Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tina Matthews
















What's this illustration for?



This is from my book Out of the Egg published by Houghton Mifflin in the USA and Walker Books in Australia and NZ. It's the most important page in the book where the little chick comes out of the egg and, just in time, controls her mother's mean impulses and saves the day!





Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?



I usually come across an idea in my head or my life which I roll around and loosely attach words to. Then I sketch the story in 32 pages and see how much of it can be told in pictures. When the pictures are doing as much of the telling as possible, I work the words more until they seem to me to read just right.





How did you get your start as an illustrator?



I have worked mainly as a designer and puppet maker until now and my start as an illustrator coincides with the publication of my first picture book.





Who or what has influenced your work?



My deepest and most subconscious influences are probably the picture books I was read as a child-- books like Millions of Cats, The Little House, Make Way for Ducklings, Angus and Wagtail Bess, Curious George, This is New York, Madeleine, Barbar and of course Tintin. But more recently I have loved and looked hard at the work of wonderful prints makers like Clare Leighton and Gwen Raverat and at Durer too. Banksy's street stencil art is another great source of inspiration.





What's your favourite media for creating pictures?



I really enjoy the graphic qualities and textures of wood block printing and I love stenciling and collage too. I find pencil drawing is essential for planning books and giving characters life and pen and ink reminds me of so many great children’s book illustrators I can't help trying my hand at it now and then.





Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?



Not really, but I think it helps to be illustrating your own words and ideas rather than someone else’s.





What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?



Always working on your own.





And the best?



Working where ever and when ever you want.





What are you working on at the moment?



A picture book called Now That it was Later.





Where can we see more of your work?



It’s not easy but there’s a little bit on--



http://www.thestylefile.com/show.php?illustrator_id=182



and some 3 dimensional work on--



www.thinkingfun.com/a01btinamobiles.htm

Adam Nickel



















What's this illustration for?



This is a personal piece, I created this illustration to add artwork to my portfolio that is more children’s book oriented. At this stage much of my portfolio was editorial based and I thought it could do with a little more variety.



Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?



Its nice to have a flash of inspiration right from the start. But if its not there then I just reference as much as I can until an idea springs to mind. I feel like referencing is very important to creating the best possible artwork.



How did you get your start as an illustrator?



I sent out promotional materials such as postcards, and after sometime I was contacted by Thomson Learning (now called Cengage Learning) to illustrate one of their children’s books created for the educational market.



Who or what has influenced your work?



I get a lot of influence from mid 20th century illustration and animation. Im also influenced by all sorts of things that I see, such as people on the street and I might make a mental note to create a character that looks like them. Even something as simple as seeing a wall and thinking, I like the way those bricks are arranged and think I will incorporate that into my next illustration.



What's your favourite media for creating pictures?



I don’t know if I would say its my favorite, but I work digitally with a drawing tablet for all my illustration. I would like to work more with traditional media but find it too hard to pull myself away from the undo button, and all the flexibility that comes with working digitally.



Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?



Reference, reference, reference until something I see springs an idea. I find doing something else else just takes my mind off the task at hand.



What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?



Always waiting on that next contract, and often wondering if the Art Director truly is happy with finished art.



And the best?



The feeling working a job position that is special because no amount of education or study can allow you to work in this field. Its about talent and you either have it or you don’t.



What are you working on at the moment?



Various editorial illustrations for Wired magazine.



Where can we see more of your work?



www.kilowattkat.com

Kathy Panton





















What's this illustration for?

This was an experimental personal piece.


Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

I have learnt that it's better just to start, no matter how you are feeling. If you wait until all the conditions are right, and the planets are aligned, nothing will happen!


How did you get your start as an illustrator?

My report card in Year 8 said that I was no good at art! But then I only really remember doing coil pots. I chose art in year 11 and just started doing portraits and drawings. Then at the end of year 12 I was accepted in to Graphic Design at uni and did that for a year, but realised it wasn't for me and applied to QCA to do Visual Art that year. I did a degree in Visual Art and Queensland College of Art. Later on I studied at Saint Martins College of Art in London, doing short courses in childrens book illustrating and painting, and shortly after was first published in New Woman Magazine as an illustrator.


Who or what has influenced your work?

Many artists. I would say my first major influence was William Dobell. I remember seeing a portrait of his in person, at about the age of 10, of Dame Mary Gilmore, and it was quite powerful. It both scared and fascinated me. I could barely look at it. I work in the area of caricature also, using the same technique as the illustration pictured here, and it has definitely influenced me.

Other influences would be Illustrator Annuals, Art Magazines, 1950s and 60s style, Chuck Close, Frances Bacon, Mark Ryden, Eddie Guy, Eric Carle, Hundertwasser, Ralph Steadman, Richard Lindner, Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Anna Laura Cantone, Shaun Tan, Del Kathryn Barton.


What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

gouache and watercolour collage, and also large scale (2m x 2m) graphite pencil portraits


Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

I look at illustration and art books for inspiration, and usually it doesnt take long to get going again. Also its good to to have a change of scenery.


What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Not working


And the best?

Doing something you love.


What are you working on at the moment?

I am starting an online business through Etsy.com, and seeing how my originals will sell online.


Where can we see more of your work?

http://www.thestylefile.com/show.php?illustrator_id=163&image_id=635

www.kathypanton.etsy.com

Charlotte Lance



















What's this illustration for?

‘Cat’s got your key’ was for an exhibition that I did at the end of last year.



Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?


Usually no. Actually most of the time I don’t know what I’m going to draw until I’m drawing. If I am working to a brief I have it vaguely in my mind and I just start and see what my mind can muster. Because of this I end up with some misses and some hits. But when it works the outcome is often a surprise for me. If its not for a brief, say, for an exhibition, then I draw whatever comes out of my pencil. Sometimes its funny and sometimes its crazy and sometimes its very obviously about me and sometimes its a mystery.

Oh and I never start unless I’m holding a pacer. Very important.


