The Illustrator of Curves, 26, from the UK, who anonymously illustrates beauty is also a part-time pharmacy assistant.
Talk about an alter-ego! This queen is helping this generation flip the lid on what the media once classed as sexy and is sketching out the new bible for beauty.
As someone who has gained a few stretch marks over the years, I’ve definitely needed people to be brave with me and show me how to celebrate all of me. I’m there spouting about self-love, and The Illustrator of Curves is literally embodying it. You can’t give love, you have to be it, and by more of us sticking down our marching poles and taking a stance of our beliefs more publically, we can do amazing things for not just women but EVERYONE.
The Illustrator of Curves has amazingly let me interview them on how they’re leading the way in the self-love movement, by turning a love of art into a successful business.
When did you first start drawing illustrations?
I’ve literally drawn all my life. It’s one of the things I’m good at.
With over 97k followers, you’re blowing up the Instagram scene with your fab illustrations. How long did it take you to gain a following?
I put my drawings up on Instagram just on a personal page after a conversation with an old friend who was also an illustrator at the time. This was around 2013. I didn’t do it regularly, but I quickly got asked to draw for others and just did it for fun until I realized I should be charging. I decided to change my account to an art account and built up around 350 followers in a few months and had a few commissions, but I took some time out to concentrate on my dogs and my health which turned into about 2 years. I started posting again late 2016 but didn’t think it was going anywhere, but persevered anyway just working on getting my skills back to where they were. I was up to almost 400 followers when I posted my first group shot – Valentine’s Day 2017 – and it literally blew up overnight. I didn’t even like it particularly, as an artist I thought I could’ve done better, but for some reason, it resonated with people and ever since then it’s been quite the whirlwind.
Did you go to university and study or are you self-taught?
I did go to university but not for drawing. I got a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design but it had the opposite effect. My girls were seen as ‘different’, ‘too big’, ‘interesting’ and looked down upon by anyone *but* the other girls at uni. I was drawing what they wanted to see and not what I wanted and this was exhausting, so my spare time was spent drawing what I like more than my coursework if I’m honest. My father taught me how to draw the basics and I taught myself from then on. The youngest memory of drawing I have is around 2 or 3 years.What would you say are your top three buys for anyone wanting to turn their talent into a business?
It depends completely on what sort of business you’re setting up. In my case, I bought pens and paper and that was it. I took the photos on my phone and posted them on Instagram. As I’ve gotten further into setting up an Etsy page and selling prints, I bought a scanner to keep quality images of the commission work I send out and to scan in my other work for printing, and then, of course, I bought a good quality printer. It is not essential at the beginning, just focus on building your brand and then focus on what the audience wants and what is within your realm to complete before outsourcing.
Is there any advice you would give to anyone starting up a business?
If your heart is in it, you will succeed. Read as much as possible, ask as many questions to as many people as you need. Be prepared for hardship, money problems, and constant time pressure. Be sure this is your life plan and it’ll happen, but it might take longer than you think.
You were interviewed by Huffingpost last year on your self-love illustrations, what inspired you to start drawing curves?
I’ve always drawn curvy women (with clothes on) and not the stick thin models my generation grew up with. It’s only fairly recently I’ve drawn them without clothes and stretched myself as an artist to focus on body parts we’re told t be ashamed of. No-one should be ashamed of who they are or what they look like. There are 7 billion people on this planet. SOMEONE else out there will be feeling the same way you feel about yourself. We are not alone.
Is there anyone you follow that inspires you and why?
Other artists inspire me every day. Everyone has their own style and own views. I admire all forms of art. I think there’s a lot to be learned from the wider audience and all the forms that take – makeup, fashion, bakers, interior design etc. Inspiration comes from everywhere. Why? Because we can’t keep creating in a one-person bubble. You have to get out there and see what inspires you to keep going. Admire others’ work and then create your own in your own way. That’s how you grow.
It’s 2018 already, do you have any plans this year for The Illustrator of Curves?
To continue to grow my page and my brand and keep drawing real men and women giving them a little extra boost of confidence. There’s nothing better than that.
Do you have any mantras that you live by?
Be Kind; Everyone is going through something you know nothing about.
Have you ever collaborated with anyone, and if not, is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Yes, I have, regularly and I’m working with a few people as we speak 🙂