Drawing on Success

Drawing on Success

Jane Schon gets to know the woman behind the gorgeous illustrations from the other half of fashionable Hess sister duo, Kerrie Hess.

By Guest Styler | 28th August 2014

With a portfolio peppered with names like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, CHANEL, and Louis Vuitton, we chatted with the talented illustrator, author and fashionista, Kerrie Hess, to find out more on her collaboration with Wintergarden.

Why did you decide to become an artist?

I grew up in Brisbane Australia, studying Graphic Design at Griffith University here before taking the leap in London at 19 to become a full time illustrator.  Art and painting had just always been my passion and at the time I didn’t know anyone who did this for a living, so I felt like I was creating a job for myself that didn’t really exist!  My first jobs as an illustrator 16 years ago were actually before emailing images was really done and at that time, I physically messengered my work!  I still have the memory in London of getting one of my first commissions to the Topshop office (which was a new brand then) in pouring rain…  Since then, I feel so lucky every day to wake up to a job that I truly love, and happily now with my studio set up in Brisbane.

Describe your typical day?

I am up early around 6.30 to go through social media and make my agenda for the day plus getting my son Marcel ready for school. (Multi-tasking is the word!) Working through until lunch, and then back to illustrating until around 4pm.  I try to keep  the time following that free for any calls or skypes with clients in Paris or in New York which is the start of their day.  After picking up my son from school I might go for a run (while he scoots next to me) and then cooking and a break from work usually follows. Once my little boy is in bed, I do tend to have to do a couple of hours of work most evenings, or if I'm lucky, a glass of wine and an episode of Mad Men.

Where do you take your inspiration from?  

I can be inspired by street fashion, vintage couture gowns, or even beautiful packaging.  I am always looking for beauty and style ideas.  But living in Paris until last year has probably been my greatest inspiration, which often pops up in my work.  I was lucky enough to exhibit a solo exhibition in Paris also in January this year at Le Meurice Hotel, which was a magical experience, being held in Dali's former ballroom!

How did your collaboration with Wintergarden come about?

The creative team from The Wintergarden popped me a line, as followers of my instagram account where I tend to post what I am working on and things that inspire.  We then got together and discussed a collaboration, which was several months ago. which felt like a great synergy.  As I tend to focus on keeping my collaborations with high end brands, so working with The Wintergarden on this creative project was a perfect fit. Most of my work is for clients in Paris, London and New York, so it's wonderful to work with a brand like The Wintergarden in my home town, in Brisbane.

What is your favourite store at Wintergarden?

I am a big fan of Coach and Sambag, but there are so many great little boutiques in there.

If you weren't an artist what else would you be doing?

I honestly don't know! I have been doing this for nearly 17 years now, so it's what I am most qualified for. Obviously I've forgotten most of my Graphic Design degree!

If could choose anywhere in the world to live and work now, where would you choose?

Well I feel lucky to have already lived in Paris, London and Hong Kong as far as world cities.  Paris will always be in my heart, and most of my clients being there now, means I do have to travel there once or twice a year for work, and seeing some fashion billboards of mine go up in the centre of Paris last year was really special. But to be honest I feel so happy to now be back living in Brisbane, as I know I'll always have a little bit of Paris in me…

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Article by Guest Styler

This story has been written by a Guest Styler for Style Digital.

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