Tracy Turnbull shares her secret ingredient


Patrick caught up with the Fashion Figures award winner Tracy Turnbull, and managed to ask 5 quick questions.

1 - How did you come across the Fida awards, and why did you apply?

I came across the Fida awards via Instagram in 2019. I had thought about applying last year but for some reason didn’t. After seeing the amazing winning illustrations and fab award evening images I instantly regretted not entering so decided that I’d give it a go this year. It’s such a great platform for both budding and established illustrators out there.

"I wanted to create something that was contemporary, sophisticated and bold using colour and texture, Believe it or not the balloon was a last minute idea, and to tell the truth changed the whole feel of the illustration bringing an element of fun, I’d love to think that my work makes people smile"

2 - What made you select the image you did to enter the awards?

My entry was actually created especially for the competition, working freelance I tend to get commissioned to draw a lot of faces and not so many figures hence choosing the fashion figures category. I’m trained as a Garment designer and spent years designing and drawing clothes so went back to my roots on this one. I wanted to create something a bit different from my usual style a lot of my work is black and white with the odd colour highlight, so this entry was quite experimental for me. I wanted to create something that was contemporary, sophisticated and bold using colour and texture, Believe it or not the balloon was a last minute idea, and to tell the truth changed the whole feel of the illustration bringing an element of fun, I’d love to think that my work makes people smile and I think we all need to smile a little more in today’s current climate

a- How did you feel about winning the awards with all the artists and judges from the industry selecting your work?

Ecstatic! I was speechless when Patrick announced my name and that’s unusual for me! I really didn’t expect to have my work chosen by top artists and judges that I admire and are the best in the field is quite something! I’ve always been a bit obsessed with fashion illustration, as a student I obsessed over Zoltan and Tony Viramonte who at the time were so inspirational, but there was limited access to see their work unlike now with social media, Fashion Illustration has become so accessible, it’s fantastic to be able to see so many brilliant illustrators established and up and coming! Kudos to Fida for giving Fashion illustration the platform and elevation that it deserves.

3 - What is your normal day of working as a fashion illustrator?

It varies depending on how many commissions I have at any one time. I tend to work better in the evenings not sure why so often spend time during the day researching, finding inspiration planning and experimenting. Layout is really important to me when it comes to illustration, I also work as a Creative Director/ Graphic designer so love the composition side of things.

"I’m always on the lookout for imagery that I can draw inspiration from, In the past it was in the form of magazines tear sheets but now more so on my iPhone or iPad" TT

4 - Explain your process and the space you work in? How do you use social media or other platforms?

I mainly work digitally so my work space kind of travels with me in the form of an iPad pro and pencil. I’m always on the lookout for imagery that I can draw inspiration from, In the past it was in the form of magazines tear sheets but now more so on my iPhone or iPad (one or the other is glued to my hand) I tend to use it like a mood board, I’m for ever taking photographs which I often use for inspiration. As regards social media I have my own website and obsessively use Instagram, I have to admit I don’t have the biggest following, still trying to work out how to achieve this! I’m a fan of Pinterest and also promote my work through Behance I have portfolios on Procreate art and IllustrationX who represent me. I’ve also just joined the Fida Pro membership so really excited about that!

"I would never have imagined that I would win one of the awards- GO FOR IT!!"TT

5 - Do you have any advice for future Fida Artists entering the awards?

Don’t hesitate! It’s such a great competition and fab experience. Fida is a fantastic platform for fashion illustrators and I can only see it becoming more popular! I would never have imagined that I would win one of the awards- GO FOR IT!!

6 - Are you doing anything at the moment, and can you share?

I’ve been working on a couple of commissions a book cover and an editorial spread unfortunately I can’t share them as they aren’t out as yet. I’ve also been working on a few self-initiated pieces plus I always illustrate my own Christmas card to send out to friends, family and clients so I’ve been experimenting – I suppose I can give you a sneaky peek!

Thank you Fida!