Seeing Amy’s photo realistic drawings of whimsical, beautiful girls, you first question whether Amy’s work is a photograph or actually a drawing. All of her artwork is created with pencil on paper, an idea, and a love for beauty. Starting her illustration journey with a self imposed challenge to draw something everyday, her sharing of her work quickly led to a following of 20K followers on instagram. We sat down with her and talked about her creative journey and her passion for art.
1) Can you tell us a little about yourself, your profession and your art?
My name is Amy Clemens and I graduated from Swinburne in 2012 with an Honours degree in Communication Design. I’ve been working as a full time graphic design at Chimera Design in Ripponlea since 2013. We mainly specialise in packaging/branding design. I started drawing realistically in 2008 while still at high school, and continued through university. In 2013 while I was job hunting, I set myself the challenge of completing 1 drawing a day for 30 days. In the end it took 3 months instead of 30 days, but I had learnt a lot – mainly teaching myself how to use coloured pencils. I posted all my work onto Instagram, and I gained a bunch of followers from doing so. This motivated me to keep learning and practising.
2) How long does it usually take you to complete one drawing?
Depending on the size and level of detail, it usually takes me between 6 – 12 hours.
3) Many people don’t know but you actually taught yourself to draw during a period where you set yourself a challenge of drawing everyday. What was that like and would you recommend this to others?
I would absolutely recommend this. I was job hunting at the time, and I found myself becoming lazy and unmotivated. I discovered that setting myself a goal every day pushed me to become better at drawing – and also kept me busy!
4) Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everywhere! Other Instagrammers, Designers, Illustrators, Musicians and all sorts of creative types. Working as a Graphic Designer full time, I am exposed to a lot of creative ideas all the time, so I draw inspiration from a range of different places.
5) You’ve probably been asked to sell prints or do commissions but you’ve told us previously that drawing is a personal passion project of yours, somewhat as an escapism from reality and work. Would monetising your artwork be something you see yourself doing in the future?
I do see myself doing something with my work in the future, whether that be to sell prints and/or originals, or an exhibition. At the moment though, I am happy just practising my skills and creating in my spare time. Drawing is my happy place – time for myself and my own thoughts away from life’s responsibilities!
6) Well you’ve also become quite famous on Instagram for your realist drawings. Have you been surprised with the response?
I have been! It’s always great to see more and more people being inspired by my work and supporting what I do. When I starting posting on Instagram I never expected the response I have gotten from people all over the world, encouraging me to keep producing my best work.
7) And finally are you creatively satisfied?
Yes. I feel that my drawings allow me to be creative in a different way from my job, so it’s the perfect balance.