Instagram: @rachaeladean Shop: www.rachaeldeanshop.tictail.com Website: www.rachaeldean.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I’m a freelance illustrator from a village just outside of Liverpool, in the North West of England. I live near a nature reserve, so I like to go on walks there and take pictures for inspiration.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I currently enjoy using bright colours, with subtle textures and shading. My recent work has focused on ‘Women in Nature’, which explores different bold landscape scenes, featuring women on their adventures. I illustrate women throughout most of my work, and I feel that every illustration has its own narrative.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?My current favourite medium is Gouache paint and digital editing using Photoshop. I like to create different textures and layering with gouache paint.
4. What is your artistic process like?I listen to music when painting, as it helps me concentrate and keeps me company whilst I work. I start off by collating references (usually from social media, magazines and books) and then I sketch out rough ideas before drawing the final piece in pencil. After that, I paint the whole piece manually and then digitally render it in Photoshop. It can take up to three days to complete one piece.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I have become part of a large illustration community on Instagram, so every day I come across illustrations by talented people, and I always feel inspired when seeing their creative processes. I am also inspired by nature itself, and after I have travelled to a new place, I always feel motivated to draw something new. My favourite places that I’ve visited so far are Lake Bled in Slovenia, Annecy in France and Lake Plitvice in Croatia.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?Everything in my life revolves around art! It’s on my mind 24/7. It stands as my escapism, therapy, expression, and my enjoyment. When I’m out and about I’m always taking notes about the interesting people I see, or beautiful scenes I’d like to paint. An artist’s mind never stops ticking away!
7. Where did you study?I studied at Liverpool John Moore’s University and graduated with a First Class BA Honours Degree in Graphic Design and Illustration.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?I see myself continuing to work as a freelance illustrator, hopefully having worked with different magazines and collaborated on several editorial projects. I’d also like to live abroad in Europe somewhere at one point, but I need to learn a few more languages before I do so!
9. What about in ten?I’d love to have worked with a publishing company or two and have my illustrations in some books! I’d also like to possibly write my own book, as I love literature. I hope I’d still be travelling by then and taking my art with me wherever I go.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?With having a large following on Instagram, I receive a lot of feedback on how much my work inspires other people to create. It makes me feel proud to know that my work can affect others positively and motivate them to do what they love! If I can continue to do this for as long as possible, then I’ll be a fulfilled artist.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Since going Vegetarian two years ago I’ve fallen in love with Tofu and noodles! (Especially Pad Thai.)
12. Favourite book?I have to pick two! ‘The Descent of Man’ by Grayson Perry, and ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Süskind.
13. Favourite genre of music?Classical music- composers such as Ludovico Einaudi and Dustin O’Halloran. But I also love Alternative and Indie rock.
14. What are your hobbies?I am a pianist, so if I’m not painting you’ll find me on the piano. I’ve also recently taken up poetry which has been very therapeutic.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I think I’d either play piano professionally or be a writer. Although something tells me I could possibly do all these things one day! Who knows.