Self-taught Illustration – Willa Gebbie | CYD#2
Willa Gebbie never went to art school, and so never felt impelled to explore in the same way that a lot of artists have to. That said, being self-taught evidently has its own advantages. Focusing her natural talent on the people around her and girls in magazines, Willa spent her time honing her portraiture skills to the point of professionalism and experimenting with her trademark pastel watercolours.
Now a live fashion illustrator with over 5 years’ experience, she’s worked VIP parties and PR events, in-store launches and – of course – catwalks, portrait sketching in real time for models and customers. As part of the trio LIL – the Live Illustration Collective – Willa has worked with big brands like H&M and Stylist Magazine, harnessing the power of live portraiture to increase social media presence.
As well as her live work, Willa’s fashion art portfolio includes self-initiated pieces like the London Fashion Map and commissioned work for brand adverts and magazines. She runs Yo Illo, an informal monthly meet-up of illustrators in London and Berlin (the cities she splits her time between) and her ever-expanding portfolio continues to redefine the role of portraits and watercolours in the age of social media. Self-taught, driven and gifted with the ability to create under pressure, Willa provides a blue-print for young creatives wanting to forge their own careers – there’s no formula for success or artistic development, you just have to do what you love, and do it well.