25 Aug

SISJ WOMEN WHO INSPIRE – KERRIE HESS

Kerrie Hess, Sarah Jane Young, sheissarahjane

WOMEN WHO INSPIRE – MY INTERVIEW WITH ILLUSTRATOR, KERRIE HESS >

I am very excited to welcome my fellow Ministry of Talent, TALENT, Kerrie Hess. Kerrie’s illustrations have also featured in Vogue, Talter and Harper’s Bazaar. She has illustrated countless fashion windows, billboards, book covers, silk scarves, cushions and packaging around the globe.       

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I grew up in Brisbane Australia, studying Graphic Design there before taking the leap in London at 19 to become a full time illustrator. At the time I didn’t know anyone who did this for a living so I felt like I was creating a job for myself that didn’t really exist! My first jobs as an illustrator 16 years ago were actually before emailing images was really done and I used to physically messenger my work! I still have the memory in London of getting one of my first commissions to the Topshop office (which was a new brand then) in pouring rain…

I am a huge believer in work-life balance. Has having a family changed your approach to work – if so, how?

It has, and I would say for the better. Having a son now has made me work more efficiently and become better at prioritising as I have less hours to work. I actually prefer this as it’s forced me to become amazingly organised! Time with him to just hang out and chat is one of the best parts of my day. I probably have to turn down quite a few social events, but I don’t want to miss out on these years while my little man still want’s to cuddle!

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At what age did you realise your talent for illustration and design? And what is your earliest memory of drawing – who/what was it?

Definitely at around 5 years old when I started going to art classes on the weekend. (I begged my mother to send me!) Then my first proper painting was at about 7. It’s of a ballerina (I discovered it recently at my parents house) which I even signed and dated! (And had framed.)

To date, what is your career highlight and what is your personal highlight?

Personal highlight is easily my son Marcel. And career is hard to say, as I feel lucky enough to have had a few wonderful moments workwise. Billboards of mine going up in Paris for Printemps Dept store last year was quite wonderful. (Ironically I had just moved back to Australia when they went up!) Exhibiting in Dali’s former ballroom in Paris at Le Meurice Hotel was also amazing in January this year. (Honoured to be the first Australian to do so.) Illustrating the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Australia with Collette Dinnigan in March was lovely (showcasing her last couture collection) as well as a global collaboration last year with Louis Vuitton. Harrods window’s in London going up a month ago with handbag brand Analeena (which I hope I get to see!) And another highlight was one of my personal prints (from www.kerriehess.bigcartel.com) of CHANEL No. 5 selling out just last night in my prints shop in 7 and a half minutes from going online!

You’ve lived in many beautiful cities. Tell us what you loved most about London, Paris and Hong Kong:

London is a very exciting city with great energy and so much happening culturally, I adored my time there. Hong Kong is more focused on business but there is amazing food and Shopping in Hong Kong, including a street that takes about twenty minutes to walk along in the area of Happy Valley of only shoe stores. (What is not to love about that!) And then Paris, well Paris is just pure magic. There is beauty on every corner. I knew I felt like a local in Paris when I could wander down to my local café, take a seat outside knowing that the waiter there knew I wanted a café crème and pain au chocolate without having to order! I will always have a piece of Paris I my heart.

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You have worked with Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Net-a-Porter, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue and Kate Spade… Just to name a few! However, what brand or person would you still love to work with and why?

I have always adored Harrods in London and it was until recently a dream of mine to illustrate their windows so when one of my London clients; Analeena Handbags asked if I would collaborate on their Harrods window’s I jumped at the chance. Working on my personal fashion prints though is the most rewarding side to my work.

Define what beauty means to you with regards to drawing the female face/body – are you trying to capture their personality, bone structure, hair etc.?

Yes I am but I like to leave out a few details so you have to fill it in with your eyes. I don’t finishe all the lines of anything that I illustrate as I like to leave a little bit of intrigue.

SISJ’S QUIRKY QUESTIONS >

If you were a colour, what would you be and why? Tiffany blue, just because.

What beauty product can’t you live without? I love lipsticks from Model Co and am currently addicted to Lancome’s Dream Tone serum.

Who is your ultimate beauty/style icon and why? Grace Kelly and Audrey for classic style, then Emmanuelle Alt and Ines de La Fressange for Parisian Chic.

SHOP KERRIE’S PRINTS HERE & FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM @kerriehessillustration