How did you get your start as an illustrator?


Pure perseverance, and and the absolute assuredness that there is nothing else I want to do but draw. And draw. If I had to go to work in an office, um, I don’t know what I’d do but I wouldn’t go to work in an office.


Who or what has influenced your work?


Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake. The stories, the imagination, the funny crazy worlds that came to life and the illustrations that not only matched but colored these worlds. I love the simplicity and detail, and I love the warmth.


What's your favourite media for creating pictures?


Pencil, ink and acrylic.


Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?


Not really but if I do I think I just draw something else, do something else, go somewhere else, then start again. Its not so bad.


What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?


There’s a bit of inconsistency in the workload. At times I have to stay awake past my meager bedtime to meet deadlines, and other times I nervously bite my nails (which is disgusting) in the silence of NO jobs. Sometimes I feel rich! And sometimes I feel like a Charles Dickens character eating gruel with dirt on my face. And also having to be responsible for everything. I call the accounts department about my pay and answer my own call. Boring.


And the best?


Everything else. It's my dream to draw and earn a living.


What are you working on at the moment?


An exhibition.


Where can we see more of your work?


www.charlielance.com

Hung Lin














What's this illustration for?

This illustration was done as an experiment for a film concept. The image was inspired from my daily walking in Hobart, Tasmania. I am trying to illustrate an outsider living in a world where he is often walking different paths than most people.



Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

No, inspiration is everywhere, every single moment. I often need to write these inspirations down in my note book. Sometimes I will take photos just to capture the moment of what I'm thinking, to use as reference for my art.



How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I am still trying to poke around in my head and find myself as an illustrator
I started out doing small characters as an experiment for my assignment at Tafe, and I would often write poems to accompany the images. Often I've illustrated for my own personal expression, to keep myself mentally balanced.



Who or what has influenced your work?

That's a hard question to answer, because there are many artists out there that influence me, but I find most of time, life itself influences me a lot, my past, my family, people's stories, cultures, landscapes and issues.



What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

Ink sketches, and acrylic paints. I still love the smell and touch of inks, although I create a lot of digital illustration now days.



Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

Of course, I get scared because it would be like losing one of my life supports. I stop thinking about it and just watch animated films and listen to music for awhile. Then an idea comes along and that's when I know my urge to create has returned.



What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Continuing to search for the next payment.



And the best?

The freedom of doing your own projects when you like.



What are you working on at the moment?

I am currently working on my own animation film which is yet to be titled, and also writing a children's novel.



Where can we see more of your work?

http://animatedlstuff.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 20, 2009

Leigh Hobbs




















What's this illustration for?


This illo was for my picture book "HOORAY FOR HORRIBLE HARRIET".


Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

All my projects begin with a flash of inspiration where I am
propelled forward in a blaze of ideas. Unfortunately this momentum
never lasts. There is always a point where the plain hard slog of
refining, redrawing, redrafting and filling in the inspirational gaps
has to be faced up to, and dealt with- with patience and much hard
work.

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

The book illustrating aspect of my work began in 1990 when I was
asked to illustrate a book called 'CARO'S CROC CAFE'.

Who or what has influenced your work?

I've always loved drawing and looking at art and art books. The
illustrators who inspired me most as a child were Ludwig Bemelmans and
Ronald Searle. Both these artists crossed artistic boundaries in
both subject matter and technique.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

My favourite medium is pen and ink. But I love using paint too.

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

Yes I experience writer's block. I usually force myself to work
through it, though I suspect that if I were able, to just leave the
studio for a day or two might clear things up. But I tend to wrestle
with projects when they are not working.

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

The worst thing about being a freelancer sometimes is the
isolation when the work isn't working.

And the best?

The best thing about being a freelancer is the isolation when the
work IS working and you can work without interruption.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on a new picture book at the moment called "MR
CHICKEN GOES TO PARIS". It will be released in August this year.

Where can we see more of your work?

You can see more of my work on my website; www.leighhobbs.com

Christina Booth













1.. What's this illustration for?


This is for my new picture book, Kip. It is due for release in April through Windy Hollow Books. It is the story of a rooster who upsets his city neighbours by crowing at inconvenient times during the day.


2.. Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?


My head is ‘busy’ most of the time. When I get a manuscript to consider I won’t take it on unless images start to flow the moment I start to read it. For my own stories the words often come first but images start to ‘grow’ not long after I start writing. I like to let the images and ideas grow and mature in my head for a while, tossing around ideas, then I start with large sheets of bond paper and a pencil or ink and rough out images until the right one emerges.


3.. How did you get your start as an illustrator?


I trained as a fine artist, majoring in painting but illustration had always been an interest. I also studied teaching and taught art for a number of years. A familiar path: when I had my first child I immersed myself into picture books again (I loved them as a kid) and decided to have a go. It took 9 years (and the introduction of home computers and the internet) before I had my first ‘gig’. I illustrated a poetry book for Bill Scott (Triple D Books) and then Colin Thiele and Max Fatchen. Picture books were still my passion and goal. I had my own manuscript accepted and that was the beginning. Purinina, A Devil’s Tale was released through Lothian Books in 2007. I have been busy illustrating full time ever since.


4.. Who or what has influenced your work?


I have a number of favourites and many illustrators and artists influence me. I am very inspired by Shaun Tan’s work and also Helen Oxenbury (chalk & cheese I know!!) I love the work of Anton Pieck, a Dutch illustrator and van Gogh and anyone who uses lots of colour and texture.


5.. What's your favourite media for creating pictures?


I have been spoilt by being an art teacher so I have had the opportunity to use many mediums. I change them according to the story I’m illustrating. Water colour is predominant as it is so versatile and can be combined with lots of other mediums such as ink, acrylic, charcoal etc. I do love using water soluble ink pencils and wax crayons for their intensity of colour and texture.


6.. Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?


Not often. Sometimes I worry about getting stuck in a rut, not thinking outside the square so to speak but generally I have to sift through lots of ideas and have to decide which direction to take, this can be difficult if you are indecisive like me!


