Rediscovering a passion for creativity and art has turned into a career for Cassandra Anderson, a super talented Australian based illustrator. Feeling unfulfilled after completing a Commerce Degree and literally one day before starting a corporate role, some spare time spent drawing some fashion figures put everything into motion and has led to a collab on an upcoming coffee table book! Read more about Cassandra’s journey in our latest #mymoderncareer interview!
How did it all begin?
Cassandra Anderson Illustrations began as a rediscovery of my passion for creativity and art. I always loved Art class and not surprisingly, that was where I excelled throughout my schooling. I studied Commerce at University and although I did well and enjoyed my degree, I was feeling unfulfilled. I was about to transition into a corporate role and one day before I began that role, I had some spare time and so I sat down and started to draw some fashion figures. A few months later, I worked up the courage to create an Instagram page to share my work. It wasn’t long before I was approached to take part in an exhibition that showcased up and coming artists and soon, I was so excited to be receiving emails to create custom illustrations.
Tell us a bit about Cassandra Anderson Illustration!
Cassandra Anderson Illustrations is a reflection of my longstanding passion for both art and fashion. I adore the female figure and how clothes can act as an extension of a woman’s personality. Growing up with a Greek mother always meant being well dressed. She wore the wedding suit long before Carrie Bradshaw made it famous and her best asset has always been her confidence. It was never about anyone else but rather about how the clothes made her feel. She has instilled this in my sister and I, and I strive to emulate this confidence and elegance through my work. I create both digital illustrations and watercolour sketches. I predominately focus on illustrating fashion figures however have branched out to animals and am experimenting with picturesque places. Quite a number of the pieces I do are custom however I have also created some commercial pieces as well as wedding invites. I also offer Live Sketching at events whereby I will invite a number of guests to stand in front of me for 15 minutes and provide them with sketch of their own outfit!
Why do you do what you do?
I have always had not only a passion for art and creativity but fortunately also a natural talent that my high school teacher saw and nurtured. First and foremost, I create and illustrate because I love to do so. However, once I began to see that not only was illustrating a niche line of work but also that there was interest in it, I thought that perhaps there was a way that I could do what I loved whilst also catering to the requests that were coming. I recently created a digital illustration for a baby shower and was blown away to see the final product blown up and mounted as the backdrop to the event! Every single day that I draw, illustrate, answer emails, collaborate, meet and network and plan for the days ahead, I am doing what I love and it’s such a wonderful feeling to know that something I had always wondered about is actually becoming a reality.
What do you find challenging and how do you approach this?
Deadlines are often what keep me disciplined however it is always important to factor in external occurrences that may cause delays or setbacks. For this reason, I almost always use ‘fake dates’, creating a much earlier date that I will make the piece due on. This allows me to work comfortably within my outlined timeframe and have the possibility of extra time should I require it.
What are you excited to be working on right now?
I am so excited to be working alongside an Australian author on an upcoming coffee table book where my illustrations will feature alongside her work! It all began with an email regarding something else altogether however we decided to meet for coffee and discuss how our different creative lines of work could cross over. I never dreamed I would be able to do something like this so soon. I am looking forward to launching such a wonderful project, but I am also enjoying every second of this journey. Not only am I able to do something I love, but I am also able to work alongside, and learn from a number of inspiring women that are just as passionate about what they do.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
Working in the corporate world whilst also building my own business keeps me incredibly busy. There are long hours, often little sleep some days and the sacrificing of a number of social events however I am grateful to have the opportunity to be able to do both. Despite this, I strive to maintain a healthy work/life balance. I work out regularly because I enjoy how it makes me feel and I feel very blessed to live ten minutes from the beach and love factoring this in. Couple a beach walk with a good coffee and that makes for a great catch up with a friend. Reading has always been a passion of mine also and I do this most nights before bed. It helps me to wind down as my mind is often racing with ideas even when I am not working. I also tutor high school and university level English. Much like art, I was fortunate to perform well in English class however I did notice that many of my peers struggled and so I decided to start tutoring from home. That was 5 years ago, and I still love doing it. I feel like a proud mother seeing my students so happy when their hard work has paid off! It is incredibly rewarding. I absolutely adore my family and so spending time with them is priceless! They are the centre of my world and their support is so pivotal to what I do.
Thank you so much Cassandra for sharing your career story with us! Your illustrations are so beautiful and add such a personal touch to an event or for a lovely gift. To see more of Cassandra’s gorgeous work and to get in touch, connect on Instagram.