Creating vibrant, high fashion sketches of the world around her, Shannon Hansen collaborates on a fresh project, transforming The Blonde Silhouette into a series of two dimensional sketches. Inspired by her artistry, I ask her a series of questions about her life as a graphic design student, illustration style and the process of creating a fashion illustration.
Q: A young Melbourne up and coming artist studying graphic design of a day, and sketching fashion illustrations of an evening, sounds like the dream job! What is it that fascinates you about the fashion industry and where do you eventually see yourself within the fashion landscape?
Shannon: It does sound like a dream job when you put it like that! Right now I’m focusing on finishing my final year at University and then I’m hoping to eventually work in magazine layout and/or logotype development in some capacity. But firstly I’m looking towards travelling and working on some freelance jobs.
Q: Every story has their beginning and I would love to know where your interest in art and design started?
Shannon: The funny thing is I never really showed much interest in art or design until I was in my later years of high school and started taking electives in the two. As soon as I discovered them though it’s definitely guided every decision I’ve made since and I’m grateful for it.
Q: Aside from your background in art and design, what influences your creativity?
Shannon: I think it’s just about being observant. I take inspiration from the area I live in, the people I’m around at uni and work, my sister, the books and magazines I’m reading at the time, You’ll find influences all over if you’re looking for them!
Q: How would you describe your illustration style?
Shannon: I think my illustration style changes by what or who inspires the drawing. I really try to capture the essence of the person, place or object first before I add my own twist on the piece. But overall I’m always finding a balance between a realistic portrait and adding some whimsical elements from my imagination.
Q: What is the process involved in a fashion illustration? And to what extent does technology enhance your talent?
Shannon: The fashion illustrations come really quickly compared to other pieces. They usually just begin with me dumping all my copic markers on my bed and bringing up the image, if there is one that I’m using, for inspiration on my laptop. I then begin to outline the figure with a pencil. I add skin colour and block in the clothing colours first and then build up the details with fine liners and add dimension with different shades of markers.
Because I am studying graphic design I do tend to scan in my favourite illustrations and improve them slightly in Photoshop just by adjusting the colour and contrast levels and cleaning up any bleed marks, but I try to maintain the integrity of the original drawing as much as possible.
Q: What was it about my style that inspired you to create a series of illustrations of The Blonde Silhouette?
Shannon: I think having a lot of variety to work from in your outfits was great; it created a lot of freedom when sitting down to work on the pieces. Also the vibrancy and colourfulness of your outfits really compliments my illustrative style!
To see more of Shannon’s whimsical illustrations visit her blog and follow her on instagram @shanchansen.