Wow. I just can’t get over how much talent there is in Melbourne. Earlier this week I caught up with Sarah Hankinson, an amazing fashion illustrator whose work has been featured in a number of magazines, as shop murals and fashion branding. Her work is so elegant and delicate, with awesome bright pops of colour and I absolutely love her style. I asked Sarah to share with us a bit about herself, her work and inspirations…
Let’s start with a little intro on who you are and how you came to be an illustrator?
My name is Sarah, I live in St Kilda and illustrate from a studio in Windsor. Originally I started out studying Graphic Design, I felt this wasn’t quite me so moved on to do an illustration diploma which I loved. My first published illustration was in Girlfriend Magazine and I spent a lot of time during this stage emailing potential clients with samples of my work. I treated each illustration job as a path to gain exposure therefore more work. It has taken a while but if you have to motivation to push and market yourself work definitely comes. I love fashion and follow many models so it was natural for me to draw this kind of imagery and progress my career on this path. I feel like I never really made this choice of illustrating fashion, I just fell into it.
You’re currently working for the shared studio space The Windsor Workshop, can you tell us a little bit about what it’s like to work there?
Its great to work from a shared space. Everyone is very supportive and we help each other out. I found that freelancing and working alone from home was quite solitary. The one part of my old 9-5 office job I missed was the social side so I’m really happy to have that back again!
You have a fabulous range of clients that you’ve worked for. What job has given you the greatest experience and satisfaction?
Last year I was commissioned by USA Target to create an illustration as a profile pic for their facebook page. Each month they have a different worldwide illustrator and It was such an honor to be featured alongside such amazing illustrators as Kathryn Elyse Rodgers and Stina Persson who have inspired me greatly, particularly when I was starting out.
Who / what is your dream client / job?
I would love to work with more international magazines and clients and also would adore to work on a fashion themed coffee table book . Also – I would love to illustrate for Vogue.
What’s the biggest professional lesson you’ve learnt and how has it shaped your career?
I’m constantly learning from every job. I think the best thing to do is to take things on and learn from them. I used to undercharge – a lot. It was fine at the time as i needed to get my work seen but now i take into account the time illustrations will take me as well as the usage amongst other factors.
Do you have any words of wisdom for other aspiring freelance illustrators?
Work hard! Don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t happen straight away it takes time and commitment. If you are passionate you can make it happen.
What illustrator / artist / designer do you admire? Why?
I love the freedom and confidence of Julie Verhoeven and Kat Mcleod’s illustrations. They are so simple yet so striking. There are so many illustrators and artists out there doing amazing things in Melbourne, including miso, ghostpatrol and Eveline Tarunadjaja. Its so inspiring to live in a city full of such illustration talent…
What do you like to get up to in your free time?
Free time, whats that?? I work at a fashion boutique on the weekends and otherwise catch up with friends for breakfast, lunchs and dinner – all the usual stuff!
Lastly, just for fun… If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d love to have met Salvador Dali – what a character!
Thanks so much Sarah!