Illo {feature + giveaway}

Friday, August 14, 2015

Every once in a while I stumble upon a South African creative that just sticks with me. When I found illo, I thought it was illustrations designed by someone in far off Scandinavia. I was obsessed and would scroll through the brand's twitter feed, just staring at the intricate details of the hand-illustrated sketches. I had to know more.

How surpised was I when I learnt that illo was started by a Cape Townian, Vivienne van Deventer,
who works as an illustration artist from home. All here illustrations are done by hand with the use of fineliner on paper, then colour is digitally added .


Vivienne, your work is stunning. How did you start and how long have you been doing this?
I have always loved to illustrate, give me a blank piece of paper & a pen or pencil & I am happy! I have a Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design which I obtained from CPUT in 2007. During my final year, illustration was a big focus for me.
I have worked in the clothing - as well as licensing industries where I have gained a lot of wonderful experience. However, I soon realized that the clothing industry was not for me & knew that I wanted to pursue my illustration work.
Last year, a month before my wedding day, I finally said goodbye to the clothing industry for good & around June I slowly but surely started with 'illo' (still finding my feet though). I have never been happier & never looked back!

What sort of products do you make? Do you also provide services?

Currently I focus on my range of art-prints, as well as cards. There will be about two different new ranges every year.
I am planning on adding more products as well & will hopefully soon have products available online. I illustrate by hand & then add colour digitally. 
I am also available for commission based work such as custom illustrations, logos, invitations and things that you generally won't find mass produced in a mall.

3. Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
If you look at my current 'doll' range, you will see quite a strong fashion direction still coming through, due to my fashion past :)
Other than that I love patterns & seeing patterns everywhere, especially in nature & also ethnic patterns. 
I do not plan beforehand how I want my illustrations to look, I usually just start illustrating & patterns just emerge from there. I am currently working on a woodlands theme range which will focus on animals, here you will also see similar patterns coming through.

What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?
Yes, I am :) And pretty new to it. My biggest challenge so far, since I work from home, has been to have self discipline.
Believe it or not, but there can be a lot of distractions working from home. I set myself goals & realistic deadlines & always make sure that I stick to them. 
Always be honest with your clients & be true to your word. If you say you are going to email someone the next morning, then you do it. Always go the extra mile, it's never crowded.

How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?
I can honestly say that I am proud to be a creative living in South Africa. We have an explosion of culture, ideas, incredible individuals & artists here, South Africa is alive with a creative pulse of colour & culture! 
I am born & bred in Cape Town & have also lived & worked in Johannesburg for a while & have met some amazing creative people. There is a hunger amongst people for authentic, unique & handmade goods, people are tired of retail & mass market products.

What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?
My favourite medium is fineliner on paper. As much as I love colour, there is just something clean & classic about a black illustration on white paper.
It stands out strong & beautiful on it's own without the need for colour. Simple, yet striking.
What would you do if you won the lotto?
That would be a miracle, seeing that I have never played it & actually never would, haha :) But if I do somehow win that amount of money I would immediately travel, see the world & experience new cultures! 
When I get back I will buy a farm or small holding where my children could run free, live off the earth, breathe in fresh air & then give, give & give to people who really are in need. This probably sounds cliche, but I honestly would. Giving is something that makes my heart & soul happy, especially when it is from the heart, whether a small gift or just a hug. To give honestly is better than to receive.

Where to from here?
I am planning on getting my current products available in an online shop a.s.a.p, finish my next range & then have some new products available soonest (as well as my website up & running).
What has been your proudest moment since you started?
Having started! It really took me very long to build up the confidence & courage to start. There was a lot of self doubt, yes's, no's & maybe's. But the moment I started I wish I had done so earlier. Never doubt yourself, you have your specific talents for a reason, grow them, nurture them & bless others with them. I have never been happier or more content.

Two lucky The Sun House readers stand the chance to win either a Leah or Rae print, signed by Vivienne. The winner also has the choice of a wooden look background or a plain white background.
All you need to do is to tweet about this post, tag me @waitingformeg and @vivillo8, or share The Sun House's facebook post. Feel free to give Illo some love by clicking and following her on the social media sites below.

 Also please comment on which print you would like, Leah on the left, or Rae on the right.


Spaaks said...

I love her work! (and yours!
) ;-)

Stephanie videira said...

Rae on the right though both are stunning

Megan Hartwig said...

Ooh la la such a FAB giveaway! Thank you for blogging about illo, otherwise I would have never found out about her! I tweeted and shared the giveaway on Twitter (@flutterbymegs) and shared it on Facebook too ;) I would really like the Rae on the right print. Fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

rehana seedat email: I have tweeted @rehanaseedat and shared facebook

Cornell Botha said...

What a stunning giveaway!!
I tweeted (@cornelli_) and shared on Facebook!
I really love both prints but Rae is my fave!!

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