September 14, 2016
Fashionable life on the cards
Megan Hess is an Australian born, internationally-renowned fashion illustrator, whose extensive list of clients includes Prada, Dior, Tiffany & Co and Vogue to name a few. Megan’s signature style has appeared everywhere from the bottom of luxury swimming pools in Dubai to the walls of some of the most desired fashion houses around the world.
Inspired by fashion shows and couture ateliers around the world, Australian illustrator Megan Hess brings her hand-drawn creations to Hallmark, crafting a premium range of greeting cards to celebrate life’s special occasions.
Celebrating both life’s special and everyday moments, the exclusive collection features some of Megan’s most iconic artwork, including birthday cards adorned with illustrations from her stories ‘The Peonies’ and ‘Black Lace’. Other cards are embellished with designer bags, fun quotes and illustrations of famous fashion destinations around the world such as New York City, Paris and Sydney.
With a prominent following on social media, these high end designs are complemented with some of Megan’s most popular Instagram illustration posts, such as the ‘Coffee Girl’ and the beloved French Bulldog.
Megan Hess has also worked with The Walt Disney Company, in collaboration with Hallmark, to create the jewel in the collection, a princess inspired card range comprising nine cards reimagining three of the Disney Princesses – Cinderella, Belle and Aurora. These cards are perfect for women of all ages, and add extra magic and sparkle to a premium greeting card range.
profile: How and when were you introduced to the art of illustration?
megan: I always knew that I wanted to draw for a living but when I was growing up, it was just always the thing I loved to do. I studied Graphic Design because it felt like a ‘real’ job in the art world, but really always wanted to be an illustrator – I just never knew back then that it was a possible career choice!
After working as an Art Director in ad agencies for several years I packed everything up and moved to London. It was in London that I worked in a million different creative jobs and in my final job there realised that I had a burning desire to be an artist. At this time, I’d became the Art Director for Liberty Department Store.
Whist I loved art-directing fashion, I loved illustrating it more. I started to do very small illustrations for Liberty and from this, art directors saw my work and little commissions began to follow. After about a year I found myself with non-stop work. I wasn’t earning a fortune but I’d never been happier and I knew I was going to do this forever.
profile: How did that transform into your iconic style?
megan: My style has really just come together in an organic way – the more you draw, the more it develops until it becomes second nature. I don’t think it’s something that you can force. Students always ask me how can they find their own style as an artist and I always reply, ‘Keep drawing and drawing and eventually your own style will actually find you!’
profile: Where does your inspiration come from and what is your creative process with each piece?
megan: My inspiration comes from everywhere! I seem to find it when I’m least expecting it. I love beautiful photography books, traveling and just getting out of the studio and seeing other exciting things that are happening in the world. In terms of subject matter, I find people and all their differences and quirks the most inspiring.
My creative process will begin with me hand drawing all of my line work with a custom Montblanc pen and ink, then I either leave it black and white or add colour with gouache, watercolour and digital. Some of my illustrations are very fast. I usually post a quick sketch on my Instagram account each morning (meganhess_official) and I only ever give myself 10 minutes for that – because I have so many deadlines to get through! Most of my work can take anywhere from an hour to several days – it just depends on the complexity of the illustration.
profile: What does a day in the life of Megan Hess entail?
megan: Every day is different and that’s what I love about it. I get to work with different luxury clients all over the world! Sometimes I’m creating a tiny illustration for a bespoke invitation, other times I’m creating a giant illustration that will be the size of an entire building and sometimes it’s an animation. I love it and I love the diversity. Most days are spent working in my studio and other days are spent travelling all over the world on projects. I feel incredibly lucky to do what I love for a living.