Allira Tee is a talented graphic designer and illustrator with a soft and playful drawing style. Inspired by people watching, animals and nature, Allira's illustrations depict a range of subjects, scenes and patterns with fine detail, care and a soft tonal palette. She has a wide selection of fine art prints available to purchase in her Etsy store and will be releasing her designs on greeting cards and wrapping paper very soon. We can't wait to see them!
We've loved printing Allira's beautiful work and are excited to have gained an insight into her process, creative influences and some very exciting projects she has in the works. Read on to find out more about Allira!
Tell us a little bit about your creative background. How did you get into illustration and graphic design?
I think for as long as I can remember I have always known that I wanted to do something creative in my career. I’ve always loved art. I studied a Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design and after working for a few years in the industry found that I wasn’t really fulfilled, but I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do. To be honest I never thought I would become an illustrator. It took a few years of trial and error, a lot of travel and maybe the new found inspiration I got from living in London before I just sat down and started drawing and not long after realised how much I loved it. I’ve been working in the graphic design industry for the past 13 years but it’s only in the last few of years that I’ve been practising my illustration seriously, building my portfolio and working with clients. I still do graphic design work alongside my illustration and I find they complement each other nicely.
Who/what influences your practice? Where do you look for inspiration and ideas for your work?
Although it sounds cliché, everything influences my practice. I think I’ve been lucky in that I’ve travelled quite a bit and that always inspires new ideas for my work. People and animal watching. Nature in general. Animals are so wonderful and strange, I can’t help but humanise them in my artwork. Most of my art is based on animals because I think they are just so funny, weird and relatable.
You use a variety of techniques and combinations to produce your work – ink and digitally coloured ink and graphite illustration. Can you give us an insight into the process behind your works and how you decide on which techniques to use?
I usually start with a sketch and then I work freehand from there. When I’m working with clients they usually dictate the medium I use. For the majority of my patterns or stand-alone images I use ink, but more and more I’m starting to use graphite. I find it a more fluid medium to use when I’m creating larger scale artworks that involve scenery and lots of detail.
Do you find yourself using digital increasingly over time in your work? Or does it purely serve a specific purpose when you feel it’s necessary?
At the moment digital purely serves as a means for putting together my repeat patterns and digitally colouring my graphite art. I would love to keep it this way. It's definitely time consuming drawing by hand, but it’s my favourite part of the illustration process.
How have you found printing at Image Science?
It’s been great printing my fine art prints at Image Science. The staff have a wealth of knowledge and are always on hand to answer questions and make the process easier. It makes printing artwork for my online shop a breezy experience!
How has being able to create edition prints and selling on Etsy been influential to your business?
Selling my prints on Etsy has meant that I can reach a wider audience than if I just relied on my website and Instagram. I’ve had clients find me through Etsy so it’s been very beneficial to my business. I was worried when I was trying to get into the Illustration industry that I was too late in the game, but the more I've put my work out there and available for people to find, the more I have been seen and found by people in need of illustration.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2018? Any exciting commissions, projects or shop updates?
I’m really excited for the rest of this year. You’ll be able to find some of my designs on greeting cards and wrapping paper very soon. I'm currently working on some exciting commissions due out in 2019 and a puzzle that will be released at the end of this year. Alongside making more art to print, I would love to work more with fabric and see where that takes me.
Image Science have been very easy to deal with, more than happy to help someone who previously knew nothing about how any of this worked! I knew what I wanted to achieve but no idea how to make it happen but had literally a million questions that were answered for me and was guided through how to make my plan a reality. I’m very happy with the result!