D&AD Meets is a regular series where we elevate the work of need-to-know creatives. Each season of features is curated by a creative who can reach beyond our established networks to help us find the new talent deserving of a spotlight, the ones to watch, and the ones to work with. Here, the current curator and interviewer Shannie Mears meets illustrator-on-the rise Cherise Hewitt, and talks about art as therapy, establishing a career and drawing inspiration from fashion and art.
Shannie Mears is Co-Founder and Head of Talent at The Elephant Room, an agency working directly to address advertising's lack of diversity and inclusion. She also runs Girl's Let's Talk, a platform and collective dedicated to creating safe spaces for womxn. We are dedicating the space for this season of articles to exploring the work of emerging Black and POC creatives, focusing on their stories, successes, and talent.
Hey Cherise, Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your story?
Hey! I am a illustrator and artist from the south side of London. I also dabble with a bit of graphic design and fashion design too. I’ve always had creative tendencies but the journey really began around March of last year, when I decided to take my creativity seriously.
Your name on Instagram is @artsvdme. Can you tell us what that means or represents?
When did you first start to express yourself through drawing/illustration?
I’ve always been quite creative. I’ve been interested in art since doing art therapy in primary school, although I didn’t know that was what I was doing at the time, I just enjoyed art. It kind of continued through to secondary school age where graffiti writing, cartoon characters and having art holders was a thing (even if you didn’t do art). I used to use magazines and copy pictures of famous people, cartoons or just do bubble writing. I had sketch books full of art. As I got older and education got more serious I wasn’t really encouraged to pursue anything creative, so I lost interest. It was something I would do once in a while when I was bored. It wasn’t until I started my current job where I’m surrounded by a lot of creative people that my interest grew again. I’d say it’s been less than a year that I’ve been drawing/ illustrating seriously.
Was there anything specific that sparked your interest/curiosity?
What is your biggest achievement to date?
And your biggest lesson so far?
Can you tell us anything about your motivation, what keeps you going?
I know you work and do other things, how do you find your ability to be flexible? Is it challenging, (to balance with other employment?),do you enjoy it?
I feel like it’s been a big challenge however COVID-19 has slowed things down and made me take time to prioritise my creative life and get a better balance as I’m able to work from home for my current job. I’m still working on finding the balance between everyday work life and being a creative, ideally I would like to be a full time creative.
Is there anyone out there who is inspiring for you? if so, who? if not why?
What are your plans or aspirations for the year?
What is the best advice you could pass on to other emerging creatives, and why has this proven so useful to you personally?
What is the worst advice you've ever received and why?
You must have a certified title such as a teacher, lawyer, doctor to be successful. Biggest lie ever told!