7.. What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?


Working alone, I like to bounce ideas off people and illustrators are thin on the ground in my part of the world. However, email can help with that. Managing my time can be an issue, especially with a busy family but it can be a blessing also.


8.. And the best?


Being your own boss, being creative, playing and being paid (occasionally!) for it and being in charge of your own schedule (except for those publishers who think wonderful illustrations can appear overnight!).


9.. What are you working on at the moment?


I am working on a number of projects but have a manuscript about the Australian Desert that I will begin soon. I have a month working in Adelaide (May Gibbs Residency) in March and will start a major illustrating project about a day in the park while I’m there.


10.. Where can we see more of your work?


I am listed on the style file www.stylefile.com, and my website can be visited at www.christinabooth.com and of course you can buy my books and see it there!

Bronwyn Bancroft



















1.. What's this illustration for?

I have a book with Little Hare Books titled Possum and Wattle My First Book of Australian Words. It is an innovative book bringing Aboriginal imagery and text into the mainstream.

2.. Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

I always wonder about that flash...I believe all work is delivered by Moments of Inspiration. If it wasn't, I would not keep doing it...

3. How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I first worked on a book for Diana Kidd. It was all black and white illustrations. And then I got the job doing Oodgeroo Nunukul's book, Stradbroke Dreamtime in 1991/ 1992. A privileged beginning, as both women are outstanding.

4. Who or what has influenced your work?

I have been influenced enormously by my Aboriginal family. All aspects of nature and the environment and a passion for art that started when I was very young have also influenced me.

5.. What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

I work in acrylics but Love all mediums.

6.. Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about
it?


I have never had a block about anything...no time to waste...one life...live
it to its fullest...I love what I do and do what I love - which I consider
to be a privilege.

7.. What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Everthing coming in at once and having to fulfill all the deadlines to the best of my ability.

8.. And the best?

Seeing the finished work...all published and neat and beautiful and having friends and family comment on how much they love it!

9.. What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on My Doctorate in Philosophy, an exhibiton in Mebourne, some overseas exhibitions as well as a series of art workshops in Western Sydney called Artlinks. It's about place and identity. All hectic, but I love it.

10.. Where can we see more of your work?

My Website should be updated for the first time in 4 years soon..... www.bronwynbancroft.com

Rowena Evans


















Children lost in a fairy tale

Ink & watercolour (to a poem by John Malone)

For GROW Under the Southern Cross Anthology






What's this illustration for?

GROW Under the Southern Cross Anthology. I have illustrated a number of poems for this anthology. A story of mine also appears in it.



Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

Just starting, putting pencil to paper, is the beginning of inspiration. For an illustration, the text provides the subject matter, but inspiration is more than subject… for me, it can start from working on something, pondering on it, then working again. It is important to be able to see a number of approaches to a picture. Visual ideas can come from anywhere.



How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I had some precocious opportunities when I first left school. Maybe this was a bad thing… I don’t know. Last year I received a mentorship for illustration through the ASA which was a fabulous learning experience.



Who or what has influenced your work?

Many of my relations are/ were artists (family curse?) and as a child I assumed that all adults could draw (even if, like my father, they could only draw sailing ships). I have been influenced by their styles and by the idea that creativity is part of life.

Artists and illustrators I have admired over the years are many. A list may include William Heath Robinson (his black and white work), Quentin Blake, Brian Wildsmith, various Pre-Raphaelites, Matisse, Shirley Hughes, William Robinson, Picasso, David Gentleman, Ronald Searle…



What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

I love the drama of black and white in pen and ink or printmaking media. In colour I either work in ink & watercolour or mix various media.



Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

Yes.

To deal with it I think up random “exercises” to get back to fundamentals, take my sketch book for a spin or go to my collection of old sketchbooks and scrap books for ideas.



What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Having skill, enthusiasm and ideas in my chosen field while struggling to develop business skills.



And the best?

Self employed? I get on well with the boss.



What are you working on at the moment?

Getting past a nasty case of illustrator’s block.



Where can we see more of your work?

There’s a slideshow of some of my work at:
http://www.myspace.com/peablossomsnowflake

If you send me a friend request on MySpace mentioning PIO I’ll add you and you can see them in more detail.

Jason Atherton


















1.. What's this illustration for?

Character Design for AAMI of an AFL Umpire for one of AAMI`s contest/promos.

2.. Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

No, just start with rough thumbnails of an idea, then build the sketches up so they are more refined. Usually complete the pencil image with the lighbox.

3.. How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I starting designing artwork for surf companies.

4.. Who or what has influenced your work?

Artists would be: Ed Benedict, Jim Phillips, Robert Williams, Walt Disney, Ed Big Daddy Roth, Alex Grey, HR Giger, Salvador Dali, Austin Osman Spare, Brian Froud.

Other influences would be music, old Hanna-Barbera cartoons, American trash culture etc..

5.. What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

Unfortunately i haven`t painted in quite a while, so i`ll have to go with Adobe Illustrator.

6.. Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do
about it?


No.

7.. What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

. Dealing with middlemen who think they are above you.
. Dealing with potential clients who expect work done for very little money.
. Ridiculous unrealistic deadlines.
. Working crazy long hours.
. Dealing with time-wasters.

8.. And the best?

. Working from home in my pajamas, having breaks when it suits me.

9.. What are you working on at the moment?

Maybe a new folio. I`m deciding if i even want to continue to work in this industry.

10.. Where can we see more of your work?

www.mutationparlour.com

Susy Boyer




















What's this illustration for?

It’s an illustration from a picture book called The Gobbling Tree written by Mark Carthew and published by New Frontier. ( Released May 1st 2008)

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

Generally I get an idea and a visual picture in my head as I’m reading the text for the first time. It’s an exciting part of the process that I really enjoy.

