SheBrisbane was beyond excited when given the opportunity to interview Australian Fashion Illustrator – Kerrie Hess!
Describe your signature illustration style
It’s spontaneous and (hopefully) romantic. I paint by hand and don’t use computers for my work so I always hope that comes through as romantic in my work.
What advice would you give to aspiring young women illustrators/creatives living in Brisbane?
There is a small but strong creative scene in Brisbane. Meeting other creatives and catching up to discuss ideas is always helpful. The world is a small place now meaning there is less and less need to have to live in Sydney or Melbourne now.
What inspired you to work in fashion illustration and did you always want to be an artist?
Yes, I started painting and drawing from a very early age, and taking art lessons on weekends from 5 years old. It still amazes me that this is my job!
What is one of your greatest defining career moment?
Working with Louis Vuitton was an amazing moment, being a global collaboration. Cartier was another one of my favourites as I was given total creative licence, which is rather rare and something I always appreciate.
All up though, it was probably my solo exhibition in Paris in 2012 at Le Meurice Hotel which has been my key defining moment to date.
Who is your inspiration?
I love the vintage couture style of 50’s fashion drawings. They were timeless and yet still very chic. I try and stick to this kind of style with my illustrations. I much prefer to paint couture then current trends.
Who in your life has guided you the most?
In all honestly when I started out as an artist I didn’t know anyone else in the same field. There are of course a lot of fashion illustrators now but in the beginning I generally just guided myself and learnt from my own mistakes along the way.
What are your 3 favourite Brisbane cafe’s you like to visit when you are craving your morning coffee?
Harvey New Farm, Pompidou Hawthorne and Hawthorne Garage.
Your illustrations have been much sort after in the high end fashion world, yet you wrote a fabulous book called Shoestring Chic, where do you like to shop for your shoestring chic in Brisbane?
I would probably just stick to high street pieces in neutral colours in any city when shopping on a shoestring.
How you do juggle your successful career and motherhood? With everything being so digital and hands on with regards to social media and work these days how do you split your time between family life and work?
I now take my phone away from myself at 8pm and don’t look at it again until after school drop off. I am happier for this. Instagram and Facebook do play a role in my work but when I am at home with family I want to be present.
From Barbie to Kate Spade, from Myer to Printemps Paris you have worked with an amazing array of products and clients throughout the world, what or who has been your favourite collaboration to date?
Probably the collaboration with Maison Laduree as it was in windows of Laduree stores from Paris and New York to Moscow and Cannes. We created 4 macaron boxes together and it was a really special collaboration.
We see you are working on something for #NewYorkFashionWeek at the moment and @Lufthansa which is very exciting! Are you working on anything else at the moment that you can share with the readers of SheBrisbane?
I am excited about a new selection of prints and originals which are about to hit my online store. They have all been months in the making! I am also currently on tour this week with the M Gallery Hotels in Australia.
Having lived in some beautiful parts of the world including Paris & Melbourne what draws you back to Brisbane?
It’s my home town, always sunny and above all, family.
Summarise Brisbane in 3 words…
Sunshine, coffee and beach.
Where is your favourite place to long lunch with friends in Brisbane?
Probably Harvey’s in New Farm or a picnic in Bulimba or New Farm Park.
Where can the women of Brisbane purchase your gorgeous illustrations, etc?
They are available on my website
Have you got any exhibitions coming up that the women of Brisbane would be able to see your work at?
Not currently, no. This year all originals will go online to my website, but they will include images of each piece as it’s created. Each one is very special.