10 questions with... Suze Hogan
We love the expressive girls by self-taught artist Suze Hogan.
Hi Suze, great to have you here!
Tell us something about yourself?
As well as a love affair with art and illustration - from being very young, my other love is metaphysics, I’m fascinated by NDE stories and mysticism.
How did you get started as an illustrator?
I could draw from being very young and I remember being around 6 years old and creating 4 big illustrations for the entrance of my primary school, I also remember showing work in school assembly but as a family, we relocated and it obviously affected how I worked because somehow my passion for drawing fell by the wayside, it’s in the last two years (my 30’s!) that I’ve truly rediscovered my love for illustration.
How would you describe your style?
I’d say my style at the moment is quite traditional and simple, in terms of my medium and the fact that I don’t like too much fuss with regards to colour. I do like to capture expression and emotion when it comes to the girls I draw.
What’s your technical/creative process?
I am forever scrolling through Pinterest- It’s generally where I source references and inspiration. It tends to start from a photograph and I just know it’ll make a perfect illustration. I always begin with my Pentel mechanical pencil and my tin of Faber-Castell sketching pencils.
Who or what inspires your work?
I have to say other illustrators and artists definitely inspire me. It’s usually sketchbooks that inspire me the most - they’re raw and full of energy, that quality can get lost by the time it’s a final polished piece. Photography inspires me. sometimes I can be out and I’ll spot someone and I think she’d make a perfect reference (it’s generally girls I’m inspired by) which is unusual in itself because I’m forever in a world of my own and miss most of what goes on around me! But it does happen. I adore Satsuki Shabuya, I love her way with watercolour, it’s quite ethereal it’s almost like I can hear music with it when I look at her work. It’s the same with Elliot Pukette, I love her calligraphy lines, they’re like visual classical music.
Which brands do you work for or do you love to work for?
I don’t work for any brand but I would love to collaborate on beauty or skincare packaging - I illustrated a figurative collection in dip-pen and ink and I often think I would like to expand on that. I think illustrating for editorials would be amazing.
What is your favourite thing in the world to illustrate?
Females - I don’t know why, but whether it is sketching detailed portrait or simple form, it’s always females that inspire me.
What is your dream project?
Producing illustrations for beauty or skincare packaging or producing something for an inspiring editorial would be pretty exciting.
What 3 things can’t you live without?
Easy. My books, fresh air :) and weirdly hair oil now I’ve run out of it? I have candy floss style baby hair, it’s the only thing that keeps it looking and feeling normal.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists?
Yes, as cliche as this sounds always be true to yourself and draw what lights you up. Draw the way you want to draw. I spent some time at an art school in Cyprus in April, and while I enjoyed my time there, I was so surprised to see the snobbery that surrounds art in terms of what is too commercial and what qualifies as 'high art'. I was asked why I only draw pretty girls, I was told using references wasn’t very imaginative. Really I had just gone out for the experience - not write a thesis about why I do what I do. For me art and illustration is about expressing yourself visually after all! While I appreciate there is a place for meaning - definitely and for critiquing and analysing work. My best work comes from the fun of it, from enjoying the process and being playful.
"If you genuinely love what you do, and you’re being true to yourself, there will be a quality to your work and it will speak for itself".