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I majored in Illustration at Art College so I had a quite a few illustration pieces in my portfolio. I moved to Sydney and did the rounds of the publishers and ad agencies there. I got my break when I met with Phil Napper who was Creative director at ACP at the time. We hit it off immediately, he liked my work and gave me an illustration job straight away to try me out. I was 21yrs old and so excited. I made sure I did my best work on it which must’ve worked as I ended up working with Phil as a designer and illustrator for the next 15 years.

Who or what has influenced your work?

No one person or thing in particular. I’ve always been inspired by looking at the work of other artists and illustrators. Children’s picture books have been a passion since my college days and I’m in awe of the work done by my favourite illustrators.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

At the moment it’s chalk pastels, the rich colours are so edible! But I still love using coloured pencil and watercolour...especially if there is a lot of fine detail in the drawing.

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what doyou do about it?

YES...it’s so frustrating as it can really mess up a nicely planned work schedule. It usually happens later in the day as I’m a morning person and more creative then, so I’ve learnt not to fight it. If possible I stop and go and hang up washing, do my emails or any other pressing chores. When I come back to the work later it often flows easily again. Another trick is to stop battling on, and browse at some inspiring art or photography and it’s surprising how quickly a fresh idea will come through.


What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

The insecurity of not having a regular weekly payday to rely on, yet bills that come very regularly! Occasionally the isolation gets to me too...but sometimes I crave it!

And the best?

Being able to work for myself on wonderful jobs with lovely people and having the ability to say no to the jobs and people I don’t want. Not having to commute to work is pretty up there too.

What are you working on at the moment?

A picture book for Ford St Publishing written by Gary Crew. Also some really fun pastel illustrations for a kids yoga DVD.



Where can we see more of your work?


I have a website www.susyboyerart.com and also at the following links...



www.portfolios.com/susyboyer



www.illustratorsaustralia.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5&Itemid=55&user_id=787


www.thestylefile.com/show.php?illustrator_id=105

Heather Anderson
















1. What's this illustration for?

This is a page from the third book in a rhyming series I have written called ‘Little Bird’. In this particular book, ‘Busy Little Bird’, the reader is introduced to 3 of Little Bird’s friends. The book is a story about self discipline and making enough time in your life for everything, especially your friends.


2. Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

I’m a graphic designer by trade so I’m used to planning out brochures. I treat the illustration construction in the same way. I work out a pagination, dividing my text equally amongst it, then sketch out rough concepts for each spread. Once I feel I have visually covered the story I go back and fine tune the scale and content of each illustration. Finally I draw each of the elements out in marker pen. I keep drawing the same thing over and over till I’m comfortable with the execution. Some images take more attempts than others. Then I scan each black and white drawing and compose them in a draw programme on my computer, where I create my final artwork.

3. How did you get your start as an illustrator?

Over the years in the design industry I have had to occasionally draw small illustrations for printed material. The style I use for Little Bird is quite specific in its simplicity. This style was also used as part of a branding project for an Occasion Card company in Singapore last year. Initially I sketched a logo idea for my client. She liked it exactly as it was so we ended up creating a whole series of illustrations to support the seasonal sales of her cards. I was happy with the outcome and had positive feedback about the images from other people, so decided to apply the style to my own books

I have worked with two different illustrators on my other books and they were both wonderfully talented. However in this series, I knew I wanted to be able to create the books quickly and be in full control of the artwork, so it seemed like the perfect solution. I actually created this book and one other in Sydney last November. I stayed in a friend’s house with no internet access. As wonderful and integral to our lives the internet is, I achieved a huge amount of work in its absence. I not only wrote 14 of my series stories but illustrated, scanned in and artworked two complete books, all within the space of a week. I also managed to get out and about and see quite a bit of the city too.

4. Who or what has influenced your work?

Nothing has consciously I have always enjoyed creating illustrations for fun, and in my design role, I had to formulate a method of fast sketching to get across ideas to my team, so I imagine its developed that way.


5. What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

Black fiber tip, broad nib marker pens. It’s all I ever draw with. Colour is either added through scanning in the black and white image and applying through the computer, or I use coloured pantone markers on the original.


6. Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

I can’t say that I have. If draw mostly from my head, but if I’m struggling with, say creating a particular animal, I will use the internet for a photo reference then I usually have no problems with execution. The ideas and compositions, as I mentioned come to me in a quite logical left brain fashion, due to my training in design.

7. What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

I don’t think there IS a worst thing about it. I gave up my full time position as Creative Director in a branding company to freelance and have no regrets at all. I guess if I were digging deeply for something that’s a slight issue, it would be that the arrival of cheques can be unpredictable and sporadic, but they always do come eventually.

8. And the best?

Absolutely the freedom. I love it. I’m also a bit of a night bird, so if I feel inspired at midnight and want to work through the night instead of 9-5, it’s not a problem for anyone.

9. What are you working on at the moment?

In addition to paid work, which involves writing for magazines and brochures (because I can’t pay myself to illustrate yet!), I’m working on the remaining 25 Little Bird books in my series. I have many concepts for the characters in other mediums, such as animation, games, content etc. so I’m continually expanding the series image content and character list.

10. Where can we see more of your work?

You can view a lot of my illustrations at thatcardcompany.com. This is the client I created icon based illustrations for. Also my website, which is under construction at the moment, but should be more active very soon, http://gekkostate.com.sg/. It currently has only one page visible showing my other books; not all illustrated by me. The other place where I have more of my Little Bird illustrations on display in my gallery, is ‘Jacketflap’, the social networking site for those if us in the business of books.

Liz Flaherty
















What's this illustration for?

I painted this for the fun of it. I saw a couple of camel pictures in
some magazines and thought they'd be fun to paint.

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration?

Sometimes I get on a bit of a theme with my paintings - such as
Italian landscapes, mermaids or Nepalese markets. I go to art class
each week, so I usually paint whether I feel like it or not.

How did you get started as an illustrator?

At this stage I wouldn't call myself an illustrator at all! I paint
and draw as a hobby. Although as a children's writer, I do harbour
the desire to one day illustrate my own work.

