BY TARA & CAILIN BURKE
Today we are featuring Erisha from A Thing Created Illustration. We love her work because it is filled with charm, simplicity and glamour all at the same time! We also think it is great that she found a creative outlet that combines all of her inspirations. It reminds us that even though we all have limitations for what we can take on at one time, we do have the ability to create. So, follow in Erisha’s footsteps and create a world where you can tackle it all. For example, if you love fashion, baking and graphic design, use your imagination to develop something that culminates all of these interests. If Erisha found a way, so can you! Read on for a great interview as well as all the ways you can keep up with A Thing Created Illustration.
: What draws you to illustration?
— For me, it’s a way of celebrating beauty, and the best creative outlet in the world! I’m so inspired by so many creative industries – decorating, cooking, design, fashion – and I’ve always loved, arts, culture, beautiful cities – illustration lets me be a part of all these creative worlds with just a paintbrush and pencil!
: Did you always know you wanted to be an illustrator?
— It actually didn’t occur to me as a job category until a couple years ago! I took art in high school and looking back I can see that I was always inspired by illustrations I saw in lifestyle books, catalogs, magazines – but I always associated being an artist with realism or fine art, and being an illustrator with children’s books, neither of which I was interested in as a job. I wanted to be a fashion designer in high school, so I spent a lot of time sketching fashion figures and that was really what introduced me to the idea of illustration. A couple years ago it dawned on me that there was a whole category of artists who did this sort of thing for a living. I worked like crazy honing my illustration skills after that!
: A lot of your illustrations feature fashion figures. Would you consider yourself a fashion illustrator?
— I’d consider myself a fashion and lifestyle illustrator – my illustration style is an extension of the fashion illustration style of sketching, but I love sketching anything within the realm of lifestyle – I’ve done interior design concept sketches for designers, logos and sketches for creative businesses, and sketches for fashion students portfolios, to name a few things! I focus a lot on fashion figures whenever I’m sketching for myself or the blog, because the human figure is one of the most challenging things to sketch an I’m really trying to hone my style/skill in that area. I’m the most inspired by everyday style and personality, and all the things that come with a beautiful lifestyle – fashion, food, decor, etc.
: What about your environment inspires you the most?
— I live in Seattle, which is, in my opinion, one of the best cities! We have the most beautiful natural landscape, a great waterfront, and beautiful urban center full of great arts (ballet, theater, opera.) I’m always inspired by the Pike Place Market – the open air breeze ways, fresh flowers, food, and fun quirky stalls full of odds and ends, all combined with the freshest smell of sea-air – I could go there every day!
: Do you have any mentors or people who helped you get to where you are today?
— As far as mentors, I am inspired by great illustrators who work with great brands – like Ruben Toledo who does beautiful work for Nordstrom and has collaborated on beautiful books with Nina Garcia, and Garance Dore and Virginia Johnson who have both done beautiful work for Kate Spade. As far as people who helped me get started, I first pitched my sketches to a family member who runs an interior design business, and she really encouraged me and gave me my first real work – it got my freelance gears moving!
: What art supplies do you use?
— Windsor Newton gouache (gouache is a form of paint similar to watercolor but slightly more vibrant and opaque) and Micron archival ink pens are my go-to supplies. I also love Arches watercolor paper.
: You have an Etsy shop to sell your work. How did it feel when your first piece sold?
— Great! It’s always wonderful to know that someone enjoys your work enough to want a piece of it in their life – it challenges me to want to do more!
: Where do you see your illustration career going in the next 5 years?
— I’d love to develop more things for my Etsy store, develop a consistent and unique offering that people want to add to their lifestyle, and my biggest goal is to work with some great brands – dreaming big!
: What is the best and most challenging part about working freelance?
— The best part is being your own boss, and deciding your own future! No two days have to be the same, and you can choose when, how much, and what you want to work on. The hardest part is finding a way to do everything that comes with maintaining and growing a business – from honing your skill, to staying on top of a growing list of clients waiting for finished work, to growing your business further through social media, blogging, etc – all at the same time!
: Name one thing you can’t live without?
— Good music: Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Tony Bennett are my constant companions.
: Tell us a little bit about who you are.
— I’m a: Christian, daughter, sister, classical musician, creative, enthusiastic reader of old books, wishful tap-dancer.: Any advice for fellow illustrators out there?
— Sketch every day! Focus on the quality of your art first, and second, be smart about utilizing the internet to promote it – social networks and blogs are a huge tool.
Be sure to follow Erisha and A Thing Created Illustration to see even more of her work!
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