Teagan White’s work, be it illustration or typography, all takes its inspiration directly from the natural world. She has a great eye for detail, and her images have an almost Victorian, exploratory quality to them. This has led to Teagan’s work being used on t shirts, album covers and in website designs.
Teagan was kind enough to talk to Ape on the Moon about her influences and her studio.
How long have you known you wanted to be an illustrator?
I’ve always loved to draw, but didn’t think of it as a possible career path until high school, when I took a graphic design class. I ended up at MCAD two years later, planning on majoring in graphic design, but fell in love with fine art and settled on illustration as my major as a middle ground between the two.
What influences your style?
I love nature, antiquities, old medical illustrations, and typography, and all of these factor into the style I’ve developed. A lot of my aesthetic choices are based on simply enjoying the process of creating a piece — I like drawing tiny, intricate lines so my work has a lot of detail; I like mixing very slightly different shades of color, so my work has a subtle palette.
What is your favourite thing to draw?
Lately I’ve been drawing a lot of insects and soil and bones. Those are definitely my favorites at the moment. I always like drawing any kind of plant life as well.
Please describe your workspace.
I work in a small studio space provided by my school. The walls were white and bare at first and initially I covered them with old maps, and put a rug down and some other things to make the space friendlier, because I can’t work surrounded by white walls. Recently it has grown more utilitarian and my larger charcoal drawings are all that’s really on the walls, since I’ve been running out of space to work. Mostly there are just art supplies everywhere, scribbled notes to myself, material studies pinned to the walls, and some odds and ends like real bones I found and things like that.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on a small body of work that’s somewhere in between illustration and fine art, dealing with life cycles. The project is helping me to experiment a lot with different materials and pushing my concepts further, and I hope to keep doing so. I’m also really moving away from digital work for the time being, in favor of charcoal, watercolor, and gouache.
© Teagan White, 2010