Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator & Painter) – Art Inspired by Science + Culture

Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator & Painter) – Art Inspired by Science + Culture


Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator) - Art Inspired by Science + Culture

Can you give us a quick overview of you? What role does art play in your life? What kind of artist are you?

I moved from Boston to London when I was ten which completely changed my view of the world. Suddenly there were so many cultures, so many different views and experiences. I use art to learn and it has always helped me to explore and express myself.

Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator) - Art Inspired by Science + Culture

What’s your dream? What do you want to be doing?

Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator) - Art Inspired by Science + CultureI hope my art can one day help me to explore more of the world and I hope I can keep drawing to interpret everything around me. But, most importantly I hope it can inspire other people to realise more about the world and how it works.

What are you trying to convey with your works? I notice a lot of them are pattern-based or very bold. What do you want your audience to feel?

A pattern can help to recognize a constant, when I looked at bone cells under a microscope I found that they are constantly growing, blooming and layering to grow and reinforce. I wanted to show people this phenomenon that is mostly missed. I make them bold to convey the sense of realisation that hits you or dawns on you as everything starts to make more sense. I hope the audience can be intrigued by it and learn from them.

Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator) - Art Inspired by Science + Culture

inspired by granite

Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator) - Art Inspired by Science + Culture

inspired by sandstone

How do you get inspired? How do you come up with ideas?

I read a lot of science magazines and visit museums. Looking for that moment of realising how something works, how it effects how the world works and having that spark, where everything suddenly makes sense. Then I start to work out how I can pass on that same spark.

Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator) - Art Inspired by Science + Culture

inspired by buttercup cells

inspired by graphiteHow did you get started in art? How have you grown over the years?

I had the most inspiring teachers who support me a lot and I have always treaded the line between being an artist or an illustrator. I have grown a lot as I have learned that your art needs to be personal on some level, whether it’s inspired by your experiences or just your feelings at a particular time.

What is your favourite piece you’ve done? Why is it significant to you?

Bone, is my most prominent and boldest piece to date. It was created with the help of life science students from the University of Westminster as we studied microscopy during my final year. It came out of an amazing year of self-discovery and is the definition of my style of work.

Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator) - Art Inspired by Science + Culture

What advice can you give to other artists? What mistakes have you made? What do you wish you had known before?

Never get tired of drawing, change your subject matter because if you’re inspired then the work will come easily and always be willing to learn something new. I wish I had known that art takes time to grow and I should never rush it or feel disappointed if it doesn’t happen fast enough.

Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator) - Art Inspired by Science + Culture

Ailish Sullivan (American Illustrator) - Art Inspired by Science + Culture

Places to find Ailish online & support what she does:

Website // Tumblr // Flickr // Twitter // Facebook // Behance


+ Leave a Comment