After graduating, Tracy Turnbull worked in fashion design for several years and along the way began accepting illustration commissions for fashion books. Later editorial clients came knocking and it turned into a full-time thing. She combines her career in fashion illustration with teaching the subject at Northumbria University. At her home in Newcastle she has a husband, and a dog called Dave. She’s scared of fish, used to be a goth and has performed at Glastonbury.
Tracy graduated from Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University) with a BA Hons in Fashion Design.
Initial drawings are done either on paper, or on screen using her Wacom Cintiq. Tracy then colours her work digitally using Photoshop.
Just as fashion is always evolving and changing, Tracy likes to keep her work fresh and contemporary. Her style changes a lot, influenced by what’s current in illustration as well as what’s on the catwalk. When she gets bored with one style, she experiments and adapts. Lately, she’s been working in pencil and mixing it with strong colour.
She likes to draw strong characters with unusual features, and her training in fashion design certainly comes in handy when she renders garments. She understands clothing construction, proportions, and how draped fabrics look, which comes across in her work.
Pro Hair and Beauty Magazine
Readers Digest US
Working with Tracy was so easy and efficient, and my team and I are so pleased with how the illustrations that she worked on for The Knot Magazine turned out. Tracy was thoughtful in her execution, closely following the creative brief, and was happy to send through sketches as needed before she dug in and completed the project, to make sure that I was happy with the result. Tracy was communicative and kept to deadline, which in the world of editorial, was so appreciated. Her professional and kind email exchanges made her an absolute joy to work with, and I look forward to the next time I can collaborate with her on a project.
Katelyn Baker, The Knot Magazine
It was a pleasure working with Tracy, she met the brief and was happy to work in stages from rough concept to finished art, she’s prompt, friendly and a delight to work with. I’d definitely recommend her without hesitation and I look forward to working with her again
Robert Bertagni - Art Director, Hardy Grant Australia/Jet Star Magazine
Tracy has illustrated a few books for us and she is truly a pleasure to work with. She works quickly, answers our requests, and her work is absolutely lovely.
Susan Van Horn, Perseus Books
I receive loads of email promotions (20-40 per day!) and I usually hit delete after viewing but the image of the girl with the freckles and the glasses was a show stopper. I LOVED IT. I pulled it for my swipe pile and when they thought of this section I knew you were perfect. You are fast and the likenesses are dead on. Your style is so modern and refreshing. A pleasure to work with.
Marti Golon, Readers Digest
Thank you so much. Tracy did a wonderful job, I'm so happy with the results.
Harriet Grant - Art Director Fashion Club, Fashion Institute of Design & Marketing
Tracy has been a dream to work with, I squealed with delight when I opened the emails to find her beautiful black and white sketches, and the transition from the first designs to the end product was amazing. Her attention to detail was exquisite, and the way she uses texture within her illustrations is amazing. She is super flexible and easy to work with
Katie May Atkinson - Senior Editor, WGSN
Working with Tracy was an absolute delight. We sought her out for her unmistakable style and the working relationship couldn’t have been better. She was sensitive to the client’s requests and extremely attentive to detail; happy to make revisions and tweaks until both she and the client were happy. I cannot say enough to highlight the overall experience, which was both pleasant and always professional.
Anthony Carson - Senior Account Supervisor, AIR PARIS NEW YORK