I’m so excited to share the work of our first illustrator here on The World of Illustration: Kelsey Oseid. Kelsey is a freelance illustrator and artist located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work first caught my eye on Instagram when I scrolled by one of her beautiful moth illustrations. I particularly love her use of colors and shapes along with her choice in subject matter. Kelsey was kind enough to speak to us a bit about her profession and personal inspirations. – Julie
What is your background?
I took lots of art classes growing up, and my father, who is a watercolor painter, taught me to paint as well. I also have a degree in Visual Communications from Loyola University Chicago.
How did you begin your journey of becoming an illustrator?
I’ve really always wanted to be an illustrator. When I graduated college I worked for a publishing company as a production artist for a while, but I craved more creative outlets. I left my steady job to become a “piecemeal creative” freelancer, taking design and art related jobs wherever I could get them. Finally in the last year I’ve been able to focus primarily on my illustration work, which I love!
Who or what inspires you?
A lot of my work is about the natural world. So of course, nature is an inspiration! And I absolutely love studying natural history — museums, nature documentaries, books — I am fascinated by the ways humans have tried to interpret and connect to the natural world. Also, David Attenborough is my hero.
What do you love most about your profession?
So many things — getting to make stuff every day, creating pretty things, learning about my subject matter, feeling that loving feeling for my career! I am very lucky.
What sort of advice would you offer someone who is thinking of pursuing or trying to advance their career in illustration?
The one thing that has had the biggest impact on my career and business has been social networking (big surprise there, right?). I started a project in 2015 to post a new piece of art on social media every day, and I think I’ve landed more jobs from that project than from any other avenue. Also, to just make a lot of work. Try to illustrate every day!