"I am still working on building a following, but I am getting there one illustration at a time."
Tell us a little about you and your work.
My work centers on my fascination of the female form and human emotion. I tend to stay away from using sharp angles and prefer drawing women over men because of the soft curves to their face and body.
How do you think the use of Instagram has benefited your art practice?
Instagram has benefited my art practice tremendously. I am overwhelmed by the amount of people that have reached out to me for commission requests and collaborations so far. I am in the process of working with a few clients that I could have only dreamed of!
What’s the state of the illustration industry/community in your country. Are you actively involved in a community of artists? Is there a booming industry where you’re located.
I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio and moved to New York about two years ago. I am blessed to be living here! The name speaks for itself. This city is booming with inspiration! With every walk around the block or commute on the subway I suddenly have a million ideas for my next project. I never leave the house without a notebook to jot down my ideas.
What do you most enjoy depicting in your illustrations and do you tend to get many opportunities to draw that subject matter in your line of work?
Fluidity and motion are the main inspirations in my work. I enjoy using messy brush strokes, uneven line quality and pieces that look as if they are floating in the air.
Do you have a background in fashion design or the fashion industry?
Yes, I graduated in 2012 with a degree in Technical Design. I went on to work for Elie Tahari, J.Crew and Ralph Lauren. It was not until I was attending design school that I discovered my love of fashion illustration.
Do you illustrate full time? Is it your only interest?
Right now I have a part-time job a few days a week and illustrate at night and during my weekends.
There was not a day that did not go by that I did not think about drawing. I wanted to be an artist since kindergarten and am so thrilled I finally gathered enough courage to pursue my dream. I am confident that fashion illustration will become my full-time career in the near future.
What’s your medium of choice?
My medium of choice has always been pencil.
Could you talk a bit about the process of launching your illustration career?
I decided about 6 months ago to move home and pour all of my time into developing a strong artistic style and illustration portfolio. I started reaching out to agencies, bloggers and shops to collaborate. I would show my work to anyone that would give me a moment of their time. I moved back to New York City in May once I felt confident with my skills and website. My main goal was to create a strong brand/image that people would grow to recognize. I am still working on building a following, but I am getting there one illustration at a time.
Explain your typical work process.
I usually start with a quick pencil sketch to get the proportions down. I then go back in and add further details with a hint of color. My last step is to scan my artwork and manipulate my illustration digitally by adding colors in Photoshop.
Name your top three influences (artists or otherwise).
Charmaine Olivia, Danny Roberts, Sabine Pieper and David Downton. I could not pick just three.
Support Deanna www.deannafirst.com
"Kate" by DEANNA FIRST
"Paradise" by DEANNA FIRST
"TIBI" by DEANNA FIRST
"Sweet treats" by DEANNA FIRST
"Bubble Bath" by DEANNA FIRST
"Cat Power" by DEANNA FIRST
"Margot" by DEANNA FIRST
"Letters to men I have loved" by DEANNA FIRST
"Cats Small" by DEANNA FIRST
DEANNA FIRST fashion illustrator
"Sienna" by DEANNA FIRST
"Black glasses and pink" by DEANNA FIRST
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