welcome to Illo Agency, tyeesha bradley!
Happy Thursday! We are super excited to end the week on a high and welcome Tyeesha Bradley to the Illo Agency books.
Tyeesha creates the work that she would like to see across commercial publishing. She does it with unapologetic grace, explaining that there is no reason why African-American love stories should not be considered 'mainstream'. We couldn't agree more and are so excited to collaborate.
We thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Tyeesha and having a little chat about all things illustration ...
Q: Hi, Tyeesha! Great to have you on the Illo team. Who are big creative influences on your work?
A: I read a lot of comic books and Manga so I tend to gravitate to artists that remind me of cartoon strips. Frank Frezetta was a genius and is always a good reference point for me when I'm looking for dynamic poses and scenes. Nicole Chartrand also has a style that I like. I prefer subjects with lots of personality in their eyes - Nicole is very good at adding that 'shine' to her characters. Last but not least is ROZEAL, who is another artist that combines African-American and Japanese influences seamlessly.
Q: Let us set the scene - describe your office space to us ...
A: The first studio I work in is a space in my local church. It's a space much larger than what I need, so I don't feel cramped and get to spread my work out when I need to! When I need to colour my work in Photoshop, I work from home. I share this space with my husband. We have pens and coloured pencils everywhere, multiple sketchbooks and colour palettes taped to the walls.
Q: Sounds like a great artist's den! What is your dream project?
A: My dream project would be to work on a comic book with strong female leads and featuring an African-Amercian love story throughout.
Q: We would love to read that! Why did you want to sign with Illo?
A: I wanted to sign with Illo as they really make an effort to promote artwork featuring diverse characters. I often get asked questions like, "Why are all of your characters black?" and "Have you ever thought about doing something more mainstream?". Whilst there is nothing wrong with going 'mainstream', I would prefer to sign with an agency that doesn't ask me to change the race of my characters.
Q: Yes! Your work is heavily based around female characters. Who are your biggest female inspirations?
A: I LOVE black, nerdy women. I kind of see them as an extension of myself. Issa Rea and Aisha Tyler are two of my favourite women to watch, right now. They are smart and funny women that both take interest in topical news, gaming, podcasting, writing and black culture. I relate to them with similar interests. An older influence would be Octavia Butler. I love reading fantasy and sci-i, so naturally, was a big fan of 'Kindred'.
at Illo Agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.