2007 at 04.48 pm posted by Veerle Pieters
We never have been to Israel so high time we have look at a woman with inspiring work from that country.
My name is Hilit Shefer, I am 28 years old, lives and works in Israel,Tel-Aviv. Since my graduation from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2003, I have been working as a professional illustrator for major publications in Israel, such as daily newspapers, magazines and books. In addition I am collaborated with advertising firms on various projects.
You'll find elements from movies and photographs out of the 60's and 70's in her work but it stil mantains it's own unique style. It's retro-chic quality and you get a glimps of what goes on in the mind of the creator. I'm especially fond of the colors too because it's an important factor in bringing the message across and Hilit suceeds very well in doing this.
What inspires you?
4 year ago, when I started working as a professional illustrator I was mainly influenced by the Retro esthetics. I always loved the '40,'50 and '60. I remember as a kid watching the "Pink Panther" and falling in love. After I got out of art-school I went for a short trip to London and stumbled upon a book collection Shag's work. I was instantly blown a way and heavily influenced from his approach to character and space design.
Around that I time I lost my father in a terror attack here in Israel. It was a great tragedy for the family and obviously in my personal life. I felt sadness was leaking into my Fun style and eventually took a decision to change the way I draw. I just didn't feel it was reflecting who I become. I went into my old photo albums and started working with that materiel as my main reference. Gradually the work become more about memories and less about fashion and life-style. Usage of photographs become more and more prominent in my work. Still, I feel in both cases, my main influence and inspiration is the PAST - weather it's funky and cool, or nostalgic and romantic.
When your start working on a new character do you look at photographs or do draw by imagination?
I rarely draw by imagination. Photo reference is always there, but in two different ways : either I look for a certain pose of nuance and then draw it from observation while deforming and reshaping the character to fit my image, or I practically draw and paint on the photo, if a more realistic feel needs to be evoked.
Do you see your Mac or PC as the necessary evil or as invaluable tool?
Doing the kind of work I do, I find it hard to imagine producing it without my dear pal - Imac! The computer allows me to experiment with out worrying about ruing the work and makes it easy to integrate different sort of elements (textures, fonts, effects, etc.) into the illustration. However, I miss drawing with a pencil on a piece of paper like I used to back when I was a student. I will probably get back to it eventually.
How does your typical workflow looks like?
Usually I get a phone call from an editor or art director who needs the illustration for the day after (here in Israel we work on extremely short deadlines! must be the heat...). After we discuss the general concept I either send a sketch or go directly to final. Depends on the deadline. I start by sketching rough compositions on a piece of paper and try to decide how the concept would be best presented. I then continue for the reference "hunt". I try to find a bunch of photos that inspire me and that I could use for the art. here I either work on a pencil sketch, scan it and color it on Photoshop for the more fun-life-style images, or work directly on the photos in Photoshop for the more dramatic/realistic illustrations.
Did the Internet influence your work?
Sure, on a technical level finding reference is simpler then ever. In addition, it feels good to be part of a community and interact with other illustrators from all-over the world.
More examples at Shilit's site Hillustration.