There was a time when magazines only used illustrators for their pages. But after photography became so dominant, the art form seemed to fall by the wayside. However, in recent years it's re-emerging. Some of the work you’re seeing belongs to Melbourne-based illustrator Sarah Hankinson. Not only has she been commissioned by many Australian magazines and companies, but international brands too. Sarah's career highlight, so far, has been working with Target in the USA. Look out for more of her work: she has her sights set on a coffee table book and a stint in New York.
Which five words best describe you? Happy go lucky, creative and passionate.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Originally I started out studying graphic design. I felt this wasn’t quite me so moved on to do an illustration diploma that I loved. My first published illustration was in Girlfriend Magazine and I spent a lot of time during this stage emailing potential clients with samples of my work. I treated each illustration job as a path to gain exposure, therefore more work. It has taken a while but if you have the motivation to push and market yourself work definitely comes. I love fashion and follow many models so it was natural for me to draw this kind of imagery and progress my career on this path. I feel like I never really made this choice, I just fell into it.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Not to be disheartened if things don’t happen straight away. It takes time and commitment to get to where you want to be.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Last year I was commissioned by American Target to create an illustration as a profile picture for their facebook page. Each month they have a different worldwide illustrator. It was such an honour to be featured alongside such amazing illustrators as Kathryn Elyse Rodgers and Swedish illustrator Stina Persson who has inspired me greatly, particularly when I was starting out.
What’s been your best decision? To take a risk and quit my full-time job to move into a studio and work solely on illustration.
Who inspires you? People who are passionate and driven. I love the freedom and confidence of Julie Verhoeven and Kat Macleod’s illustrations. They are so simple yet so striking. There are so many illustrators out there doing amazing things including other Melbourne artists - Miso, ghostpatrol, and eveline tarunadjaja. It’s so inspiring to live in a city full of such talent.
What are you passionate about? Following your dreams and living the life you want.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? That’s a toughie.... probably the head of the New York illustration agency The Illustration Room.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would love to work with more international magazines and clients. I would adore to work on a fashion-themed coffee table book. I'd love to work from a studio in New York or a gorgeous village in Spain.
What are you reading? I’ve just joined a book club so at the moment we are reading Room by Emma Donoghue.
images courtesy of sarah hankinson