Vanessa Dell

A Young Prince Charles – Annabelle Magazine 

Who and what keeps you inspired?

Definitely people, especially their faces, I love the visual differences between us and the individual ways we react to things. If I wasn’t an illustrator I think I would have enjoyed being a psychologist!

Portraiture is the subject of many of your illustrations, this has now become part of your style. What importance do you think style has on an illustrators practice?

I think the most successful styles are where the illustrator hasn’t consciously created it. For me, you draw the way you draw, sometimes that fits into a ‘style’ box, hopefully it won’t.

Marie Antoinette – Elastic Creative 

You work as a freelance Illustrator as well as with Illustration Web as a Consulting Agent. How has this influenced your own practice?

 It’s been great to meet clients from both sides; working for them as an illustrator and liaising with them as an agent. Helping to find the right artist for a job and managing it through the commission process was exciting, I think it has made me aware of the huge competition out there and the many illustrators a client will consider before a commission happens, it’s not a personal thing if you don’t make it for that big job. So I guess I am realistic about the industry. Now, I deal with the social media side of Illustration Ltd, and really enjoy promoting the artists we represent.

Portrait – Dizzy 

Your also part of Lipstick of London, do you feel being part of both sides of an agency has helped with your work to date?

Yes, I think it is grounding. I am very lucky to be able to have contact with people within the illustration industry that being an agent/having an agent and being a freelance illustrator provides. Having a large network of other illustrators to touch base with is refreshing and keeps me on my toes.

Character is something you represent in your Illustration’s. How do you go about researching your subjects?

For illustration commissions the person tends to be in the public domain so usually you have an idea of the type of character they are. For personal commissions it can be a little more difficult, if I haven’t met them I will ask as many questions as possible. Sometimes they’ll send me a picture of their favourite clothes, colour, tell me what they do for a living etc. I aim to make the portrait do more than look like the person, I’d love the painting to give goose bumps, or at least evoke a feeling in the viewer.

Alan Titchmarsh – Waitrose Weekend

From your commissioned work, what portrait has been the hardest to represent? 

Probably the people that are just too perfect! They might have had plastic surgery or almost be caricatures of themselves. I remember finding David Beckham tricky to paint, he has a lovely face but it was just boring! Give me some imperfection!

5th December 2014

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