With influences like Lisa Frank, Super Mario and My Little Pony, you know you’re in for a colourful ride with the young Australian illustrator Fionna Fernandes. Based in Sydney – the city where she grew up – she draws distinctive portraits for clients in fashion, editorial, advertising and more. Each work has a touch of fun to it as she selects a key detail to highlight, such as the lips on a model, or her eyelashes. These extra flourishes of pattern and colour lend Fionna’s work a style of its own.
Fionna’s career in creativity started back when she was little. She doodled all over her schoolbooks, and when she couldn’t do that she sculpted little animal characters out of Blu-Tak. The 90s, Japanese culture, and the artists Laura Callaghan, Hattie Stewart, Kelly Smith, and Kelly Thompson are just some of her influences. At the moment, her dream is to go to the original Disneyland in California.
Fionna has a bachelor degree in Design in Visual Communication from the University of Technology in Sydney. All the elective courses she took were focused on illustration.
Using Photoshop to add colour, shading and distinctive highlights to the images she draws, Fionna also combines digital and hand-generated marks. She uses an Artline pen for her line work, and acrylic paint to come up with the light-hearted patterns that she often uses as backgrounds. Recently, Fionna has been experimenting with collaged backdrops and adding stickers to the compositions, enhancing the mixed media feel.
Playful, fun and energetic, Fionna’s work usually features female models in fashion scenarios, but she’s just as adept at depicting men, and animals too. There’s a youthful flavour to her aesthetic, and she enjoys drawing attention to certain aspects of the female face – the eyes, lips and hair – using brighter colours and patterns. This gives her portraits a unique feel and some extra punch.
I recently worked with Fionna for the first time and it was a great experience. She is very professional and quick to turn around multiple sketches and in the end an amazing final piece. Her job was to bring some pop and fun to what would have been a typical photo solution to an opener for a story about environmentalist Rachel Carson. I would recommend working with Fionna and look forward to working with her again.
I recently commissioned Fionna to produce a portrait of one of the employees of the agency that I work at, I chose Fionna because of her fresh and original style. During the process Fionna went above and beyond of what would normally be required from an artist to help make the portrait really look like the person whom it was intended for. I would recommend working with Fionna any time and look forward to working with her again.
Working with Fionna was a dream. Even though she was on the other side of the world (I'm in DC and she is in Australia) she was super responsive to emails and quick on edits. I love her playfulness with color and pattern - it was exactly what I was looking for.
It was a pleasure to work with Fionna. She was quick to respond to our requests and to turn around our notes. She transformed our talent into awesome illustrations and the addition of her art to our design elevated our key art to another level.
It was an excellent experience working with Fionna. She was very professional, and the work was top quality and exceeded our expectations, also it was delivered early! As a commissioner, I can not ask for a better experience.
I just had a wonderful experience collaborating with Ms. Fernandes on my project. Not only was she very friendly, but she also followed direction extremely well, had great response time with any questions or concerns I had, and most importantly she has worked the fastest out of any illustrator I've ever come in contact with.
This could have been a challenging piece for some, with lots of great detail, but Ms. Fernandes handled it with ease, talent, and with the up most professionalism. But you know the one thing that has amazed me the most after receiving my artwork from her and studying it right now was despite the concept I gave her which to some could be perceived as dark, she injected so much life, fun, and her own personality into it that in turn it has cause me to redirect the tone of my project her piece is based on into something I think could be even more entertaining, and greater; that to me is the mark of not only an exceptional artist, but a great one. Fionna Fernandes is AMAZING!
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