What's your favourite media?

I love pastel best of all. They're soft and fun to use - the colours
are to die for and I love the feel and texture of them - although
they're disgustingly messy. (but that may just be me and how messy I am!)
I've dabbled in watercolour and pen and ink.

What are you working on at the moment?

I've just completed a painting of an Italian scene, with gorgeous old
ochre and sienna coloured buildings for a friend.

Where can we see more of your work?

You'd have to come and look at my walls at home! Other than that, you
could check out my new website that has some examples of paintings
and drawings that I've done over the last year or so.

http://members.dodo.com.au/~flaherty/

Liz Wilks















What's this illustration for?


This illustration is part of a book about elephants in a Sri Lankan elephant orphanage called ‘Bibile: The Baby Orphan Elephant’ by Teresa Cannon.



Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?


No, I get lots of reference material and start drawing.



How did you get your start as an illustrator?


I was sick a lot as a child and mum gave me pencils and paper to keep me busy while I lay in bed. After high school I did a diploma in illustration and graphic design, then worked for a daily newspaper for 12 years.



Who or what has influenced your work?


So many people it’s hard to name one. Loved reading picture books to my children when they were little. Now I just like reading them to myself.



What's your favourite media for creating pictures?


Pen and ink on paper, but am happy to try most media.



Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?


I don’t experience block but if I did I’d do something else for a while, then come back to the illustrating when I feel like it. It always helps to break the task down, if I feel overwhelmed. Then it suddenly seems to get done.



What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?


Promoting myself.



And the best?


Seeing my work in print.



What are you working on at the moment?


Always scribbling new ideas and following up others.



Where can we see more of your work?


Blue Cat Books’ Brave Kids Series and some other books like ‘Bibile: The Baby Orphan Elephant’, and my own junior novel ‘Sara Webb: Disaster Area’ by Hachette Books 2006, where I did the start-of-chapter illustrations.

Bridget Strevens















What's this illustration for?

Bridget’s Book of Nursery Rhymes compiled and illustrated by me (Bridget Strevens-Marzo) published by Little Hare Books.



Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

Never have time to wait! I start by plunging with my inked brush straight into a piece of cheap paper (has to be cheap!) and telling myself I can always throw it away and start again



How did you get your start as an illustrator?

Writing and illustrating a first series of books based on places I knew and on my young son. The books were published in the US and UK . Later after working for a start-up multimedia company I designed my illustrated website way back in the ‘nineties before google. I’d often come up on the first page when someone searched for children’s book illustrator and I got more work illustrating books like Kiss, kiss! By Margaret Wild, thanks to my website. Though I live in France, my website was hosted by a techy friend from Sydney who had just started http://www.planethomepage.com.au/ . He wanted to thank me for being a host to him years before, when he turned up on my doorstep as the friend of a friend in the medieval town north of Paris, France where I live!



Who or what has influenced your work?

So many things – paintings, books – just too many to list!



What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

Brush and ink (or brush-pen) and Photoshop where I can paint directly using a graphic tablet, and play with colour using rough painterly brushes.



What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Working nights and days to meet a never-ending series of deadlines.



And the best?

Being able to work days and nights - when you want!



What are you working on at the moment?

Just sent off the illustrators and the cover for a book for Little Hare by David Bedford, called “Daddy Does the Cha, Cha, Cha!” - a real romp of a picture book with lots of dancing dads and kids!



Where can we see more of your work?

On my website

http://www.bridgetstrevens.com

Gaye Chapman


















1. What's this illustration for?

'Little Blue', the first picture book I have both written and illustrated. Published by Little Hare Books in 2008.

2. Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration?

Inspiration is a 'series of inter-related flickers' rather than one 'flash', though an initial flash may spark them off. The old adage about percentages of inspiration and perspiration holds true. An idea is just that, an idea. In the case of 'Little Blue', the main character and basic storyline arrived fully formed. But, the Little Blue girl herself required months of detailed design, as she had to be constructed in a very specific way for the story end magically.

2. How do you start?

If we are talking about a picture book commission then I start with the story. That may sound obvious, but only deep analysis of the text will drive all successful decisions about illustrations. I then draw up a small storyboard, and enlarge into individual panels that pinned right around my studio walls in a circle. A picture book's construction is like a movie; the storyboard sheets show the movement and internal structure of the book. Every note and idea about each illustration goes onto these sheets.

3. How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I was a fine art student at the National Art School Wollongong in the late 1970s. A small advertising agency, Creative Ideas, was looking for a student to illustrate part-time; they could not afford to pay a professional. I was deeply offended when the Head of School suggested I might try for it along with a student from the graphic art course. (fine art students look down their noses at graphic art students). But the Head of School tricked me into going, and once I was there I found it very glamorous and wanted the job. I paid my way through art school doing illustration, and ended up working full-time for the same agency after leaving art school. I went on to become a professional Graphic Designer and didn’t illustrate again until I began illustrating for children in 1990 with the NSW Department of Education's 'School Magazine'.

4. Who or what has influenced your work?

I am a professional fine artist and I need money to live. Illustration pays the bills and I like it. This is the major influence on my illustrative work. Creatively, my own childhood influences my illustrative work a lot. I also draw upon obsessions in my painting. I try not to be directly influenced by other peoples work. I admire Arthur Rackham, and the great draftsmanship of the Victorian and traditional children's illustrators of the past. In terms of contemporary illustration, animation is the most exciting genre. Not Walt Disney; but Manga, Anime, Russian, Japanese and experimental animation. I also draw upon inner city graffiti and street art a lot.


5. What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

Mixed water-based media and collage. Not collage cut from magazines, but using my own imagery collaged with found materials.

6. Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

No. I have learnt to override this and work through it. But there are days, and individual jobs I find uninspiring. I try to find something within the text that might spark an idea – an excuse for turning the imagery in a quirky or lateral-thinking way to get me off a boring hook.

