Vanessa Lovegrove: An Illustrator Who Lets Her Imagination Run Wild

Vanessa Lovegrove

Vanessa Lovegrove (@vloveg) beautifully captured our July 2022 “Aging Well” issue theme with her cover illustration, as well as the art for the “Women, Sex & Aging” feature. Before she became a freelance illustrator, she worked as a children’s book designer for a number of years and developed a fanciful aesthetic and love for characters and developing a narrative. Here, she shares how she got her start and where she finds her inspiration.

Marin Magazine (MM): What inspired your work for the July issue of Marin Magazine?

Vanessa Lovegrove (VL): “For the article, I was inspired to subvert the typical expectations of an older woman’s sexuality by placing her as a renaissance figure in a flower, which is imagery often reserved for young women, to say she is still blossoming and beautiful. I took that approach to vitality in my design for the cover, too — I wanted to highlight the myriad reasons why Marin is a great place to age.”

Vanessa Lovegrove Aging Women and Sexuality

MM: How did you get interested in illustration?

VL: “I’ve always enjoyed drawing ever since I was little, but it wasn’t until I was about to head to college to study graphic design that I understood I could use that passion in a professional context.”

MM: How would you describe your artistic style?

VL: “Playful but considered, with a love of character and texture and a little hint of the surreal.”

MM: What other illustrators or artists inspire you?

VL: “I’m inspired by a lot of contemporary illustrators such as Jon Klassen, but I also love midcentury design and illustration. Working with limitations such as using only a couple of colors makes for very interesting work.”

MM: Where has your work appeared/been published?

VL: “My work has been published by Women’s Health, Apartment Therapy, Atlassian and Omnia magazine, to name a few.”

MM: What are your goals going forward?

VL: “I’d love to be able to continue working with the variety of clients I get to work with around the world, and if time and money allow it, I’d love to be able to develop my art further at an artist’s residency.”

MM: What is your best advice for others pursuing a career as an illustrator?  

VL: “Keep making work, and more specifically, keep making work that you enjoy. Don’t be shy to share it to others either — feedback is so important for growth, and the more eyes you can get on it the better!”

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Lotus Abrams

Lotus Abrams has covered everything from beauty to business to tech in her editorial career, but it might be writing about her native Bay Area that inspires her most. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the San Francisco Peninsula, where they enjoy spending time outdoors at the area’s many open spaces protected and preserved by her favorite local nonprofit, the Peninsula Open Space Trust.