How @SEE.AICHE Stumbled Upon Her Craft

How @SEE.AICHE Stumbled Upon Her Craft

Leisurely doodler turned eccentric illustrator, See Aiche sits with Cillie to discuss creativity through collaboration, just being cillie, and creation for creation's sake. 

Hi Chloe! What drew you to illustration in the first place?

This is a bit of a convoluted answer but I can’t think of a shorter way to do it authentically. I actually only discovered I could draw much later in life. I was working in fashion e-commerce and decided to study graphic design part-time as an upskill. I drew an anchovy for a project, and I kind of looked at it and other people looked at it and it had a bit of an energy to it. This was an odd experience, and it sounds odd to say, but I actually saw a lot of myself in it. I thought it was a bit of a fluke but I continued to draw recreationally and the energy continued to show up. I left my job in 2020 not knowing what I was doing next, just knowing it was time to do my own thing; I thought I was going to start a big multinational business (a tequila company - lols (but not totally lols, I still want to do it maybe one day)). People started to hit me up for some of my illustrations in the meantime and I thought it would keep me busy until my big bizniss started moving, but quickly it grew and grew and it was fast attracting really cool, interesting clients and in about six months, I was doing it full time.

How does the adjective cillie relate to who you are as a person?

I feel like I just AM cillie. I’m a very cillie girl to my core. I knew it from when I was young. It’s just something you know. To try and describe it would be absurd. And I’m not absurd, I’m cillie.

Tell us a little about your creative process and what inspires you.

It really varies. I’m never really attached to the way something will turn out, I’m always open to it evolving and I find the journey of creation very inspiring in itself. When I’m working with a client, I like to extract as much information from a brief as I can at the start and then I just start drawing and let it come together. Often I’ll look at something when it’s done and just go WOW did I do that?!!! And then I love getting feedback and just pushing it to new places.
Sometimes I’m irked at the feedback (like why tf would you want that) but 9 times out of 10, once it’s integrated, it’s always better than when it started. It’s humbling and great and it makes me excited to see how collaboration almost always makes things better. Collaboration inspires me! And then, when I’m working on my own little passion projects (like my rhymes), it’s more of a spontaneous inspiration, it just comes through clear and obvious. Sometimes it’s so obvious, I feel like I have to create it immediately and share it before someone else does lol. And then people inspire me. I LOVE PEOPLE. People get a bad wrap, but I think they’re so brilliant, and brave; I love the way they think I love the way they build things, I love what they can achieve. I love how even when they’re big messes, they’re almost always trying their best (I’m so proud of you, keep going). People inspire me to no end. I’m also inspired by the fact that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE ALWAYS.

What do you find most challenging about your craft?

Creative work can sometimes feel extremely draining and stressful. Sometimes when I finish a project, I feel like I need to sleep for days, I feel like I have given birth. Also, I’m a hot mess but when it comes to my work I am a serous perfectionist, and truly, with creative work, there’s no distinct end, you have to know when to say ‘it’s finished now’ and release the need to push it more. I am sometimes up at night thinking about whether something needs to be a millimetre to the left and it sucks my energy. I am trying to let go more and just let things be. I think it would be good to see what it does to my craft too, but for now, I’m just exhausted worrying about whether things should be a millimeter to the left or if my margins were big enough lol.

What do you find most rewarding?

I have developed a deck of wisdom cards called ‘Beyond Words’ with one of my closest friends for her pilates studio Body By Berner (which will soon be available for sale soon, stay tuned ;)). When we receive a message from someone that says ‘wow, that’s what I needed’, or i’ll be in a class and I’ll see someone turn over the card at the end and tear up - that’s huge. To feel like I’ve been able to help channel some kind of message to someone, to connect to them and empower them and encourage them to keep going, that’s major. Or even if you’ve just brightened someone’s day or inspired them for a moment. So cool. The little things are the big things. Or just when I finish a project and then I stop and breathe and look at my life and realise that this is how I’m now serving the world. Wow, that’s very cool.

What is the best advice you would give to someone who is considering a similar creative outlet?

Create! Follow your inspiration. Just create for the sake of creation. And share it! Whether it is being seen by no people or a thousand people, keep sharing it - SO important. Get excited and don’t be shy and share it all the time. Share it on your gram, share it with someone you’ve just met. Do something for friends, do it for coworkers, just keep creating and sharing. You never know what is going to show up for you or where things are going to lead. Don’t be scared of looking haughty, or being judged - get over yourself! This could be your gift to the world - don’t deny the world your gifts - don’t do that!!! If you have something to truly say, there are people who truly need to hear it. Keep creating and make sure you keep sharing it too. ALSO BE KIND. Make people feel good. There are a lot of talented people in the world, relationships and the way people feel around you are as important as your art. Keep the energy good (this includes towards yourself).


Instagram: @see.aiche