It all started last summer, when I was cat sitting Atlas and Phoebe in North-London. I saw a TED talk about the healing power of art and self-expression through drawing. Back then I felt that I was missing something in my life. There was a gap that I decided to fill with something meaningful... and I found ART. My life completely changed since then.
I set up an Instagram account, and started to follow artists I read about on-line. I started to watch drawing and painting tutorials on You Tube. I read articles about successful illustrators and their tips and advises about how to grow as an artist. I studied different drawing and painting techniques and did researches on how to choose from the overwhelming variety of art supplies, what are the best watercolor papers, pencil types, scanners and digital drawing pads.... I decided to draw every day and I started a 100 day project that I called the "Reading Girl Project". At the beginning I found a lot of inspiration from my book and movie experiences.
I received a lot of encouraging feedback from my friends and strangers on social media that led me to the next step: I set up a Facebook page to showcase my drawings and named it "Gabby Kere illustration". I started to post photos of portraits I painted for my friends, and when I got my first portrait requests I started to believe that people might actually like what I do. My first paid commission came only a few months after I created "Gabby Kere illustration" and it was a truly surreal experience. I started to make more and more portraits for friends and my friends' friends and I could see my style slowly change - I could see me going in the right direction to find "my own style".
After the "Reading Girl Project" I experimented with maps, portraits, cartoons, comics, post cards, book illustrations, old photo retouch and animated GIFs. Recently I find endless inspiration in abstract art and graphic design and follow amazing artists that constantly make me question the importance of beauty in art. My current project is a series on Instagram called Non Factual Fun, it is my daily brain exercise to practice how to look at the world from a different angle.
Among all that random stuff I did my favourite turned out to be shop window painting. I love the challenges of creating something pretty on a huge, vertical, see-through glass surface that feels so different from sitting by a desk and painting on paper. My goal is to paint a shop window every month, somewhere in Central London.
What about my even bigger dreams? Well, i would love to publish my own picture book and illustrate book covers, and I would love to see my drawings published in magazines around the world. In my review this time next year we'll see how many of these dreams I could actually achieve.
After my first little successes I created this website, printed business cards and flyers to promote myself. I find this part the most difficult, but I have a lot of friends and happy customers helping me to spread the word of Gabby Kere illustration. It's been an amazing year, and I believe that with hard work this could be just the beginning of something bigger. You can follow my journey by reading my blog posts and following me on Instagram.