Feature Friday: Joanna Baker

Happy Feature Friday!

joanna-pic2This week we are featuring fashion illustrator, Joanna Baker! Joanna is a testament to taking the leap from the corporate world and becoming your own boss. Joanna took that initial risk and started her very own illustration business. Since then she has garnered recognition from some of the fashion industry’s top names and we can definitely see why. We love her illustration style in all its pretty details and chic accents! Read on to learn more about Joanna’s story.

Castle LogoTell us about yourself.

gold-signature: Hi, I’m Joanna! I currently live in Manhattan with my husband and our cat, Junebug. Originally from Maryland, we’ve lived in NYC for a little over eight years now. (Junebug is born and bred a New York City girl, though)


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Feature Friday: Illustrator Isabel Arsenault

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This week we welcome illustrator Isabel Arsenault to Feature Fridays! She has been drawing and illustrating since she can remember, and is now starting her own illustrating business. We love her simple tip at the end to “practice, practice, practice!” Whenever we take on a creative pursuit we hear those words so much that we often forget it’s some pretty good advice. Even the best need to keep practicing to stay the best. In fact, since starting our Feature Fridays so many of our Features have had tremendous growth in their work. It’s really fun to watch everyone’s progress! Maybe, we should do a “Where Are They Now Feature Friday” edition. Comment below if that’d interest you. As for Isabel, we know we will see many more amazing illustrations from her in the future as her business expands! Read her interview and see some of her pieces below.

Castle Logo: How did you begin illustrating?
10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: I think like a lot of graphic artists I was born with a pencil in my hand! At school I was living for the art classes, and of course drawing even in the other classes! So at 16 I went to Art School and then went to Fashion School where I got a degree in Fashion Design. Still, my favorite class was illustration class! Then I got a BACC in Graphic Design and still took illustration classes.

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Castle Logo: How did you go about finding your signature illustrating style? Or are you still trying to find it?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: I grew up watching Disney’s Cinderella and Sleeping beauty. Then came Albator and Candy, Japanese animes (manga style) who, I think, are what defined my style at fashion school without me really knowing about it and are still a part of my style. But I am working to improve my style as I try to give the women more softness, finesse and details in the movement ant the expressions. I do have to work on my patience. 🙂


Castle Logo: Is illustrating your hobby or something you want to make a career?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: Right now I am in the process of starting my own business as a Fashion Illustrator! It is a very exciting new project! I sometimes feel like I am an impostor in the illustration world but I am working on that!!


Castle Logo: Do you do other types of art or creative things?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: Actually, after graduating from Graphic Design school, I went and got a degree in Biomedical sciences (don’t ask! I guess this is what happens when you are too curious!) And then worked for 10 years in neurosciences research. Believe it or not you have to be really creative to work in research lab! I love it!


Castle Logo: What about your surroundings inspires you the most?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: All of my drawings are inspired by fashion photography. The light, the poses, the beautiful models are what makes me want to draw!


Castle Logo: How would you describe your personal style? Does it match your illustrating aesthetic?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: In real life I love simple street style fashion. I am happy in jeans and t-shirts or a nice man shirt but I tend to illustrate fancier stuff! I guess what represents me the most in my illustration is the ballerina bun! I have to fight to not draw all my ladies with ballerina buns.


Castle Logo: What art supplies do you use?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: I’ve tried a lot of medium in school. But what I love the most are pencils, markers and inks. I plan to do digital art very soon!


Castle Logo: Do you sell your work or take commissions?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: Yes I am starting to take commissions and I am planning on opening a shop to sell online soon!


Castle Logo: In what areas do you wish to improve or expand your illustrating skills?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: I really want to experiment with digital illustration to improve the final looks of my drawings. I think I have a long way to go before I can feel totally satisfied with my work, I am a perfectionist. I guess this means practice practice practice!!!


Castle Logo: What are your greatest dreams/goals?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: Since I am starting my own illustration business I can say that one of my dream goals is to make a living of what I like the most doing: illustrating beautiful things and beautiful people. I also would love to travel all around the world and maybe someday live somewhere I didn’t  expect I would!


Castle Logo: Tell us a little bit about who you are?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: I am a French speaking mom with 2 beautiful kids! I live in Montreal, Canada. I love music, architecture, design, fashion, art supplies and I also love Neurosciences and profiling psychology!  Even if I am starting as a fashion illustrator, I am still working as a consultant in a pharmaceutical research lab and I like being able to express both sides of my personality!


Castle Logo: Any advice for fellow illustrators out there?

10641266_10152854070404524_2300033892039762819_n: No advice, all I can tell people who are passionate about drawing is to take pleasure in what they do, always. And then, practice practice practice!!!!


Feature Friday: Melsy’s Illustrations


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IMG_2003 This week we’re featuring Jamel Saliba of Melsy’s Illustrations! We love how she got super creative for her feature and integrated illustrations into her answers! We definitely agree with her outlook on your career… you should do something you love! She has always loved art and decided that she should make it into her every day job. One of my biggest fears is working a perpetual 9-5, so once Jamel decided she wasn’t happy living that way either, she wasn’t afraid to try something new.  We’re glad she did because we love her fun, girly illustrations! Between illustrating tutus, macarons, and city scenes, something from Melsy’s Illustrations would be perfect to hang up in your room or office wall. Make sure to keep reading to hear all about her big career change and how she was able to discover a new talent and turn it into a business!


