ART

Interview with creative’s behind the Kerrie Hess exhibition

Illustrator Kerrie Hess. Image by Carla Coulson
Illustrator Kerrie Hess. Image by Carla Coulson

Brisbane born freelance illustrator, Kerrie Hess, reveals her collection of fashion illustrations at REDSEA Gallery for the first time in Brisbane.

Here is an article I wrote for local website Creative Drinks. 

I attended the exhibition before the opening event. Pastel pinks, mint greens and scarlet blue watercolour brush strokes decorated the textured paper. Frames held the whimsical stories of feminine, fashion forward women walking down the high streets of Paris.

Illustrator Kerrie Hess. Image by Katherine Lamont.
Illustrator Kerrie Hess. Image by Katherine Lamont.

I have had the opportunity to interview the very talented and hard working Hess about her alluring artwork, who has been blessed with a most sought after dream career in fashion and design.

Hess was only 19, and living in London at the time, when she was approached by Vogue Australia. Hess stated that it was “a memorable place to start.”

She has since been working with prestigious fashion and magazine labels including Chanel, Kate Spade, Bazaar and Louis Vuitton throughout the world.

Fashion illustrations by Kerrie Hess. Image provided by Kerrie Hess
Fashion illustrations by Kerrie Hess. Image provided by Kerrie Hess

“Drawing and fashion were my two great loves growing up,” Hess opened up. “Although I wouldn’t have imagined that Louis Vuitton Paris would be knocking on my door one day, or that I would illustrate billboards for the cities top Department Store, ‘Printemps.’ I definitely wouldn’t have believed that!”

When asked where Hess finds inspiration for her fashion illustrations she stated that “living in Paris until recently was a huge inspiration.” Hess’ career path resembles a fairytale as she goes on to say “just going from my apartment to the local bakery to buy a baguette would inspire! From beautiful flower stores, street fashion and just the buildings that line the boulevards… There is beauty on every corner in that town. I also liked to just sit on my tiny balcony and watch the city go by.“

An interview with REDSEA Gallery Managing Director Lee Steer revealed “Kerrie has a rich history with some of the biggest names in fashion. This translates into her work.”

Fashion illustrations by Kerrie Hess. Image provided by Kerrie Hess
Fashion illustrations by Kerrie Hess. Image provided by Kerrie Hess

Considering a solo exhibition since her return from Paris, it is clear that Hess has brought forward a conglomeration of art, design and advertising, successfully drawing the worlds together.

As soon as Hess approached REDSEA Gallery for an exhibition Steer believed “it would be a success.”

“As much as I love illustrating for fashion brands, this was a lovely chance for me to work on original pieces with the only intention of hopefully hanging in someone’s home,” explained Hess. “I really enjoyed this open creative process.”

This is truly evident in her work. As a viewer, I can see how moments in time were captured to tell romantic tales in front of Tiffany & Co., Laduree and the Eiffel Tower.

I imagine many people will be reminiscing about their own moments traveling passed these much-loved icons, envisioning themselves with the spotted Dalmatian in one hand and shopping bags in the other.

Fashion illustrations by Kerrie Hess. Image provided by Kerrie Hess
Fashion illustrations by Kerrie Hess. Image provided by Kerrie Hess

Hess’ work will surely be hung in rooms owned by designers, fashion followers and advertisers.

“People will be investing in a real piece of fashion history,” stated Steer.

With original artwork unseen and untouched by the public and fashion clients, it is no surprise that the show almost sold out before the opening event.

Steer stated that this is, “becoming more consistent” at REDSEA Gallery. “We are now five years old and our name is getting bigger.”

I can only hope that Hess will release a new series to allow me to collect a piece for myself. I almost feel withdrawal symptoms for the artwork that lets me escape to my fantasy and every store I have ever loved. I can honestly say that I will be back at REDSEA Gallery at least until the work comes down for its new owners.

As Steer states, “Kerrie is a household name in the fashion world” and both her story and artwork is an inspiration to every fashion devotee trying to ‘make it’ today.

The best piece of advice that Hess can offer others trying to break in to the industry is, “despite the glamorous exterior, fashion is a tough industry, so you have to really love what you do. I would say too that working well under pressure is also required! Some of my biggest jobs have had extremely short deadlines. Those things said, it is an exciting industry to work in, and if you truly love design and or illustration, your heart will likely not let you go in another direction.”

Fashion illustrations by Kerrie Hess. Image by Katherine Lamont
Fashion illustrations by Kerrie Hess. Image by Katherine Lamont

Hess will be an inspirational end to the year for REDSEA Gallery and the beginning of a great future.

Steer revealed that his vision for the year 2014, “is ultimately to give the Brisbane and the Australian art buying public art that they want. We have a great exhibition Calendar next year with Artists from across Australia and New Zealand. It will give the public the opportunity to get up-close and personal with all of them.”

To Kerrie Hess, you have made me fall in love with a Dalmatian in Paris. And to REDSEA Gallery, your space has truly fostered a bond between art and its observers and I cannot wait to see what you bring in the New Year.

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