Sydney based Graphic Designer and Illustrator Sally Spratt chats with Dani about her background, her latest project the ‘Lust List’ and her dream job.
Sally Spratt is a Sydney based graphic designer and illustrator with over five years experience in the industry. Her passion for design lies in fashion, graphics, typography and illustration.
Drawing and creating since she can remember, Sally grew up drawing on everything, making all manner of things from scraps and always trying to design, style and make thinks visually exciting.
Things haven’t changed much over the years however now Sally is now lucky enough to design and draw for a living. Working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, Sally has enjoyed working with a variety of brands both locally and abroad.
Fascinated by the fabulous illustrations that make up the ‘Lust List’, I couldn’t resist getting to know Sally Spratt a little better.
Can you share a bit about your background and what inspired you to become a graphic designer and to be creating the style of work you currently are?
I pursued a graphics career, as I wasn’t too sure I’d make it as an illustrator. I decided that this was going to be my bread and butter and illustrating was to remain a hobby. Graphic design taught me to think conceptually and communicate visually.
After working in magazines and at a fashion label I have been influenced by their styles of minimalism and working to a grid. Understanding the importance of space and hierarchy. Everything has had an influence on how I work and the style I have today.
What is influencing your work at the moment?
My clients. Whether they are commercial or personal clients they are presenting me with items and ideas that I hadn’t yet come across. It’s nice to have a fresh perspective.
I love the concept behind the ‘Lust List’ and it’s my favourite Instagram profile at the moment. Can you tell me a little more about it?
Thank you! That means so much to me.
Starting from humble beginnings I began illustrating beautiful products that I wished I could own. Over the last six months this has grown to working with some big commercial clients, wonderful personal clients and expanding my online shop with prints and cards.
The last 6 months of work have been exhausting but I have loved every minute of it! When people ask how I am I usually reply with “happy-exhausted”! The perks of working 7 days a week is that I can gradually start expanding my wardrobe to accommodate for some ‘Lust List’ items.
Can you give us a little insight into your process? What materials do you use? Is each work pre-planned or created very intuitively? Do you work on multiple illustrations / projects at one time?
My process is like one big patchwork. I start by printing off an image to reference and then sketch up an outline on a lightweight piece of paper using my HB pencils.
On a piece of watercolour paper I overlay this onto my reference image and almost “colour in”, using my Reeves watercolour paints.
Once this is dry, I scan both pieces of paper into my computer and collage my scans using a few editing tricks in Photoshop to give it that ‘Lust List’ look. Then working in InDesign I organise my files and get it ready to post.
Sometimes these posts are pre-planned but most of the time it will depend on a mood or some beautiful items I have recently seen in a magazine or on Instagram.
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
A typical day starts with a gym session or beach run and then a large soy cappuccino to follow. This helps me get my head around my day without any distractions. Then I scroll through my favourite blogs and tumblr accounts and save all my inspiration into a folder on my desktop. Then it’s to work by 8.30am (downstairs in my living room). Ideally I like to get a post up first thing. Once this is done I then have to be disciplined and not watch every like and comment on the post. Its extremely mesmerising and 100% unproductive!
Then I usually plant myself at my light-box for the day, illustrating and painting whilst listening to music. This is broken up with scanning and editing on the computer and also trips to the printers, post office and Officeworks.
By about 7pm I’m ready for dinner and enjoying some time out with friends.
What is your proudest career achievement to date?
I would have to say working on Bride To Be magazine and illustrating the cover along with their section openers and icons. When you have a team of people investing and supporting your passion, you don’t want to let them down. The best part was seeing the magazine sitting in the stands at the Newsagent.
The team at Bride To Be did a wonderful job designing the issue and I felt very proud be apart of that process.
What would be your dream project?
To be flown overseas for the launch of a luxury brand’s newest collection in exchange for ‘Lust List’ style illustrations of their range. Ultimate dream!
Can you list for us five resources that you turn to regularly for creative inspiration?
#1 – My iPhone. Whilst I am trying to wake up in the morning I scroll through Instagram looking for lust worthy items I can draw for the day.
#2 – Online fashion blogs.
#3 – Magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Harpers.
#4 – Window shopping and online shopping.
#5 – Friends. Some of them have their finger on the pulse and e-mail a couple of things they think I’d be interested in. It’s always a fresh perspective.
Which other Australian and / or International artists, designers or creatives are you most inspired by at the moment?
#1 – CJ Hendry. Her black and white pen illustrations are awe-inspiring!
#2 – Garance Doré. Her style was very inspiring to me when developing my own style.
#3 – Kelly Smith from Birdy & Me.
What are you looking forward to?
There are some new clients I am about to start working with and they are ones I have been lusting over since the beginning. I can’t wait!
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
You’d find me either sleeping in, at the gym or at my local cafe for breakfast with friends.
And getting to you know you a little better…
What did you want to be growing up?
Growing up I used to want to be a fashion designer. I loved drawing people, faces, fashion and beauty. I would scribble all over my diary and textbooks with ideas. They were full of pen markings!
Your favourite ‘space’ at the moment?
My little office. It is organised / creative chaos. It might give some people a panic attack (with the mess) but funnily enough, I relax when everything is “spaced out” and in sight rather than filed away.
I have illustrations drying by my feet, inspiration images pinned to my boards by my desk, posters rolled up in the corner, old glass candle jars full of paints and brushes and splatters of watercolours all over my white desk. I love it!
The one item you really want but don’t have right now?
I have recently started devouring the blog Man Repeller. I am am so inspired by Leandra’s wardrobe. I know I am a little behind on this item, but her Christopher Kane White shirt dress she wore to NYFW is currently the most Google searched item on my computer.
Your favourite quote?
I have two:
#1 – “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” – Buddha
#2 – “First lesson about fashion: The colour black.�? – Anonymous
The best advice you have been given?
I know it’s cheesy, but when I ask for support on a problem or doubting myself over something and people tell me a confident “you can do it”, I think, OK, if you think I can, let’s give it a go!
This saying has influenced the majority of my decisions. Leaving my job and becoming an illustrator, achieving personal goals and getting out of bed at 5.30am to go for a run.
The one item could you never live without?
My iPhone. It has become an extension of my body.
Your favourite café/restaurant?
Flat White Cafe in Paddington. I am there daily for my coffee and they have the best weekend breakfast.