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.]]>