Brittney Banks
Illustrator/Designer

Brittney Banks

Illustrator/Designer

Venice, Los Angeles, California

www.brittneybanks.com
Instagram @bbanksart
 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

My personal style currently uses watercolor and colored pencil but I’m also open to creating very specific ideas.

I'm a freelance illustrator and have a paper goods company based out of my little bungalow in Venice. I've worked with film and production companies, creative agencies, accessory and fragrance brands, hotels and boutiques on various illustration projects. My personal style currently uses watercolor and colored pencil but I'm also open to creating very specific ideas. On the side I have a paper goods company (online and wholesale) with a line of greeting cards, art prints, gift wrap, tissue paper and few other products.

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

I've always loved to draw but never thought I could make a career of it. After trying a more conventional path in fashion design, I grew restless with the lack of creativity and tried classes in textile design. All the while I was illustrating my own thank you/birthday cards and making custom art for friends and family. One day I decided to take things more seriously and quickly made a website, business cards and participated in a few craft markets doing live portraits and selling my cards and art. One year later and I'm still a one-woman show but luckily found an intern who helps package and organize the cards. I'm currently selling in 15 stores and have plans to participate in trade shows and take on reps to get more wholesale accounts. I'd like to keep the freelance going strong as I love to work with people and see where each new project takes me/us.

 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

I think every creative has a unique background and skill set which keeps things interesting/exciting. I wouldn't say I notice any of my competitors are lacking, we are all just very different, which is a beautiful thing! Some people are really talented drawing from their imagination (others) and other from reference (me). From working in fashion I gained a good knowledge of how to use Photoshop, how to work with drawings on the computer and I really enjoy that. Other illustrators might not have this skill which isn't always a bad thing.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

Currently trying to grow my wholesale business and design custom prints for different cities that can be used for gift wrap, posters, cards, fabric, etc. I've been drawing up interview questions for my friends in different cities to try and hone in on the unique attributes to their area of town. I'd also like to visit these areas myself (after I get all of the questions answered), meet the locals, take photographs, and draw their favorite things from life. I'm finding the more personal you can make things, the better. I think it will be fun to travel with a purpose and I look forward to meeting new people this way.

 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?

I think (and hope) my style/perspective/taste will continue to evolve over time. At the moment I'm loving clean and simple yet colorful and happy design. Living in sunny CA has influenced this and I have always had a sunnier disposition myself. I'm also starting to feel a pull toward deeper, more 'lived-in' color and pattern, almost the complete opposite of what I've done this past year. Oh that pendulum swing... maybe in two years I will find my happy medium!

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

I have two answers.

1- Working with people. Being a freelance illustrator and working out of my home, I yearn to work with other people, get their take on an idea, a drawing, a topic, see how we can solve a problem or grow a story.

2- Practicing illustration on the side to see if I can break into a more abstract style. I feel a bit confined at the moment, like I need to draw outside the lines. I may need to do an artist residency one day.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

I feel like I need to find a way to work with other creatives whether it be through collaboration, working in a shared studio, doing my freelance work on site. It's either that or having more human connection through my work, so doing live portraits, working while traveling and seeing a new place, interviewing people about their favorite things. I just feel like I need to break out and do something extraordinary, maybe even something that hasn't been done before (if that exists).

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HOUR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

I would have them photograph my product seasonally, run my social media and keep my website up-to-date and fresh. 

 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I wish I could have told myself to study business in college as it's been a challenge understanding this as I grow. I'm getting a handle on it now, but I might have moved quicker with a minor in the subject. Contrary to this, though, there are days where I wish I had gone to an intensive art school instead of liberal arts college as I feel I could have grown more as an artist during that time. It's hard to take that time at this age. Again, artist residency could be on my horizon...

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

To an expert on working with a team in a creative agency, for example... What are some of the challenges/joys they come across while working with other creatives. How do they work with others to meet an end goal. What is their morning ritual or way to get ready for the day so they can be most creative. How/when do they feel most creative.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I love the idea of creating a brand identity with illustration ie. for a new restaurant or hotel: their logo, menus, website, etc. I'd also love to get into animation and possibly work with an ad agency for this. Print design for interiors, fashion and accessories has always been a goal whether I do it on my own or for another company. Maybe even window display at a department store, designing the backdrop with a fun illustration or print design.

 

WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?

My ideal client would appreciate my current style of illustration and would like to see my take on their idea for whatever it may be. I could go on and on about dream jobs: creating fun illustrations for a cooking or fashion magazine that has a specific theme for that issue or designing wall art for a restaurant/hotel bathroom.

 

WHAT IS YOUR RATE? 

I currently value my time at $60/hour. For new clients I like to work by the hour for the first project to see how things go and can sometimes work out a flat rate for future projects if they prefer. For example I did a project designing a matchbox and postcard for a boutique hotel and that came to about $500-600. They wanted me to create a scene (with someone surfing, a couple sitting having wine, someone on a bike fresh from a farmers market, mountains in the background, palm trees and other details) in a certain style that we developed and then applied to the matchbox and postcard.

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Email best, phone great too. If possible, I love setting up an initial meeting where we can go over details in person. I then get back to them with a quote and ETA. It's always great to get as much detail as possible in the initial email (I love reference images, mood boards).

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Try new. Be open. 

 


This member profile was originally published in March 2016.