Megan Hess is an Australian fashion illustrator. She has worked with renowned clients including Prada, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and Yves Saint Laurent. She has written and illustrated three best-selling books, Fashion House, The Dress and Coco Chanel.
Born in Brisbane, Hess would draw as a child, yet never considered it would be something she could do for a living. So when she was a little older she decided to study Graphic Design at Griffith University.
Upon graduating, Hess landed a job at one of Australia’s high-profile advertising companies, Mojo. Her career in graphic design slowly evolved into art direction. She worked for various high-profile companies, before finally realising that her true love was her first. From there, she set out to established herself as a professional illustrator.
Hess was working as an illustrator slowly building up commissions, and after a year had reached a point where she could be a little more selective with projects. Then, a call in the middle of the night changed everything. Candace Bushnell’s publisher called to ask if Hess would illustrate Bushnell’s next Sex and the City novel One Fifth Avenue. The book became a New York Times best seller, and the cover was on everything from billboards to taxi cabs across the US. After that, things took off rapidly.
She was illustrating portraits for TIME magazine and Vanity Fair, creating iconic accessories for Henri Bendel and illustrating for the windows of Bergdorf Goodman in New York, with all the high-fashion brands lining up to work with her.
Using a traditional fountain pen Hess flutters her hand across the page creating beautiful thick and thin lines. When Hess uses colour she tends to stick to one or two, however, I think her illustrations are at their boldest left black and white.
When I first saw Hess’ interior illustrations, the collages of Pop artist Richard Hamilton came straight to mind. They have similar quirky perspective sensibilities. One last observation, they don’t appear frequently, yet I adore Hess’ illustrations of dogs. They are Quentin Blake-esque, comical and wonderful.