019 by Rachael Dean. All content Copyrighted.

Email- rachaeldeanwork@gmail.com

Tags- Illustrator, Nature, Portfolio

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FAQs

Where are you based?

In a seaside village on the outskirts of Liverpool, UK.

 

Which paint medium do you use?

Windsor & Newton Gouache paints.

Was gouache always your medium of choice?

I've only started using gouache in the past few years. I think it's important to experiment with lots of different mediums in order to help you decide which ones suit you best. In the past I have used acrylic paint, pastel pencils, coloured pencils, collage and sewing!

What are your go-to art supplies?

Gouache paint, Faber Castell sketching pencils, Cass Art or Faber Castell paper, ProArte paint brushes, masking tape and an iPad Pro & pen. 

What do you use to scan your artwork?

V600 Epson Scanner- A4  size.

If you had to choose one colour palette to make all your pieces in what would it be?

Anything along the blue to green spectrum! My favourite colours are blue-grey, periwinkle blue, forest green and olive green.

When did you start drawing and knew that you loved it?

As far as I can remember I've always been a drawer... but I realised I loved it when I was about 7 and we were drawing portraits in my Year Three class at school.

What did you major in in college/uni?

Graphic Design and Illustration at Liverpool John Moore's University.

How did you start?

After graduating in the summer of 2017, I left my part time job and worked from home, working on a portfolio to send out to potential clients. With this body of work, I began an Instagram account and posted my developmental work, processes and final pieces to my page regularly. My following built up rapidly, and I ended up getting headhunted by art directors and publishers through these online platforms. I was eventually found by my current agent, Charlie Bowden, and she now works with me to work on Children's Book Projects with publishers.

Would you ever want to illustrate a book?

I have already worked on a number of cover artworks for middle grade fiction books, and I am currently working on some cover and interior illustrations for a fiction book series. Although I'd love to work towards writing and illustrating my own book one day!

Where do you find your inspiration?

My work often revolves around colourful nature scenes, so I tend to get inspired when travelling different countries and scenic places. I also get inspired by like minded creative people.

How did you get your art style and do you think that a professional artist needs to have one?

I wouldn't say there's a step by step guide to explain how you come to refine your own style. I personally found mine through practice, research and trial and error, however, I'm still constantly developing it as I go! It's important to make sure your work is original, but I don't think there's anything wrong with taking inspiration from other creative work. I also think you can still be successful if you have a number of different styles, however, I think it helps to have one distinctive style, as your work might be more likely to be easily recognised.

What do you think of the artistic community where you’re based? And does your location influence your art, or do you think you could do your work from anywhere else in the world?

Liverpool is full of creativity! There's plenty of creative events, markets and galleries all over the place, so I find it a really inspiring city to live near. Living on the outskirts of Liverpool means that I'm closer to more coastal and nature areas, which I definitely find inspiring for my work in regards to the landscape pieces I work on. However, as long as I have a post office nearby and WiFi, I'm sure I could do my job from anywhere in the world!

 

Advice for artists trying to make a living off their work?

I would suggest opening an online shop and marketing your work through social media platforms, and displaying your work at Art exhibitions and print fairs too. This can be good for extra income, with the bonus of networking and meeting like minded people within the creative community. I'd also suggest collating together a strong, consistent and original body of work to send out as a portfolio to professional clients, art directors, publishing companies and agencies. I'd recommend becoming a member of the Association of Illustrators to get more advice on this as well.

Which artist influenced you most growing up? And what was it about them that inspired you?

I was inspired by caricatures when I was younger, and I loved Nick Sharratt's illustrations in Jacqueline Wilson's books, and Quentin Blake's illustrations in Roald Dahl's books. I think I loved the simplicity of their work, and how a few basic lines could portray different emotions and personalities so easily. 

Do you ever struggle with impatience in regards to your career? Sometimes I want to jump from A-Z in one week. Do you have any advice for this?

The first year of being a freelance illustrator was very difficult, especially when coming straight out of Uni into the real working world! The process of trying to get professional work seemed to drag, and I often felt like I was getting nowhere. However, after a year and a half of incredibly hard work through pushing my own personalised commission business, online shop, and Instagram page, I was fortunate enough to have been found by my agent who works consistently to get me great projects within Children's Illustration. My advice to anyone trying to start a creative career is to just keep going and never give up because you never know what could be around the corner!

What art-related advice would you give to your younger self?

Be more patient with your processes and with the place that you're at within your journey. Research more, and be prepared to get things wrong- but know that it's okay to make mistakes. 

 

How have your goals for your art career changed and if so what was different?

Nothing has changed! My goals have always been to become a professional illustrator, and I'd like to think ten year old me would hopefully be proud of where I am on my journey so far!