• Illustration: Jacqui Oakley

This stunning illustration of Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq graces the back page of the April 2015 issue of Canadian Geographic. It's made by Hamilton-based illustrator Jacqui Oakley, who has taken the time to show us her progression through the piece and answer some questions about her inspiration. Click on the illustration above to see a slideshow of the illustration at different stages of completion. If you like her style (how could you not) check her out on Twitter at @jacquioakley and on her website, jacquioakley.com

Can you describe your process for creating an illustration?
I start off with a few concept sketches and drawings and from there go on to paint in layers of acrylic. I like building up colours and forms with hand-made stencils so there’s a bit of spontaneity and room for happy accidents in the process. I then go on to refine the painting, adding detail with ink.

How did you get the idea for this illustration?
Tagaq had such a beautiful description of feeling at peace amongst the unique Hoodoo formations on Bylot Island, so I wanted to try and capture that magical and tranquil air.

What do you like about Tanya Tagaq's illustration? What makes it special?
I hope it captures a unique moment in time. Those hazy yet special memories filled with light and sound.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Most of the time I get asked to illustrate American artists so it was such a nice opportunity to get to paint a fascinating and talented Canadian and also be introduced to a landscape that I didn’t know existed in our own country.

Click the photo below for a slideshow