Introducing Tara Phillips - Themes of personal strength and introspection.

We are pumped to be introducing you to the young powerful and passionate Tara Phillips. She has creativity pulsing through her veins and a concentrated attention to detail that results in the following stunning works. Enjoy reading her thoughts on creativity and drivers below.

Your beauties and almost too perfect with a twist of something else... a scar - armour -  loneliness. How would you describe that common thread that is twisting through your work?

I like my characters to come with their own subtle stories. A lot of these tie in with my own personal views and interests. I particularly like to explore themes of personal strength and introspection, and this often includes challenging representations of women.

Give us a bit of insight into your process and set the scene of your work place...are you set up in a studio/your bedroom or where-ever your laptop takes you?

My process usually involves a lot of research, photo taking and thumbnailing. I try to spend a decent amount of time conceptualising and solidifying my ideas. Once I‘ve drafted everything out, my process is streamlined from linework to flat colours to rendering.

I’m a bit of a drifter when it comes to my workspace. I have a laptop as well as a cintiq companion graphics tablet, which means I can move around easily when I work (and I do like to change up my surroundings from time to time). Generally, I’m in my element when I’m tucked away in a quiet spot at home, with a coffee close at hand and just the right amount of sunlight.

Drifter_Tara Phillips.jpg

Do you have a memory of drawing as a child, what were you into?

Like a lot of kids, I was crazy about cartoons. My grandparents owned a video store when I was growing up as well, so I had access to a lot of movies. I think this was creative fuel to my imagination. Some of these movies are still among my favourites today (Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, The Secret of NIMH).

One thing I remember most clearly is having this huge obsession with Sailor Moon when I was 8 or 9. My sisters and I would watch it every morning before school. I had a little diary that I filled with my own sailor moon drawings and cheesy comics (as well as the odd spiteful comment about my siblings when they upset me). I took this diary with me everywhere!

Loving your new techno coloured beauty - it feels like a jump in a new direction compared to your traditional pallets. What inspired this...was it fun/challenging/exciting?

Thank you! I decided that August was going to be the month for me to experiment and loosen up my work. Sometimes you get stuck in the habit of working the same way day in and day out. I felt the need to break this cycle and mix things up, so I did away with linework for a change and painted directly onto my canvas. I purchased new digital brushes and experimented with fluid and expressive brushstrokes. Most importantly, I opened up to mixing brighter and bolder colours (trying not to think too hard about the end result). I can’t tell you how much this helped me! Not only was it a lot of fun, but it was wonderful to not focus so hard on hyper-realism for a change. It’s definitely been a step in a new direction for me!

This is the most asked question of artists but for me its still the most interesting -  what inspires you? Why do you draw? Where does it come from?

I take inspiration from a lot of different areas. Film, books and music are big ones for me. These fluctuate depending on a project or my mood. Lately I’ve been really into sci-fi and cyberpunk themed movies. I’m all about those robot arms and gadgets! I also follow a lot of amazing artists online, so I feel like I get a boost of creativity whenever I see something new in my feed.

Drawing has been something I’ve enjoyed since I was a kid and it was something I could share with my sisters. If I wasn’t an illustrator, chances are, I’d still be involved in some kind of creative avenue (probably making loud music in someone's garage somewhere). There’s an immense satisfaction creating and I feel fortunate to be able to do this as a profession.