7. What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

No money, and the results of not having money. I miss travelling a lot, and not being able to buy the clothes I love. Fashion is my next greatest love to fine art. Also working too long and too often because the office and studio are always there.

8. And the best?

Freedom!! Working in my pyjamas. Rain on the roof, my own music, no "tea-room politics" to deal with, and knowing I'm still working as an artist with my hands in the paint, even when I'm not painting!

9. What are you working on at the moment?

Always a secret.

10. Where can we see more of your work?

Storyopolis Gallery in Studio City LA USA online:
http://www.storyopolis.com/gallery
Select Chapman, Gaye from the Art Gallery/Porfolio/drop box

Marjory Gardener




















What's this illustration for?

It's one of the full page illustrations for a chapter book I've just done for Rigby/Pearson, called "Going for Keeps" by Paul Collins.

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

This was a commissioned job (as most of mine are) so I start by reading the manuscript, taking notes re character descriptions (or the art brief if there is one), and then doing rough drawings on tracing paper. My finished roughs look pretty well finished (other than shading and colour) so the editor and I both know what the finished drawings will look like. I usually work in silence at this stage, then listen to Radio National and talking books for the fun, colouring-in stage.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

I love working in colour (textas then colour pencil), but also love black line. This illustration was done with a black fineliner, then coloured with grey textas.

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

Sometimes I find it really hard to physically draw something (eg vehicles, room interiors, crowd scenes) but it's not "illustrator's block" as such, just frustration borne from the hand not doing what the brain "sees". In that case I'll make a cup of tea or take the dogs for a walk, then come back to it fresh. Without meaning to sound too cynical, there's nothing like the prospect of writing out that invoice when the job's complete, to get the creative juices flowing again!

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Quoting (though I'm getting better at it), cashflow, the fear of running out of work, (and then - occassionally - running out of work!), being disappointed when the print job turns a rainbow into a mudpuddle of colours.

And the best?

