Sharnee Taylor is a Melbourne based Fashion Illustrator. She specializes in realistic portraits, using a range of mixed medias. Sharnee is known for signature brush strokes which she uses against realistic tones. The combination of traditional and digital media creates a fresh and unique look, bringing another dimension to her work. We caught up with her to discuss her work and give you an insight into the world of Illustrating.How did you first begin illustrating?
I started drawing as a kid, I guess like most people do and loved drawing characters and people and just never stopped. I was always drawing through school when I shouldn’t have been, most classes became drawing class 🙂
When I started studying Illustration at NMIT was when I started to get serious about illustrating. I was finally learning how to draw the way I wanted to. Everything started growing from there.
Having been published in Sharntay , Atlas and Coast magazine what was the key advice to aspiring illustrators to get featured?
The one time I would recommend harassing people. I’ve sent that many emails to Art Directors to give me work or to feature my work. Obviously in a nice ‘you want to hire me’ sort of way. You will face rejection but that’s what makes it all the more rewarding when people do what you.
Everyone always looks at people’s achievements, they never look at how many times they were rejected in the process.
And which feature was your personally most adored?
Other than this one of course, I loved being featured in Coast Magazine. It’s a local magazine to Phillip Island, where I grew up. It was great to have my work in a local magazine where my friends and family can see what I’m am doing now.
With your signature being realistic portraits, how does your creative process behind each piece begin?
It depends if it’s a folio piece (fun one) or a job for a client. If it’s for a client then I work from a brief. I’ll create roughs first for feedback, then I’ll create a colour rough and then I’ll get started on the final. You can’t get to attached to your work because there are always changes.
I try to create the image as detailed as possible. Realistic illustrations are are a lot more technical than other types of illustrations and there is a lot less freedom. However I love to combine paint strokes and bold colours to my work to make them unique and interesting.
I use to be an oil painter so I love using elements of paint with my realistic work.
And then how did you develop these skills to become the illustrator you are today?
I learnt everything I know from the illustration course I did at NMIT. (Now it’s called Melbourne Polytechnic) The teachers were amazing and taught me all the technical skills I needed for the industry. The course was so good I went back for a extra year to learn more.
I also studied advertising at Award school, which gave me advertising and creative thinking skills. I then did the NEIS Business course, which gave me the skills to run my own business as a freelance illustrator. Studying in different areas has really helped my business.
What do you draw your inspirations from?
I usually have an image in my head and then look for heaps of different references and draw from that, or I see features of people that I want to draw, that’s how I make up a person, by using references of different people. If it’s a more creative concept the ideas come at the more random times, usually mid conversation or just before I go to sleep and I have to wake myself or stop talking to write it down.
If you could publish your work in any magazine in the world, which would it be and why?
For fashion it would be Vogue. It is the top in fashion so why not reach for the stars. The New Yorker has always been my dream publication. I do conceptual illustrations too and have always loved their magazine and inspired to work for them.. One day
And lastly what are you currently working on?
I’ve just finished a 5 month job drawing hair styles, I am currently working on realistic caricatures. I want to combine my conceptual ideas with my realistic rendering, and see what comes out 🙂