Adore the wonderful colourful illustration by Ashley Odell
Right at first sight, we were deeply impressed by the overloaded zest and cuteness in the illustrations by Ashley Odell. Her vibrant colour schemes complement each energetic shape and detail perfectly. Ashley has managed to capture the essence of the nature we see everyday and projected it in such a refreshing and remarkable way. We reached out to her and had the opportunity to share the story of this very talented illustrator.
Hi Ashley! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Ashley Odell and I’m a freelance illustrator currently living in Sarasota, Florida. I am finishing up my third year of studying Illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design. I love to create colorful and whimsical illustrations that bring joy to people. I have a passion for animals, nature and pretty much all cute things, so I use this as the main influence in my work. When I’m not drawing, I enjoy sewing, fishing, playing with dogs, and cuddling my hedgie!
Could you share some insights into your current illustration style?
I have always been inspired by nature, so I am always incorporating animals and plants into my work. My illustrations usually consist of simple, yet quirky shapes with lots of fun and vibrant colors.
Finding my style has been a very long, but rewarding journey. I spent years experimenting with different techniques and media, and being influenced by different artists, often failing at most of the styles I tried. There was one point last year where I went through a scratchboard “phase” where I was so heavily influenced by Nico Delort‘s work that all I wanted to do was create illustrations in scratchboard. I came out with one successful piece and the rest went downhill after that. However, that did give me a whole new appreciation for that style of work, along with the other styles I attempted.
It wasn’t until about a year ago when I finally found a style that I actually love doing and that feels so natural to me. Even tho it’s still slightly changing because I am always experimenting with different techniques and am always discovering new artists who inspire me. But I can say that I absolutely love what I am doing now, and it seems that a lot of other people do as well, so I think I’m going to continue in this direction for awhile!
Very nice! What is your illustrating process then?
Before I begin any project, I always do a lot of research, and by a lot I mean spending hours and hours on Pinterest gathering reference photos and inspiration from other artists. My process is a little different from most artists as I don’t typically start with thumbnails or sketches. Thumbnails are just a really painful process for me and I always end up going with the first idea I come up with anyways, so I’ve just completely eliminated that step from my process. And when it comes to sketching, that is an area that I don’t feel very confident in, so I prefer to just start by creating shapes until I come up with something I like. Once I have the composition nailed down, I begin adding color and textures and then finish it off with little details. It’s a simple process, but has been very effective for me.
How do you promote your work?
I usually promote my work via social media (Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Behance). I post to my sites constantly even if it’s just process work, because many people really do enjoy seeing that kind of stuff. Also, since hashtags are apparently a thing these days, I tag all of my work to make it easier for people to find it.
And last but not least: do you have any future project in mind?
Right now I’ve been keeping pretty busy with school projects, but I do have a couple projects in mind for when I find the time. I’ve been wanting to create some surface pattern designs to bring to life. As I mentioned before, one of my favorite hobbies is sewing. So I would love to be able to turn my designs into pillows, curtains, etc. and to open up a little shop to sell them. Maybe I will someday!
Thank you Ashley and good luck!
Scroll down to see all the gorgeous artwork made by Ashley.