Getting paid to do what I love, working my own hours, the thrill of seeing my drawings in print!

~~~~~

Visit The Style File to see more of Marjory's work -

www.thestylefile.com/show.php?illustrator_id=77

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sally Heinrich
















1.. What's this illustration for?


This illustration was done as an entry for the Waterhouse Natural History Art prize - www.thewaterhouse.com.au - an annual competition hosted by the South Australian Museum. Ther winners were announced on August first and it was highly commended. It is about 100x 85cms.


2.. Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?


No problems with inspiration - the problem is finding the time to execute all the ideas I have - never enough hours in each day! In this case I had been a finalist for the last two years with lino prints, and this year decided to use the technique that I have used for illustrating many of my books. In my latest picture book The Most Beautiful Lantern one double page spread had a jungle scene, which led indirectly to a twin commission for the Singapore Zoo and Singapore Night Safari. The large illustration for the Zoo has been used as a mural in the Zoo shop, on buses, bags, cups and many other items of merchandising. When I was thinking about what to do for the Waterhouse this year I decided to do an Australian version of that.


3.. How did you get your start as an illustrator?


I did a Bachelor of Design majoring in illustration at SA Uni, and have been working as a freelance illustrator ever since, although now spend about half my time writing and half illustrating.


4.. Who or what has influenced your work?


Many many influences – so many wonderful illustrators – Wayne Anderson, Maurice Sendak, Ron Brooks particularly when I was starting out. My time traveling and living in India and South-East Asia has been a huge influence on the directions that both my life and work has taken.


5.. What's your favourite media for creating pictures?


This illustration was done using watercolour with graphite pencil over the top. It’s time consuming and drives me crazy at times but I love it. The best bit is when I’m doing the shading and the three dimensional images begin to emerge out of the flat paper – that’s always a bit exciting. I also work with lino prints – I love the process of carving especially, and in pen and ink with watercolour.


6.. Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?


It is always a little difficult starting off a new big project, and I usually spend at least a day procrastinating, but eventually just have to force myself to sit and start drawing. I have big blank sheets of paper in front of me and start of by doodling until my ideas start taking shape. Once I’ve begun, I tend to get quite obsessive, and often have to be physically dragged away from my desk.


7.. What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?


Definitely the irregularity of income – I sometimes fantasize about a weekly pay cheque.


8.. And the best?


Spending my days doing what I love. There are some days when I am so immersed in what I am doing that time seems to simply evaporate – the kids are home from school and I have had no sense of the day passing.


9.. What are you working on at the moment?


The next in a series of information/activity books that I have done for Curriculum Corporation, Key Into India, which is exciting and making me want to go there again, my third novel, and a series of greeting cards – (and a few other things)


10.. Where can we see more of your work?


My website - www.sallyheinrich.com and on the style file.

Katie Stewart













What's this illustration for?

It was the illustration of the last page of ‘The Big Red Bucket’ by Karen Treanor (Quenda Books) which was published in 2006 – my first chance at colour illustrations. The book is one in a series called Scoot, Scoot, Bandicoot – stories about Bounce and Pounce, two baby bandicoots who get into all sorts of mischief. The books raise awareness of bandicoots in the wild.

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

Generally I work with the author and try to achieve what they want. I enjoy being allowed to do whatever I’m inspired to do too, but you have to be flexible. Sometimes, of course, the words just make an illustration ‘appear’ in my head. That’s a good feeling.

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I had my first break when I saw an ad for someone to do illustrations for a series of school maths books. After that I was busy teaching and raising a family and my illustration work got put aside. Then, a few years ago, my local Arts Society heard of someone wanting an illustrator for the books about bandicoots. I’d just had a mini exhibition of pastel drawings, which included one of a numbat, so they suggested me.

Who or what has influenced your work?

I was brought up on Beatrix Potter and learned to draw by copying her pictures, so I suppose she’d be the greatest influence. I’ve always drawn animals, simply because I love them. But I love doing cartoon type illustrations too.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

I’ve always loved pastels, but find them too fiddly for book illustrations, so I use watercolour washes and coloured pencil on paper that I can scan on my own scanner. The results are soft and I like the effect. I also enjoy doing black and white sketches and colouring them on the computer for a much brighter effect, but I’m still learning to do that properly.

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

I wouldn’t call it illustrator’s block, but there are definitely times when I just don’t feel like drawing. If I’m lucky they don’t coincide with an illustrating job with a deadline! I’m trying to break into writing at the moment too, so if I run out of inspiration for one, I just turn to the other. It’s a lovely balance.

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

You can’t make plans as a freelancer. You may get a book, you may not. So I can’t depend on it for income. Fortunately, I have a part-time job as a school library assistant, which I love, and I occasionally sell some of my writing. But it would be nice to get more illustrating work.


And the best?

As a freelancer I can work closer with the writer and be more confident that what I’m doing is what they want. As a writer I know I have very definite ideas about what I think the illustrations for a story I’ve written should be (one day I may even get around to doing them), so it’s good if they’re happy with what they’re getting.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m just about to start work on another of Karen Treanor’s books in the ‘Scoot Scoot Bandicoot Series’.

Where can we see more of your work?

My website – http://www.katiewstewart.com/

Anna Walker





















What's this illustration for?

My first very own children’s book, only put on book shelves this week.

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

I have three young children and only have 1 or 2 days a week to work, so there is no waiting, just hopping into it.

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I trained as a graphic designer and then freelanced as a commercial illustrator for almost 15 years, in editorial, cards and packaging. I have always wanted to illustrate children’s picture books. I think the biggest help was going to a workshop with children’s book writers and illustrators in Sydney (two years ago). With lots of encouragement I sent some of my stories to some publishers and to my delight I am now seeing my illustrations in books.

Who or what has influenced your work?

Olive, Joseph and Sam (my children), illustrators like Delphine Durand, artists like Camilla Engman, Japanese toys, printmaking and sewing.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

Acrylic paint, ink, sometimes collage, and lately conte pencil

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

Not sure about block but before any project I do a lot of research, look at books, collect reference, look at craft blogs, and lots of drawing!

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Its tricky sometimes getting the balance right, not taking on so much that it affects time for the children.

And the best?

Freedom, independence, the joy of drawing and painting, going to the studio in Abbotsford shared with other illustrators and designers and take-away coffee!

What are you working on at the moment?

I am doing illustrations for a beautiful story, "Little Cat and the Big Red Bus" by Jane Godwin (to be released in November by Penguin)

Where can we see more of your work?

www.annawalker.com.au

www.thestylefile.com

www.miggytree.com.au

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tamsin Ainslie

















What's this Illustration for?

This is a section of the illustration for 'Lavender's Blue' included in the 'ABC Book of Lullabies' published Oct 08

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration?

Not really, I generally read the manuscript several times and do heaps of working drawings - very rough, I then develop those into storyboards & roughs and work from there. Ideas happen and develop as I draw. Sometimes I do have a 'flash of inspiration' - but usually it will be for something totally irrelevant to what I am working on at the time - but those pieces of work are often strong and starting points for other projects.

Who or what has influenced my work?

My mother is an artist and my grandmother was an illustrator. I always wanted to be an illustrator from an early age. I was always encouraged to draw everything around me.

I am inspired by many artists, illustrators and designers. Paul Rand, Paul Klee, David Hockney, Lizbeth Zwerger come to mind.

What is your favorite media for creating pictures?

If I have to pick a favorite, I love to draw! with a pencil, I love line. But then I like to create with all sorts - pencil, paint, paper, collage, ink, brushes, wood, old book pages & the computer.

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

I do sometimes find it hard to get going. Occasionally my drawing just doesn't seem to work! I find dropping everything and leaving it for a while the best and work on something completely different, like some printmaking, or go for a swim.

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Not having enough time to do everything (self promotion, book keeping, emailing, the actual work, website maintenance, washing, school run, cleaning, cooking...)

–there just never seems to be enough hours in the day!

Not being able to leave my work sometimes as it is just there all the time, sometimes I think it would be nice to be able to leave work at work...

