Clients who’ve worked with Visbii in their projects have been delighted with the impact of the imagery. While it’s bold and attention-grabbing on the one hand, Visbii carefully designs each illustration so that it makes the right emotional connection for her client’s brand. It has proven ideal for fashion brands, particularly in advertising and editorial.
Visbii is an experienced illustrator with a degree in Visual Communications from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.
Pushing the visual boundaries of what is possible with the human figure, Visbii expresses the personalities of her characters through their physical forms and body language. Using a tight, mid-century inspired palette, she fills every image with colour. Sketches begin on her iPad and are built up into colour illustrations in Photoshop.
Bold and exaggerated, abstract and exciting, Visbii’s work feels modern, youthful and funky all at the same time. Some of the influences behind it include the artists Charley Harper and Alexander Girard, and the film directors Wes Anderson and Taika Waititi.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator? Visbii: As a child, I was diagnosed with synesthesia, which is a neurological condition in which two or more of the senses entwine… in my case, I saw emotions as colors. Over the years, I taught myself to translate that strong visual connection through story-telling and character development and after dabbling in a few other creative careers, finally found illustration to be the perfect profession for me to practice my skills! Plus, it’s hella fun to draw all day!Question: Did you study illustration in college? Visbii: I believe I took one class in college that had to do with drawing and it was architectural drafting. I graduated with a degree in Visual Communications from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles so most of my classes had to do with filling 3-dimensional spaces, which actually translates beautifully to illustrative work.Question: Where did you grow up? Visbii: I grew up in the Southwest, in a small dusty town called Tempe, Arizona. Question: Do you have childhood memories relating to drawing/art that you hold dear? Visbii: I used to have this old school plastic Barbie fashion drawing tablet that I absolutely loved! Basically, it was cut-outs of models that you would trace onto paper, and then draw clothing onto them. Other than that, I used to paint the walls in my parent’s home more often than they would have liked. Question: Where do you live now and what drew you there? Visbii: Right now, I am bunking in Los Angeles waiting for the borders to open. Usually I spend half the year living throughout Eastern Asia and parts of Europe, working from cafes and airbnbs. So far my favorite places to work from are Hanoi, Budapest, Split and Ubud. Question: Describe your studio. Visbii: My studio consists of a laptop, Wacom tablet, ipad, and a few sketch books. Because I am moving around every couple of months, I’ve had to make sure that everything I need for work fits neatly in my carryon. Depending on where I am in the world, my studio has been a co-worker space in Bangkok, to a corner in a cafe in Krakow and an abandoned painting school in Florence. Question: Do you have a studio pet? Visbii: Unfortunately I can’t say I do… but I do have a pet that I see every time I am in the states. His names Kale and he’s a 3-legged poodle mix I rescued from a junkyard in Los Angeles and quite literally the love of my life. Question: Who/what is your biggest inspiration? Visbii: Imagining a world where people are fully in tune with their creativity and emotions is my number one drive to keep creating every day. I’ve noticed from my travels that the communities that are better at expressing themselves through creative outlets seem to be the most fulfilled and it’s been a burning desire of mine to inspire people to explore their curiosities to better connect with others (and themselves) on more meaningful levels. Question: How do you get your ideas? Visbii: My ideas always come from the purpose of the artwork. Instead of asking myself what would look cool, I’lI always start with what does my client want to say through my art? Or what kind of emotions are they wanting to draw out of their audience? If you start with the outcome and work backwards, the ideas come easy. Question: Do you collect anything? Visbii: I collect baseball caps and white tee shirts. I am notorious for spilling things so usually travel with at least 5 white tees at all times. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Visbii: I play the banjo, spend most of my free time reading about Greek mythology, am a nerd for plant based cooking, and volunteer as an ambassador for animal rights in Indonesia. Question: What is the first record you bought? Visbii: This is totally going to age me but it was: Sugar Rey, 14:56” I played their song Every Morning on repeat until the record broke. Question: What was your favorite assignment ever? Visbii: My favorite assignment so far is actually a recent commission by Women’s Wear Daily. They asked me to illustrate a scene where a stylish fashion executive is caught in an earthquake in New York, while running from a tsunami, an asteroid, and a solar flare, wearing a face mask. The brief was just ridiculous enough to spark interest but also had a very “me too” aspect as this is how most Americans are feeling at this time. Question: What would be your dream commission? Visbii: So, I’ve always wanted to work in the music industry. It