Q&A with illustrator Rhea Isaacs
April 4, 2012 | 2:10 pm | Posted in: Design
Here is a new series of blogposts on The Style Tales focusing on Q&A’s with people who in their own way inspire me to do what I do. They deserve a lot more attention and hopefully these interviews will inspire you as well. Here is the first version with Rhea Isaacs, a name you should remember! This 21-year old Australian girl became a good friend through our mutual love for Michael Jackson and she has been inspiring me ever since. She draws the most amazing illustrations and is just a super awesome chick overall!
Hi Rhea! Can you tell us a bit about you and your art?
Hey dude! Well, to be entirely truthful I am horribly boring and I don’t live the lavish and exciting life of a typical artist! Then again, maybe I do….consistently poor, chained to my desk and always in need of sugar! But to be a little more serious, I’m a regular ol’ Australian girl with New Age parents and a giant thirst for bubble tea. I enjoy long walks along the beach and disco. I’m a full time illustrator, part time University student and I mostly spend my time on the computer looking at photos of other places I’m hoping to go to once I get rich and clothes I can eventually afford one day. My illustration work kinda follows the same lines; I love fashion, I love pop culture and street culture. I’m very influenced by up and coming illustrators like Annie Wu and Diglee, as well as the great Andy Warhol and Australian artist Florence Broadhurst. A lot of my artwork has a bit of nostalgia to it, ’cause I end up taking inspiration from things I remember as a kid (tv shows, music and fashion) as well as thinks I like now that are from other eras. A big obsession of mine is everything to do with the 70′s and Michael Jackson, which you’ll see pop up in my artwork pretty frequently!
When did you find out you had a talent for illustrating?
I don’t think I’m particularly talented, honestly! I’ve always been drawing from the moment I could pick up a pencil (that’s a cliché line, right?), but I didn’t really get into it until I was about 15 or 16. I was watching a lot of Disney movies at the time and wanted to try my hand at doing it myself. When I wasn’t satisfied with what was on the paper in front of me, I kept trying over and over and eventually it lead to this obsession to get things perfectly right as they were in my head. I think because of that, a lot of my “talent” is actually just a product of very hard work over the last seven years or so and drawing at every available minute! I used to draw in my classes at school instead of doing work (which may have been why I ended up failing maths…), and then when I got home I’d ink the drawings and colour them by hand. I really did draw constantly, and I think the hard work behind the scenes makes it look like I have this born-with-it-talent, but really it couldn’t be further from the truth! A lot of sweat and tears went into whre I am now, and even then I’m not satisfied with what I see. Apart from that, I will sheepishly admit that illustration runs in the family – my dad is a screen printer, my Grandfather was a sign writer, and my great-grandfather was an illustrator.
Which illustration or artwork are you most proud of?
I honestly really don’t know! It changes every couple of months or so, depending on how many artworks I churn out and what point I’m up to in things. Sometimes artworks I really hated at the time I did them, I’ll end up liking them later on and being quite proud of them! Off the top of my head though, I did this watercolour and ink piece for a class in 2010 of Michael Jackson in concert, and while I didn’t even end up finishing the piece I was pretty proud with how the face turned out. Embarrassingly my dad thought it was fantastic and got it blown up and framed to put on his office wall.
What is the biggest lifelesson you’ve learned in life?
Hard work really is the key. Perseverance. Determination. The thirst to want to be better. You’ll only go places when you want it more than anything else in the world and you really work for it. Things do sometimes drop in your lap, but most of the time it comes down to you and your mindset. If you want to be better at drawing, sit down and draw every single day. Take life drawing classes. Go to art school. Even if you don’t agree with the practices or what you’re putting yourself through, it will be beneficial to you in someway and strengthen your skills. But most of all, enjoy what you do and love it! (Cliché, I know!)
How do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
An eccentric artist living in New York with three cats and the best wardrobe ever full of awesome clothes.
Did you enjoy this interview? Then be sure to follow Rhea’s work through YoungEarlGrey! She posts on her Tumblr and also has a Facebook page through which you can keep up to date with all she does.
Check out for more: http://youngearlgrey.tumblr.com
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.