Illustration Inspiration : Dawn Tan Interview

How did you get started as a Freelance Artist?
Well, I didn’t quite plan for it to happen actually. But lovely people started emailing me to ask if I could create custom pieces and so I did. One thing led on to another and my work got picked up by my amazing agency – Jacky Winter Group, and so long story short, I’m now a freelance artist!

 What do you look to for your inspiration?
I draw a lot of food. Too much at times! (Not good for my waistline) so naturally, I’m often inspired by good food. I go to the market weekly and always keep my eyes open. There’s so much good stuff around. Apart from food, I’d say things like packaging, what people wear, patterns from nature, window displays, smells. These are things that inspire me as well. The list is endless really!

How long does it take you to do an illustration, start to finish?
It totally depends on the complexity of the illustration. The size, the demands. But usually a couple of days up to a week and half even! But really, I can completed something in just 2 to 3 days if I just sit down and be all absorbed in my work and not get distracted. But that never happens. Haha.

What is your process when working with clients? Can you explain your typical job?
It depends on who the client is. Some clients are quite ‘serious’, with a contract, typed-up brief and all. But others just drop a casual friendly email and I do the work for them. So it all really depends.

But I usually work on things like illustrations for articles, columns, write ups. It does get quite fun and I get to read some pretty interesting stuff at times too!

Can you walk us through your process?
  • Client sends me the ‘brief’.
  • I get back to client, have a chat and make sure we’re on the same page and that I understand what is required.
  • I work on a few roughs, send them images.
  • Client either makes some changes or approve of my roughs.
  • I work on finals, I keep my clients up to date as to what’s happening.
  • I send through final artworks, wait for revisions (if there’s any)
  • Work gets approved and viola! Smiley faces all day long! : )

Do you get ‘Creative Block’ and how do you push through it?
I eat! Hahahahahaha. Told you drawing food wasn’t good for my waistline! But yes, that aside, I stop doing everything and just go on a long walk.

What Advice do you have for new kids starting out in the Freelance field?
It’s hard and you’ve got to be able to understand that jobs don’t come in all the time. But it can be fun, so just keep doing it and don’t give up!

Be sure to show Dawn some love at her:


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