would be absolutely incredible to fully illustrate a music video or even draw up an album cover for a musician I really admire (there’s a lot so I won’t go into that list).Question: What is the best use of illustration you have ever seen? Visbii: All the new things they are doing with illustration and A.R. has been blowing my mind recently. Question: What makes a good client brief? Visbii: A clear goal. Everything else beyond this is just fluff. Question: How much of your work is hand drawn? Visbii: From the beginning, all of it is hand drawn. I find drawing on paper (before going to Photoshop) lends better, to more organic and extreme shapes and creating something tangible triggers a part of your imaginary mind that you just can’t access on a computer. Question: How do you envisage illustration evolving? Visbii: I see illustration slowly moving into the 3-dimensional world as people are looking for multi-sensory experiences and more ways to feel “a part of the art”. I definitely can’t see all illustration going this way but I do believe it is the future. Question: Visbii: Who is your art hero?Question: Charley Harper and Sir Ken Robinson. Visbii: Who is your design hero?Question: The architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Visbii: Who is your music hero?Question: Johnny Cash. Visbii: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be?Question: Probably homeless. Visbii: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?Question: Creativity is messy. Visbii: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?Question: Probably the Bermuda Triangle or maybe Montana. Visbii: Have you any hidden talents?Question: I have a partly bionic drawing arm. Visbii: How would someone who knows you well describe you?Question: I just asked my sister to answer this question. She says I am a true Aquarius... imaginative, eccentric, somewhat of a health-conscious humanitarian, I love people and am so empathetic that I sometimes can’t tell the difference between someone else’s emotions and my own. Visbii: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?Question: Australia for sure, literally any city and I would be happy as a clam… an Australian clam. Visbii: If you could travel in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet and why?Question: I would want to meet myself in 30 years and ask her questions about our life in the future. I’m sure I wouldn’t tell myself much as I know how much I love surprises but how much of a trip would that be?! Visbii: What themes or content in the world inspire you?Question: My work bases most of its inspiration from cultural themes and a good story. I get most of my ideas from audio books and meeting people I admire around the world who have stories that I feel are important enough to retell in my work. I also love plaid, mid-century design, and old westerns. Visbii: How do you keep on trend and up to date in our quickly changing industry?Question: I simply don’t. I think it’s great to understand the advances that are happening every day and the important events taking place, but I believe I’ve been successful in illustration because I focus most of my energy on understanding people and how we connect and communicate our emotions and ideas. I think if you keep up to date with the psychological shifts and messages being told, the art itself doesn’t really matter. Visbii: What is your go-to comfort food?Question: Breakfast Burritos. Visbii: What movie can you watch over and over?Question: The Burbs I’ve probably watched 40 times. I just love Tom Hanks. Visbii: What do you listen to when you’re illustrating?Question: Usually audio books. Anything from zombie thrillers to roman history to marketing. If I am working a full 40 hour week, I can usually get through 2-3 novels by Friday. Visbii: What is the last show you binged?Question: Fleabag. Visbii: What was the last exhibition you saw and loved?Question: Van Gogh’s traveling exhibition in Florence and again in Barcelona last year. Visbii: What was the last concert you went to?Question: One night in Krakow last year I found myself wandering into an ancient cathedral where a full choir and orchestra were playing Mozart. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Visbii: What is your favorite book?Question: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Visbii: What do you do when you have creative block?Question: You know I can’t remember the last time I had creative block...I’ve always believed that if you just sit down and put the pen to paper and focus on creating something, anything, something will come. I’ve also spent the last several years intensely studying the creative process and have developed several tactics to overcome creative block before it happens. Visbii: What is your favorite way to fill free time? Any hobbies?Question: I’m constantly exploring my curiosities. When I have free time, depending on where I am, I’ll usually book a walking tour, a class doing something I find strange, work on a farm, or go sky-diving. Visbii: What is your go-to-karaoke song?Question: Rupert Holmes, Pina Colada Song. Visbii: Which languages can you speak?Question: English, Spanish, and I’m almost fluent in Bahasa. Visbii: What is your favorite quote?Question: “A wise man once said nothing.” - My grandfather used to say this. He was one of those strong silent types. Visbii: What is your favorite ice cream flavour?Question: Pistachio forever. Visbii: Is there any random thing you consider yourself an expert on?Question: Cooking breakfast burritos. Visbii: