Meet the Maker: Illustrator Eleni Sofroniou
Meet Eleni Sofroniou, an Illustrator with a focus on fashion who lives and works in London. Eleni’s strikingly elegant work has been commissioned by big names such as Stylist Magazine, Fenwick, and Harrods. Eleni also demonstrates her illustration work at live events.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what your work involves:
Hello! My name is Eleni and I’m an illustrator from London. My work usually involves commissioned pieces for brands and publication, live event illustration, illustration workshops, and I also love to illustrate for fun in my spare time.
How did you first become interested in art, and how has this lead you to where you are now?
Looking back, my memory is quite fuzzy because I remember drawing and painting all the time, more so after my dad bought the complete series of Disney classics for me when I was 7. I would draw the scenes and characters and from then I just continued drawing all the time and even had my own fashion collection which was called The Sensational Collection (so so embarrassing, but I was 9!)
I studied art through college and made a blip at uni by studying the wrong subject (Interior Architecture) and then I made another blip by having a Graphic Design job which wasn’t my cup of tea. But I got myself back to creating in my spare time and I opened an Etsy shop.
Somehow and without an aim, the sale of my illustrations picked up and I began to get commission requests and then it slowly become my part time job and then almost by magic, it became my full time job!
Where do you find inspiration?
I feel that inspiration isn’t something that you can find, and that if you look for it you wont find it- just like happiness. My theory is that you just need to be and then whatever it is that you need will come to you, such as inspiration.
What tools could you not work without?
My Parker pencil which has drawn all my drawings and was a gift, my watercolour set, india ink and Winsor and Newton Promarkers.
How do you go about designing a new piece of work?
I always start in pencil and this stage can sometimes take a while and involves lots of rubbing out and re-drawing and once I’m happy with the positioning and details, I apply the colour. Then I scan the piece into Photoshop to retouch and make print/digital ready.
Tell us about a piece of work that you are particularly proud of:
A long time ago before I began illustrating as work I drew the New York skyline in pencil, A0 in size, and it took me a very long time to complete. It’s special piece because I drew it just for me and it wasn’t easy to do because of the detail involved, so I’m pretty attached to that piece.
What are 3 tips that you would share with a budding artist?
- Don’t worry about having a ‘style’, just find what works for you
- Anyone who creates is an artist, so have fun with it, just like when you were young because that’s where the magic is.
- Explore creating with new products and mediums as it’s always good to evolve.