It's time once again to proudly highlight one of the many incredible candidates we have on the Artisan Recruitment books, and today we're thrilled to be joined by Cheri, a Melbourne based illustrator, who has very generously shared her smarts and creative inspirations with us as part of our A-List feature series.
What's your name, and what do you do?
I'm Cheri Hughes and I'm an illustrator.
Tell us a little bit about your background:
I have been very fortunate in being able to live in different cultures from a young age and I would say that has shaped a big part of how I work. My father is American and my mother is Japanese. I grew up having exposure to both western and eastern cultures. We also moved a lot so I saw a few towns around the States and Japan.
What sparked your interest in art and design?
That's all I really did as a kid. I communicated through pictures more. But what really made me want to do it is when I started understanding there were people out there illustrating for a living! I think I was 14 and I was looking at a teen magazine and taking in all the elements of the page especially the illustrations and it came to me then this is what I want to do. I'm doing this.
How do you think creativity is changing the world around us?
Creativity is everywhere. Even in places and situations you don't see it point blank. There should be more creative exercises implemented into grade school and in workplaces of all industries. It keeps the mind alive and fresher ideas and perspective will continually flow.
Who are some of your favourite Australian artists/designers/writers?
I like Shaun Tan. I think he's brilliant. I love both his writing and illustrations. Authors, Monica McInerney, Liane Moriarty, Jackie French, Morris Gleitzman are a few writers I love. I love books.
What are some of the online resources you use for inspiration?
Google. That's where I start at least. Then I let the web take me to the most relevant looking site. I use a lot of photo references so I tend to google images. I like to look at Adobe stock or Pinterest on my downtime and see what's trending.
What's your preferred social media site, and why?
I use Facebook, Instagram, Illustration Friday, and Behance. They are all platforms I can use as a portfolio or it gives me an opportunity to illustrate something new and can be shown straight away.
What does a typical day for you involve?
Coffee. Run or some sort of exercise (it helps me keep focused and stay determined). Breakfast. Work. Lunch. Work. Dinner. Work. Sleep.
How does living and working in Melbourne influence your work?
I'm lucky to be able to live in the arts and sports hub of Australia. It has grown so much since when I landed here for the first time. I have been spoilt living in the US and Japan. Creativity and art is life to their cultures. I'm really happy to see it flourish here and taking back it's importance in society.
What is a favourite project of yours that you've worked on and why?
This goes back to when I was in theatre and the company gave me the opportunity to paint murals throughout the railway storage they had acquired. I was left alone most of the time and had total art direction. I was living in an illustration world where it felt like I was in a Miyazaki Hayao flim.
Do you have any advice for people who want to follow in your career footsteps?
Be persistent and consistent with your practice. Have patience and expect to fail. A lot. You'll get there if you stick to it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Have patience. This came from a Japanese teacher I have a lot of respect for. It was during his critique time for all the illustrations that were submitted. He liked my piece but he pointed out that I needed more patience with myself. It showed in the illustration. I took this advice and really honed in on it. It helps me in a lot of life situations too.
What do you like about being an Artisan candidate?
I get to meet different people! I have been fortunate to work with very professional creatives and learn a lot.
Why would you recommend Artisan to a fellow creative?
There's nothing to lose. They get to know you and your strengths and really try to find a fit for you. They listen and it really makes going out to work with them very easy!
What's next for you?
I'm currently illustrating a short story for children and then on to illustrating my 6th children's book.
Thanks so much to the brilliantly gifted Cheri for sharing her talents and wisdom with us today! And remember, if you're looking to hire the most skilled and professional creatives in the business, get in touch with the Artisan Recruitment team - you can reach us on (03) 0514 1000!
And don't forget, if you're on LinkedIn and keen to stay in the loop as far as great tips on finding your dream job and hiring incredible candidates is concerned, head to our LinkedIn Groups page - we'd love to have you join our community!