This week brings us the third installment of our Sketches Exclusive with artist Grace Lee. I get so excited to check my inbox every week to see her new illustrations! The theme for today is flora and fauna. Grace captures a few images of her walk to and from work, and her recent trip to the Aomori prefecture. I also couldn’t resist asking Grace a few more questions about her upcoming work and her process.
Do you have any new projects that you are working on?
At the moment I’m working on a few magazine illustration jobs in Japan. This is the first time I’ve been published here, so it’s been a major achievement for me. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities that have come up, especially recently. Also, I’ll be releasing a new range of wall stickers in Australia with The Wall Sticker Company. There’ll be some familiar pieces, and hopefully people will like them for their walls.
Were there any challenges you faced when switching over from design to illustration?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have not had too many challenges. I think having a background in design has been a major advantage because it has helped me to understand how an illustration can fit into/work with the layout, which in turn makes it easier to come up with the ideas. The biggest challenge at the beginning was getting work out there. I already had a portfolio of design, but a smaller range of actual illustration work. That has taken a little bit of time to build up, but I’ve loved the whole process and I can really see progression.
I have THE nicest neighbour. Whenever I leave the house and if she’s out in front, she’ll open the gate for me and say, “Itterasshai,” (the Japanese expression you say to people when they are leaving). I drew this because I love the little red plant she has by her door and the strange porcelain dog sitting next to it. These two are the first things I see when I come in the gate.
I recently went on a short trip to Aomori prefecture. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the lake that I wanted to visit. But along the way to the art gallery, the bus drove past all these cute ‘cloud-pruned’ trees. It’s not uncommon to see these everywhere in Japan.
I see this on the way to work and there is always a blue watering can sitting in the square hole. The hanging strawberries are adorable.