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1. How long have you been an artist/illustrator?
As soon as I was old enough to pick up a crayon! I’ve always enjoyed drawing for as long as I can remember. I studied Fine Art for my degree at Falmouth College of Arts from 2002 to 2005. Since graduating I’ve continued to keep my drawing skills on the go by working on illustrations and commissions of people or their animals.
2. What inspires your work?
People and Fashion. I love to watch people and try to read them through their self image, which is something I try to bring out in my portraits or fashion illustration. I’m an obsessive Vogue reader, I’ve even began collecting issues from the 1980’s (I was born in the 80’s!). I get alot of my source material from fashion photography. It’s full of unusual figurative compositions and of course, the clothes are exciting. I always look to photography as a source for images, and then mix them up to produce a drawing that’s evolved from all my inspirations. Photographers such as Terence Donovan David Bailey Inspire me. Their fashion photography from the 1960’s captures not only the only the clothes and the model in a unique way, but also the sense of the era they were shot, I would love to have been alive then.
3. What media do you work in and why?
I work almost entirely in graphite, using a mechanical or ‘clicky’ pencil to do the fine lines that make up hair or fur. I use graphite powder applied with a fine brush to create the effect of skin tone, and also mixed with white spirit then rubbed onto the paper using stencils to create backgrounds or patterns. I also use a water colour pencil to darken detailed areas and sometimes I add a touch of colour with pencils or watercolour. At the moment I don’t work with any digital programmes to actually construct my work, because I like to take the basic medium of pencil to paper and work it as hard as I can, but I would definately like to see how it might effect my images.
4. How would you describe your style of artwork?
A sort of photorealism meets fashion illustration.
5. Do you do any initial sketching or planning before starting a new piece?
Sometimes I might do a few quick warm up drawings before I begin drawing properly. I find it losens me up and gets the pencil moving more creatively.
6. Which artist/illustrator most inspires you?
I love the artist Robert Longo’s ‘Men in the Cities’ series. These drawings are of what looks like business people, that float in the middle of the page, as if they are dancing, or have been shot and have been drawn as they fall to the ground. I like them because they are everyday people but there’s something not quite right. Longo’s use of the graphite creates a very strong outline so the portraits really stand out from the blank background. He was influenced by television, mass media, magazines and comic books (which I have recently started getting into) so he has similar influences to myself.
7. How do you deal with the business inside of being an artist/illustrator?
I constantly research my influences to keep my work fresh and evolving so that I always have something to draw even when business is slow. I try and advertise my work as much as possible, whether it be ads for portraits or sharing my drawings and illustrations through friends and contacts.
8. What words of advice would you give to any aspiring artists/illustrators out there?
Don’t stop drawing and creating, even when it seems like you’re not getting anywhere, and share your work with as many people as you can because you never know where it might get you.
You can view more of Jane Rendells Portrait Portfolio
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