Rachel Victoria is an illustrator who will give you all of the feels. Her simplistic yet hard-hitting style is a beautiful & emotive representation of how she sees the world. Falling in love with illustration at a young age, she went on to study illustration at University. Since we spoke to her she's been added to the famous Women Who Draw, and is generally being a total girl boss.
Who, in your opinion, is the most exciting person in the media doing something positive for women right now?
Not a person, so to speak, but the Women Who Draw online directory of contemporary female illustrators is pretty fantastic.
Tell us about the first time you fell in love with an illustration?
I continue to fall in love with illustrations every day, and I have done since I was young. A specific early example of this was discovering Lauren Child’s Clarice Bean books in Highgate Bookshop with my mum when I was little. Her books brought me such joy and I’d never seen anything so inspiring.
How did you get started in the world of illustration?
I’ve drawn since the age I learnt to hold a pencil, so studying illustration at university felt like a natural decision.
When was the last time you felt proud to be doing what you’re doing?
Every time someone compliments my work I feel extremely proud that other people appreciate what I love doing!
What other female illustrators do you admire?
There are too many! A few that are inspiring me right at this moment are Tallulah Fontaine, Leah Reena Goren, Polly Fern, Camille Léa Pearson and Beatrice Cerocchi. I could go on forever…
Who do you think has been the most inspirational person to you in terms of your work?
One of the most inspiring people I’ve had the chance to be mentored by is Christopher Brown, who is one of the most established and successful illustrators in the country. He reassured me that I am in the right industry, and to have advice and belief from somebody with such a successful career behind them feels truly unbelievable. He is definitely one of the most talented people I know.
How did you go about developing your own personal style?
I just let it flow naturally. Before I studied at university I would force certain drawing styles and I was never happy with what I produced. By being given illustration briefs I soon learnt that you cannot draw in a certain way, and this is when I started to loosen up and draw naturally.
What does producing a piece of work you love do for you?
Producing work that I am pleased with and enjoy creating makes me feel human. When I draw I become so engrossed that the world behind me pauses and there are no problems.
Have you ever doubted that you wanted to pursue such a creative and therefore competitive career?
I have never doubted that I want to pursue an illustration career, but I have definitely worried about how competitive the industry is, as there are so many talented illustrators. The fact is, I am doing what I love and if I can make this a success, I have fulfilled my dreams.