In-house Copywriter at Camberwell Film Studios. Loves writing about advertising and technology. Has worked with Contagious Magazine, The Upcoming, Creative Orchestra, Triton Communications, All India Radio, etc.
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I recently had a chance to catch up with an acquaintance of mine, and an upcoming Illustrator and Painter, Stephanie Ayres. She is a fellow graduate from UCF and at her young age, she has accomplished what many others can just dream of. In her less than quarter of a life-span, she has travelled far and wide for inspiration and work.
Stephanie loves to paint animals and the natural world, and she also loves to do typography. For her work, she likes using gouache or watercolours and has also dabbled in cellulose painting.
"Gouache being my preferred medium at the moment. However, I have just been given a beautiful set of tube watercolours, and am finding the vibrancy of them just breathtaking…so they may well overtake my love for gouache soon."
After looking at her paintings, and the way she breathes life into her creations, I am actually looking forward to see more creations in her new found love, after all Art is all about inspiration.
Talking of which, Stephanie seems to draw inspiration from the natural world and the little things around her.
"I take my inspiration from the natural world and the little things I notice around me. I love cooking, so I'm hoping that passion will feed into some illustrations about food. I absolutely love looking at other illustrators work."
British artists of yore have often been inspired by the Orient, Stephanie is one of the few new artists who shares the same love, and as she puts it in her own words:
"So inspiring to see people really pushing the boundaries. I love foreign typography and signage, or just hand drawn signage, it is just so beautiful and unique! Jazz/blues music often plays a part in livening up my typography, just seems to fit really well! I also love old explorers and expeditions to the far flung reaches of the globe… all the old documentation, a very British empiric sense of style."
Stephanie's role model is George McGavin (Entomologist for the BBC Natural History unit), and no wonder the same charm is reflected in her work too.
"..what a wonderful life he must lead! Traveling all around the world and filming in such beautiful remote places. I would love to be able to do the same, and one day I hope that my work can afford me such opportunities whilst working on expeditions."
I have met quite a fair share of artists, and one question that never seems to amuse me is their definition of Art. Unlike Sciences, the definition of Art can be as vague as a moth and an alien, but how an artist sees Art is what defines his/her work. When I put the same question to Stephanie, this is what she had to say:
"Art is how I express myself, how I show my joy for being here, and it is also a way to get any message I choose to impart, out there."
Every artist has a few quirks that lets them be themselves when they are in the zone. For Stephanie it's the scent of incense sticks.
"I love to burn incense when I start working, as I feel it clears the air and really puts me in the zone for working… its like a signal. You smell that? Work is in the air. It just tends to focus my mind a bit more."
Yes, with her work being all inspired from the surroundings, we can smell it alright!
As for her future plans, Stephanie is going to spend the next 3 months in Vermont where she hopes to figure out her priorities in drawing for a living (no pun intended).
"With university and then commissions its been a hectic roller-coaster, and I would like to discover what it really is that I want to be drawing for a living in the future. I reckon it will contain quite a few animals, with a dash of typography and some spice thrown in the mix."
She has also been offered an internship in Peru, where she would be working on illustrations for CREES (a charity).
"I feel like that is an award in itself, and I am honoured that they would choose me. At the moment we are discussing what my goals are for the period I am there, and that will determine how long I am there for. It will be a great opportunity to live in/around such pristine rainforest and to be back in the jungle doing work. I had previously been to Ecuador on a volunteer expedition where I first gained my love for life in the jungle. Working whilst I am out there will bring a new dimension to it, one that I know will be enjoyable."
We surely wish Stephanie all the very best for her life in both the natural and the social jungle, and hope to see a lot more of her work out there.
Till then, you can have a look at her Website and if you fancy, she also has some of her creations up for sale in her online shop.