Thursday, 10 July 2014

Artist Feature: The Wonderful work of Rachel Corcoran

I came across Rachel's beautiful work on Etsy and have been following it's progress from fashion illustration to typographical prints and her most recent glitter hand-lettering. The Dublin based artist's portfolio includes fashion illustration, portraits, typographical prints and postcards. Rachel's product photography is captivating, she has such an eye for detail and with her vintage props she makes the imagery really stand out from the crowd. Rachel is a self taught artist, which is a real inspiration for people out there who don't have formal training but want to do what they really love. It is clear that sometimes talent is inherent and doesn't have to be taught. 

1. How did your business come about (and when did you start)?

I had been getting more serious about my art in 2007 and began posting it online, mainly acrylic paintings. It was still more of a hobby though at this stage. Around 2011 I began to really think about setting myself up as a proper business. I had been freelancing for various clients but I hadn't begun to sell my art online. However, I knew I wanted to focus more on creating my own brand and making my artwork available to buy. Then in 2012 I discovered Etsy and began selling there. This is where I learned exactly what it was I wanted to sell, and where I see myself going in the future with my business ideas.

2. Can you give a quick insight into your working method? (ideas, techniques, etc.)

I'll start off with little sketches. I sketch very small thumbnails - I'm not sure why but I find it easier to imagine the piece at a much smaller scale. I'll work on several alternatives, take a break, try not to think about it, and come back and see it with fresh eyes. If I still like the idea, I'll stick with it. I work in pencils at this stage, usually on random scraps of paper as I find sketchbooks to be a bit too inhibiting. I'll then scan in the page or build it up with pen, depending on how I want it to look. I'll then take it into Photoshop to colour and refine. 

3. What has been the hardest single obstacle to your life in design (apart from a shortage of time, which seems to be universal amongst creatives!)? 

I think it's getting your name out there. It is tough and there's a lot of competition. 

4. How do you stay motivated? What inspires you?

It can be difficult sometimes, but I try to think of where I could see myself in a few years, and that keeps me on track. I'm inspired mainly by other creatives that I admire, music, and vintage objects and imagery. 

5. Who do you admire (other artists/designers; other people generally) and what/who are your biggest influences, past or present?

I like a lot of artists/designers, all of who inspire me in different ways. Currently I really admire the work of Kelly Smith, Yelena Bryksenkova, Julia Sarda, Samantha Keely Smith and Teagan White. I wouldn't have definite influences but I'm always inspired by anything vintage and whimsical. Growing up, I always admired the work of Mucha, Kahlo, Hopper, Rene Gruau, Jack B Yeats and Quentin Blake.

6. Describe your creative space.

It's compact but it suits for now. I have an idea in my head of how I'd like my dream office/studio to look, but that's something for the future! I work at a separate desk with my iMac, with pinboards above of various imagery that inspires me. Behind me is my packing station for my store 'Rachillustrates', which also doubles up as my drawing/painting area. It's a small space, but I have a swivel chair so I can just swing around to another workspace, so it's pretty handy in that regard! 

7. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Do your own thing and be 'you'. It's easy to take too much influence from other creatives and their styles. Don't follow trends, make art that is true to you and reflects something of you, therefore you create something original and new.


You can keep up to date with Rachel's work here...

(all above images are © Rachel Corcoran)