Kirrily Anderson is a self-confessed control freak, but the trait has done her artwork no harm at all. In fact, it’s a blessing. Have a look at the fine detail in the female faces she draws, the perfect shading and line-by-line texture in their hair – it takes a focused mind to create something that beautiful.
As well as fashion, Kirrily is inspired by nature and you’ll see not just fabrics but bark, rock and water juxtaposed with the smooth complexions of the women she draws. She likes to feature animals in her work too, where possible. The artists she admires include Gustav Klimt, Aubrey Beardsley, Antoni Gaudi and Chuck Close.
Beyond illustration, Kirrily is a graphic designer and also a street artist. She hates the cold, wants life to be one long summer, and adds chilli to almost any meal. Travel is another passion. “I love to tell interesting tales of hitchhiking with drug lords in Guatemala, partying as a piñata in New Orleans, and camping with camels in the Negev dessert,” says the Melbourne-based illustrator.
Kirrily has a diploma in Graphic Art from NMIT in Melbourne, and the rest is self-taught!
Research is where it all starts, and Kirrily uses the internet as well as art books for references and inspiration. She loves Instagram for texture and colour ideas. Thanks to her design background, she plans her images meticulously, and works on the composition in Photoshop. When the drawing begins, she uses a technique called stippling. Millions of fine dots are created - usually with Copic Mulitliners – to form a beautiful picture. Her colour palette is minimal and the figurative parts of her images are almost always monotone.
By painstakingly creating a picture dot by dot, Kirrily seems to tap into the emotions of her subjects through their facial expressions. Their eyes are full of life and intensity. At the same time, her style is soft and reflective, with everything you need to know communicated through the body language and the eyes of the subject.