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Feature Friday: Illustrator Holly Sharpe

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Today we’re excited to feature illustrator Holly Sharpe! She has an amazing collection of work that spans from illustrations simply done with pencil, to those done digitally. We love how different her pieces look, but that you can still tell they are made by her. Her aesthetic really stands out and has caught the attention of companies like Marks & Spencer, Marie Claire, and Chloé; all whom she has worked with. Her illustrations are so vibrant and detailed, yet the brush strokes and drips make them free-spirited. With this unique take on illustrating it is no wonder that Holly is getting calls from some big names. We’re sure there is only more to come in her future and can’t wait for you to hear more about her!


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: How did your art career start?

holly: It is definitely not something that happened overnight. In some ways it has been a work in progress most of my life. I went to art college and after graduating from there I went on to do freelance work as a textile designer and then secured a full time position. Meanwhile I was trying to keep up my own drawings and illustrations on the side. This was all great experience and I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do now if I didn’t take those steps to break away and do my own work full time.

Sorry, that was a long-winded way of saying, my art career started by 1. Getting a 1st class honours degree and then 2. Working very hard and getting lots of experience!


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Describe the style of your work?

holly:  I would say my work is delicate but powerful. Usually it has attention to lines and detail and when I’m not sticking with monochrome, lots of bright colours. I don’t know how to describe my style as such, but a lot of people tell me that I have a very distinct style and that it is “different”.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What is the greatest lesson you learned while pursuing your passion?

holly:  Tough one, I’ve learned a lot along the way. I would probably say, to believe in yourself, stand strong with that belief and don’t let people take advantage of you and your work. I am a pretty positive person and I hate to be cynical, but unfortunately there are a lot of people/companies out there that will prey on an artist’s ‘desperate’ need for work and take advantage. So remember to value your work and what you do, even when some people don’t.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What can others do to bring their work to the next level or gain clients?

holly:  Keep trying, keep pushing your work to get better, try new things, and don’t stay in your comfort zone. Try and have a clear focus on what it is you do and what it is you want to do/achieve. Who are your dream clients? Try to offer something unique but focused. It is better to master one thing, and for that thing to be crystal clear, than to try and offer a million different styles and have no clear direction. Clients need to know what they are getting.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Who are some of your favorite artists, musicians, creatives etc.?

holly: Ah, so many… a few of my favourite artists are – Stina Persson, Lucian Freud, Egon Schiele, Conrad Roset, Kelly Beeman, Alexandra Levasseur, and Paula Bonet. As for music – this changes a lot, and I am always on the lookout for new musicians, but generally I love electronica-type music with nice female vocals. I love The Knife, Grimes, Kavinsky, Phantogram, Poliça… Oh and Arcade Fire is always a band I go back to. Right now I love working to, or doing yoga to Dr. Toast, his music is incredible.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: How have you overcome obstacles and discouragements in your career?

holly: When I think back, I have realized that I’ve developed a pretty good knack for forgetting about the things that didn’t work, or didn’t go ahead. It is important to have something of a mourning period for the biggies that can be a bit heartbreaking, but you cannot dwell on them. I just try and move on and work towards a new aim. I focus on the things that did work, which is always a boost and outweighs the obstacles and discouragements.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24:  Name one of your careers greatest highs?

holly: Doing a cosmetics collaboration with Marks & Spencer earlier this year!


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What career/artistic goal are you working towards next?

holly:  Ah, so many, my head is a bit all over the place at the moment. But I think my main goals are to have worked published in a book (or publish my own book…?!) and also to get more exhibitions across the globe.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What inspires you to create?

holly:  Everything. I’m sure a lot of artists say this, but sometimes the inspiration to create, is more of a need, an urge, almost an unexplainable desire to create something beautiful.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Tell us a little bit about who you are.

holly: I am an artist/ illustrator from Scotland. I love to travel, meet new people, and do yoga. I have brown hair, green eyes and a stupid laugh.


Keep up with what Holly is doing next and make sure to follow her on social media for more!
Twitter: @hollysharpe


Feature Friday: A Thing Created Illustration


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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.

cropped-whiteheaderScreen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What draws you to illustration?

PeoniesToting2— 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!


Continue reading “Feature Friday: A Thing Created Illustration”

Illustrator: Carolyn Buch


It’s Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05 and this week we are doing a spotlight on the talented illustrator Carolyn Buch. She is a big dreamer and is determined to pursue her goal of illustrating for a living. She mainly focuses on fashion illustration as it is one of her biggest inspirations. Currently she attends Albright College as part the fashion program. What I love about her designs are that they have a free flowing lightness about them. Often times I think fashion illustrations can get bogged down with extreme detail and realism, when to me fashion illustration is more about expressing the way clothes can make you feel. Carolyn’s illustrations capture the attitude of the wearers while cohesively displaying current fashion trends. They are also fun! Some of her inspirations come straight from the catwalk, the red carpet and famous fashion bloggers. I’m always tuned into her Instagram (@carolynbuchillustration) to see what new project she is working on next. Currently, you can get commissioned work from Carolyn (contact info. below) and if you’re ever in Lancaster, Penn. check out her work at  That Shuu Girl boutique. Stay tuned for an Etsy shop coming soon!


