Artist Abby Shepard Illustrates Your Wedding
“I’ve loved illustration and design since I can remember,” says Boston-based illustrator Abby Shepard. “My mom was a master seamstress, and I grew up dreamily looking at her collection of illustrations. When I was 10, I painted an entire stack of fashion illustrations from Town & Country magazines using a plastic paintbrush and whatever paints I had. I would have probably used her makeup if I couldn’t find those paints.”
Like many wedding vendors, Shepard found renewed inspiration for her wedding illustration business during her own nuptials in 2012.
“I had an endless amount of ideas and the gift of knowing how to execute them,” she says. “So I decided to use that in the most rewarding and personalized way I knew how…on a memorable day for the people I loved.”
Today, in a Jamaica Plain nook she shares with her husband, Jason, she captures couples’ weddings in watercolor, ink, and pencil, as well as in a clean and crisp digital format.
“I usually end up combining the two for most. It helps me maintain a handmade feel while offering endless options of how the illustration can be used once it’s finished.” Thank-you cards, wedding programs, T-shirts, or totes, she can do it all. Although it’s not necessary, Shepard loves to work from photos. “It can be helpful to see people in person for expressions or subtle nuances,” she explains.
Shepard also has a portfolio full of favorites.
“I did a pretty unique illustration for a wedding that took place on a catamaran in St. John,” she says of one past project. “Everyone had the option of wearing a sundress or beach cover-up to the wedding, so there were amazing colors and prints to choose from. It inspired me to draw a decorative piece of seaweed over an ocean background and fill each leaf with a different piece of fabric. The sentiment was meaningful, since it captured pieces of her family and friends in a creative way.”
Shepard is currently working on a map of Sebastapol, Calif., one of a bride’s favorite hometown spots that Shepard will turn into a large print and picnic blankets.
Although her talent is limitless, Shepard’s free time is the exact opposite. With a career in marketing and advertising at Harvard, she’s also currently finishing up a BFA in illustration with a double minor in design and creative writing from Lesley University’s College of Art & Design in Cambridge to accompany her past classes through MassArt’s Fashion Department. This means only a few commissions a year are granted.
Illustrations by Shepard start at $350, with quotes based on specific requests. But take a look, her pictures speak a thousand words. Whether it’s a destination wedding map illustration or a bridal party portrait, she’ll commemorate your celebration in beautiful color with talented touches.
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