Being able to create a world for somebody using just lines and colours – that’s what fascinates Amber Day, an LA-based illustrator who’s done stunning work for a range of fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. “There’s no better feeling to me than being able to tell a story through an image,” she says.
Travel and taste are two of her biggest passions. “I’ve literally eaten my way through Europe, Africa, and Asia, and I love paddle boarding on The Great Lakes,” she explains.
Alongside the travelling and eating, she’s always drawing - fashion, food and beauty. Her visit to Morocco inspired her to draw Moroccan rugs for weeks, and the Red Panda at Nashville Zoo led to an obsession with the species. So far, her favourite city is Prague and she returns there two or three times a year. At home, her best friend and work partner is Kale, a rescue poodle with three legs.
Amber studied for a degree in Visual Communications from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.
First, she captures what she sees in her head using a pen and paper, drawing the outlines. After tweaking it, she redraws the illustration digitally using multiple pens on her tablet. It is finished off using a watercolour technique.
The music Amber listens to plays an important role in the look and feel of the work. If it needs to be soft and smooth, she’ll listen to some Miles Davis, but when she wants a bolder image she plays Blue Grass or Folk.
Amber’s bold line work has a natural, sketched feel to it, while the addition of watercolour gives her illustrations an organic look and her restrained use of colour sets the mood. A few years ago, she made the decision to draw products how they’d look when laid out flat and it’s proven extremely popular with clients in fashion and beauty.
When she’s creating culinary sketches, she gives them a personal perspective and includes the nuances of real life rather than aiming for perfection. “I want the viewer to feel like they are experiencing the food as if they are there. The napkin might be placed a little off, French fries might be brown from being cooked too long, and the burger could be half-eaten,” she says.