I got the chance to interview Carolyn and what inspired me the most was her ability to be happy where she is in her creative journey. In any creative field where a steady paycheck isn’t a guarantee it is easy to get discouraged. Instead, she stays focused on developing her work and not playing the comparison game. Carolyn is content with the fact that she is progressing and taking steps towards her dreams every day. I think we can all learn from that! The full interview and samples of her illustrations are below:

Carolyn Buch: Carolyn Buch Illustration

1) What got you started?

“Ever since I could hold a pencil I have been drawing. Now this may come as a suprise, but my pieces started out looking like something out of a Van Gogh exhibit.  Just kidding, they were totally horrible when I first started.  I had a passion for art and was usually doodling in my notes instead of paying attention in my classes. With time my ability as well as my interest in the field grew into what it is today.”

 2) What are your inspirations?

“Most of my inspiration comes from looking at street style photography and fashion photography as well as pop culture and fashion trends. I like to add my own flair to illustrations that shed light into what our generation is wearing. I try to capture the attitude that the person wearing the garments would embody. I also draw inspiration from other illustrators and designers.”

 3) Who is your favorite professional in your field?

“A few of my favorite illustrators would include Katie Rodgers of Paper Fashion as well as Esra Rosie, Kelly Smith, and Dallas Shaw. I also interned for Connie Lim who does beautiful work. There are so many talented professionals in fashion illustration that it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite!”

 4) What are your favorite medias?

“I began illustrating with Prismacolor markers which I loved but they felt somewhat limiting at times. Right now I have moved into working with watercolor paint which has made my style more loose and has given me more freedom with my illustrations. You can also never go wrong with a simple pencil and paper.”

 5) What is your aesthetic?

“I love street wear grunge as well as feminine pieces which has my style all over the place. Most of the time I like to mix and match soft and edgy pieces to create an interesting, unexpected look.”

 6) Name your favorite go-to creative spot? 

“My favorite go-to spot to illustrate is cuddled up with a cup of coffee under some blankets in my “studio” (…a.k.a. my room). I also like to find inspiration by going to big cities such as New York to people watch. It’s fun to get a first hand look at what people are wearing and their lifestyles.” 

7) What are your future goals/biggest dreams?

“Some of my future goals include having my work featured in top fashion publications, be hired by an illustration agency, have my designs licensed to use on merchandise, and grow all my social media platforms. I would also like to open my own online store to sell my work as well as phone cases, shirts, and various other items featuring my designs. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even start my own clothing line. But hey, all in a days work right?”

 8) What is the hardest part about what you do? 

“One of the hardest things about what I do is continuing to stay on track with my goals and to not get discouraged. There are so many talented individuals out there that at times you find yourself comparing your work to others. There will always be someone better than you no matter what you do in life and at the end of the day all you can do is be the best verison of yourself and give everything your all and you will reap the rewards.”

 9) What have you learned in your creative process?

“I have learned that if you are truly passionate about something it will just come naturally. There was no question in my mind that this is what I am supposed to do because once I started everything just clicked. You should wake up and be excited about what you are doing and look forward to improving. Also, and most importantly, I learned DO NOT drink more than 3 cups of coffee in one sitting while trying to finish a project…spoiler alert: It WILL end badly.”

 10) What is your favorite piece of your own, why?

“One of my favorite pieces is the illustration that got me into this field. I was in a fashion illustration class and got so much positive feedback on the piece. With the encouragement of friends and family I decided that even though it would be hard and take a lot of work, I have the ability to make this into a career for myself. I haven’t looked back since.”

 11) Tell us a little bit about who you are?

“I am the coolest person you will ever meet… No, but honestly I’m your average 21 year old who grew up in suburban Pennsylvania and got a big break landing an incredible internship in NYC with fashion designer Anna Sui. I moved into the city where I Iived and worked and eventually fell in love with the energy of it all. Seeing all the possibilities and dreams coming true around me I decided that I will do whatever it takes to get to where I want to be in life one sketch at a time. I also like Starbucks, wearing beanies, long walks on the beach, you know the usual.”

12) Any tips?

“As far as illustration goes, if it is truly your passion then stay consistent and as cliche as it sounds…don’t give up! For life in general, if you don’t wake up in the morning excited about what you do or the goals you have for yourself, explore. See the world, find inspiration, figure out what makes you feel alive and make that a part of your life somehow in some way.”

Want to get to know more about the fabulous Carolyn Buch? Check out her social media and follow!

Instagram/Twitter: @carolynbuch (personal) @carolynbuchillustration (business) 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/carolynbuchillustration

Tumblr: carolynbuchillustration.tumblr.com

Website (coming soon!): www.carolynbuchillustration.com 

For Business Inquiries/Collaborations:  carolynbuchillustration@gmail.com