Monday, November 3
BEHIND THE BRAND: RADillustrates
When we started Behind the Brand, Rachal Duggan of RADillustrates was one of the first people we thought to feature. An Illustrator and drawing instructor in Chicago, Rachal's work is unique, witty, and eclectic. She creates simple drawings that pack a huge punch using pop culture references and subject matter that makes her giggle. With series like Jon Hamms Bulge and Dads, this funny lady makes us laugh constantly with her brilliant work, making her one of our favorite artists in Chicago.
We've known Rachal for awhile and it was a delight to finally visit her in-home studio. We spent a Sunday morning sipping coffee, flipping through a bunch of artwork, and snuggling up with her dog Buddy. Visiting Rachal's work space, we were given a more in-depth look into what inspires her and how it fuels her creative process. Now, we get to share that with you! Rachal was kind enough to answer a couple questions, in addition to sharing some amazing gifts with our readers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand RADillustrates.
I'm a Chicago-based Illustrator and I also teach a portrait drawing workshop (at the small non-profit CHIPRC). I sell custom and ready-made illustrations in my etsy store and work on editorial projects for magazines. I've always loved to draw. It's a huge part of my life. I draw as much as humanly possible because it makes me happy and has opened a lot of doors for me. My initials are RAD (Rachal Ann Duggan) and so it only made sense to stamp my initials on all of my work.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Well I work full-time, so a typical day for me is working and drawing in the morning or at night. Luckily I work for Renegade Craft Fair, so my work is also creative. My weekends are almost always dedicated to drawing. I'm a pretty reclusive person. I love being able to draw at home so I can spend time with my dog, Buddy, and drink as much coffee as I want without judgement!
What do you like most about drawing?
There's something so loose and casual about a simple black and white illustration and it gets me every time. I try to be very organic when I draw. I go with the flow and I don't take myself too seriously. I am also a super visual person and I remember faces really well. Drawing people is so funny and challenging and fun. If I can get a laugh out of a drawing, I'm happy.
What is inspiring you right now?
Honestly, I love fall so this season has been very inspiring! For the month of October, I've posted a fall / halloween-themed illustration for each day on Instagram under #radhalloween14. It's been kind of crazy, but has kept me on my toes and I've received some great positive feedback from it. I love holidays, so I'm looking forward to December! I'm also very active on Instagram and Pinterest and finding new art excites me.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of RADillustrates?
When I am not drawing, I'm usually planning on my next trip. I love to travel and see new things. It recharges me and gives me new ideas. My goal is to travel to Korea and Japan this spring with my partner and photo-guy, Noah. I also try to keep up with my wonderful small group of creative pals. Bouncing ideas off of my friends keeps me sane and fresh.
What is your advice for artists and designers that are thinking of starting their own business?
It's hard but it's totally worth it. If you're dedicated and true to yourself, things fall into place. Be responsive to your audience. I've learned so much just from trial and error. Very few people actually know what they are doing, so don't get tripped up over the small stuff. Put yourself out there. When in doubt, do what you do best. Don't let self-doubt stop you - keep pushing yourself to produce!
What do you have in store for RADillustrates in the coming months and years?
Right now is holiday ramp up time. I have a ton of ready-made items ready to sell, but I have new totes, ornaments, necklaces and cards to pump out! Luckily my brother, Drug Factory Press (Ryan Duggan) has been printing my totes, and they have turned out awesome. I'll also be creating gift certificates for custom illustration gifts. I will also be selling at Renegade in Chicago - so come and visit my booth!
Something we're super excited about is that recently Rachal started creating customized pet portraits. As a gift to our readers, she created two custom FREE desktop wallpapers! Are you a cat lover or a dog person? Rep your favorite pet and display your love for them on screen.
CAT DESKTOP WALLPAPER // DOG DESKTOP WALLPAPER
Rachal is also offering a super "RAD" discount. Visit RADillustrates shop and use the code FOXTAILANDMOSS for free shipping on any order over $20 until December 21, 2014.
Where can you find more about RADillustrates/Rachal Duggan? Check out her website and follow her on Instagram.