For this issue’s Art Attack, we look closer to home and caught up with the talented Kami Jo Anderson whose work blew us away!
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a fashion illustrator?
I’ve always been quite arty but for some reason I chose to do a degree in Sociology and Psychology instead. I’m glad I did, It was a great course but after graduating in 2011 I still had a deep-seated need to ‘create’ so I joined my local theatre and eventually became a set-designer there, it’s a great combination of all my interests! Everyone loves my concept sketches and one day someone suggested I try freelance illustrating as a sideline. I mostly get commissioned to draw portraits, which make lovely little gifts as I tend to use watercolors, but I also make digital prints for t-shirts; logos for small businesses; and even tattoo designs. I’m working a lot more with fashion designers nowadays and I’m illustrating for a lady who will be showing at London Fashion Week so that’s pretty amazing.
What inspires you and your work? And how do your pieces come together?
I’m inspired by absolutely everything around me (I know that sounds cliche), the things people say and do, adverts on the TV, music, landscapes, other artists, but I am mostly inspired by mankind and they’re my favorite subjects to draw. I’m absolutely rubbish at just conjuring up ideas, my work is entirely referential. I’ve a good eye for detail and I’m best at drawing what I see but if I’m working from a photograph it has to be the right photograph and I know exactly what I’m looking for! People are always shocked by the rate at which I knock my drawings out, ha ha. I hate putting them down and returning to them because I lose momentum, so I always try to get each one finished in one sitting.
Who is your favourite artist of all time and which piece of their work?
There are so many artists I admire and respect but Andy Warhol tops the list because he was a pioneer of his time. People thought his screening work was tacky and not worthy of being called art but now they sell for millions! I love him because he was a great thinker, he thought an awful lot about society and what was happening in the world and incorporated that into his work, a bit like me I suppose. I’d love one of those Marilyn Monroe pieces in my dining room one day.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue fashion illustration as a career?
I reconnected with a friend from school recently and his illustration business is really flourishing. The best bit of advice he gave me was to stick to what I’m good at. Don’t try to imitate other people or do what you think you should be doing, and he was absolutely right! I’d also encourage people to network like crazy. Don’t be shy, you never know when you’re next big break will come along but aside from that, you can learn so much from other people.
Tell us any 3 fun facts about yourself.
I’d love to be the new Kat Von D and make a bucket load of money tattooing portraits on to people. I have lots of ‘ink’ myself and I think they’re fabulous.
I’m actually a qualified personal trainer, dunno if that’s an interesting fact but not many people know that about me, just another string to my bow I guess 🙂
I live in a very creative household, my husband is a DJ, my daughter is a seven-year old blogger, and my two other children are wannabe street dancers. It’s a whole lot of fun around here!
You can follow Kami here: