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Andrea Wicklund Chosen as Illustrator for H&M Advertising Campaign

Illustrations by Andrea Wicklund Academy of Art University School of Illustration alum Andrea Wicklund has been busy since she graduated. Her freelance illustration career is taking off, and recently she received her biggest break yet: she was chosen to create art for a new advertising campaign for the Swedish clothing company, H&M.

H&M AB (originally known as Hennes & Mauritz) is known for inexpensive and fashionable clothing offerings. H&M has more than 1900 stores in 22 different countries and has more than 50,000 employees. The assignment is a big coup for Andrea, so it seemed like a good time to talk to her about her burgeoning illustration career:

How did you get involved in the ad campaign for H&M?

Lucky me, they found my website! Could it be that the Stockholm-based company found my Swedish name? I dunno. I'd like to think they found me because of my artwork; in that case, thank goodness for my Web site and the sketchbook section I posted. They hired me because of my "sketches," not just my "illustration" work.

Can you describe your artistic process? How do you approach your work?

Everything begins with words and lists. After I've honed in on a concept and some keywords, I develop icons and images that correspond, and then I incorporate those icons into the concept. And, of course, thumbnails, thumbnails, thumbnails! I use my thumbnails as my blueprint. They usually turn out better -- fresher -- than overworked drawings and color comps. After blowing up the chosen thumbnail, I work out a value pattern, shoot reference, and experiment with media -- with my fingers crossed. So long as the value pattern and design are established, the execution is instinctive and can most certainly be experimental.

On what other projects have you been working?

I just finished a job with The Progressive Magazine, am working on a four-illustration assignment with Sidall (an ad agency in Virginia), and am developing some ideas for a group show at the White Walls Gallery in July.

Did you enjoy your time at the Academy?

Absolutely. The traditional education I received at the Academy provided me with the tools I need to effectively express myself as a professional in the illustration industry. LeUyen Pham taught me how to be comfortable with my own hand, Robert Revels lit a fire under me, Craig Nelson taught me how to use my instincts... I could name several instructors who inspired me. Everyone opened my eyes in some way or another.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to better myself, mature in my art, and enjoy myself in the process.

For more information on our Illustration program, please visit our Illustration School pages.

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