And the best?

Earning a living doing exactly what I love!

Setting my own hours, being able to spend quality time with the family, working all night if I want to or really early, being able to take a Wednesday off if I wanted and work on a Sunday, swimming mid morning, going to all my daughter's school concerts and talks and assembly's without it being a problem, being able to be with my children when they are on holiday. Being able to work in my paint splattered shirt and a pair of bikini bottoms if I really wanted to... the list goes on!

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I am working on several books including 'Sustainable Baby' written by Debbie Hodgson, for the ABC, 'Little Dog' written by Katrina Germein, for Scholastic, 'Can We lick The Spoon Yet? written by Carol Goess for Working Title Press, and a few other projects including editorial illustration for Notebook magazine and a board game for the Readers Digest.

Where can we see more of your work?

I am represented by Margaret Connelly: http://margaretconnolly.com/

my own website: http://www.ainsliebeard.com.au/

and my illustration blog: http://tamainslie.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shaun Tan


















1. What's this illustration for?


This is an illustration for a very short story (less than a page long), featured in the book 'Tales from Outer Suburbia', one of fifteen such illustrated stories. This one is about a strange rite performed by neighbourhood dogs after the death of an unknown pet, although the illustration actually inspired the story rather than the other way around.

2. Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

It can be either, but usually I can't afford to wait around, I will start researching a subject of interest. I am also in the habit of recording interesting ideas in a sketchbook, when they occur, so I can use them later, when they don't!

3. How did you get your start as an illustrator?

Fairly gradually, working on small, largely non-paying projects. My first illustrations were for small-press semi-professional science fiction magazines with modest circulations. Not many people may have seen the work, but those who did were very interested in it, and many went on to recommend me to larger publishers.

4. Who or what has influenced your work?

That's such an enormous question, it's almost impossible to answer. But in summary, I think growing up in Perth had a big influence - the landscape and solitude of that city; the encouragement of family and friends, and an interest in science fiction and fantasy, mixed with an equal interest in 'fine arts', so I more or less studied at uni to be an art historian or critic. I have an equal interest in 'high art' and 'popular culture', which are more intermixed these days, which is a good thing.

5. What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

Either simple pencil, as in the above image, or oils. Oil painting is slow enough for me, and is quite a forgiving medium, as I tend to change my mind a lot.

6. Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

Yes, frequently: I just go and do some other kind of activity. Either that, or research, and look at how other artists might have solved similar problems.

7. What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Mostly dealing with clients who are difficult, or change their mind, or are part of a committee that does not have great acumen when it comes to visual art. I feel much of my success has been due to careful negotiation, and good communication, when it comes to working with new people. More and more I've worked towards focusing on my own projects so that I can have greater creative control, and be less answerable to others.

8. And the best?

The freedom to do the above, and to work at a level I am happy with, and manage my time effectively. Being a freelancer has also taught me to be more entrepreneurial, to work in many different areas too, not just book illustration or painting.

9. What are you working on at the moment?

A short animated film, an adaptation of my picture book 'The Lost Thing', which is a fascinating process. My role is as a lead designer and director, working with experienced animators.

10. Where can we see more of your work?


On my website, www.shauntan.net , which has plenty of examples of all kinds of painting and illustration projects. I'd also look out for the Pixar film 'WALL.E' which I produced a small amount of design work for.


Cheers!

Shaun tan

Tohby Riddle




















What's this illustration for?

It’s the opening illustration for my new picture book Nobody Owns the Moon (published by Penguin)

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

I can’t always afford to wait – so I have be on the lookout for ideas and solutions. This illustration, however, was sparked by the words that go with it: the opening sentence of the book. What I like about it is that it turned a plainly worded fact about foxes into children’s literature. It provided a character and the beginning of a story. The rest of the book was written after this illustration was conceived.

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

Doing any job I could get – often for university publications. My first book job came about after I wrote a picture book text, because I thought I’d have a better chance of illustrating a picture book if I’d written it too.

Who or what has influenced your work?

I've no doubt the content of my work is a product of who I am and my life experiences and observations - but that might take some unravelling to define accurately (perhaps by a professional!) Otherwise, my work is influenced by many other artforms: film, poetry, prose, painting, architecture and especially music. To me, the lasting feature of an artform is its emotional quality and I like how music achieves this pungently and meaningfully, without having to be too literal or rational – just moving and memorable. Good qualities for art, I think. As for other artists, it's often the thinking behind their art that influences me – by offering fresh approaches to image-making.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

Well, for this book I took a mixed-media approach of "anything goes – if it works". So when constructing a scene, each individual subject in the scene was done in the medium that seemed to suit it (pen, pencil, ink, watercolour, acrylic, stamps, different papers, photographs and more). Then it was all combined as collage, like things seem to be in reality, itself – our environment could be seen as mixed-media.

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

Without meaning to sound like an athlete, I find I need to be in the "zone", to do my best work. A kind of meditative state where I’m just doing – where I’m not thinking too much nor second-guessing my judgement. If I’m not in that state I can struggle and get bogged down or stuck. That’s when physical exercise helps – for me, a long walk – or simply switching my mind to another creative problem as a kind of circuit-breaker.

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Well, potentially freelancers have a good deal of freedom – so the worst things are also the best things – the things you could find yourself craving if you were tied to a job that wasn’t giving you much satisfaction and taking up a lot of your time and energy. These things being the freedom to choose what you will do and when – and being your own boss. But you also have to be your own manager, accounts department, employee, publicist, gofer etc. …

And the best?

The best thing is to reach a stage where you can do your own thing and be financially viable.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a range of things from a YA novel to a series books for the very young, but there’s also an idea mysteriously hovering for a future picture book, which I just can’t quite pin down yet. So I keep pondering this in spare moments.

Where can we see more of your work?

At present the best – and most convenient – place is my website:
www.tohby.com

Peter Carnavas



















What's this illustration for?

This is a page from my picture book, Jessica’s Box, published by New Frontier. It’s the tale of a young girl’s attempts to make friends by impressing other children with material possessions, presented in her cardboard box each day. This particular page is a moment of consolation between father and daughter, after a failed attempt.

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters when I should be doing other things. That thinking time is very important for me, then once I start scribbling in my sketchbook, it doesn’t take too long. I just keep drawing until the pictures start to resemble the pictures in my head.

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

Jessica’s Box is my start. I completed a course with Virginia Lowe’s Create a Kids’ Book, then sent my mock-up to New Frontier and the book was published. I’ve done a few things related to my job as a teacher – murals, cartooning classes. I hope to illustrate on a more permanent basis one day.

Who or what has influenced your work?

I spend a lot of time studying my favourite illustrators, many of them Australian. Favourites include Freya Blackwood, Stephen Michael King, Armin Greder, Greg Rogers, Shaun Tan, Peter H Reynolds, Quentin Blake.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

I like using ink and watercolour, though I’m interested in trying variations on this. Jessica’s Box was illustrated using a black pencil outline and watercolour. I still love using led pencil for a lot of things.

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

I’m rarely stuck. I enjoy it too much. If I begin to stumble, I may refer back to other illustrators’ work to see how they may have overcome a problem, or just walk to the beach.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m finishing off my next picture book, Sarah’s Heavy Heart, also being published by New Frontier. It will be out next April.

Where can we see more of your work?

I have a blog which I have only recently added to after six months of neglect. http://scribblypete.blogspot.com/

Rae Dale











1. What's this illustration for?

A picture book about tap dancing and life's unexpected sting.

2 .Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration-how do you start?

No need to wait the words always get me going and if some thing
needs reference even more fun.

3. How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I have always been a drawer and I went to Swinburne art school
some how things continued on from there.

4. Who or what has influenced your work?

I am not sure who has but I appreciate lots of illustrators and
artists work past and present.

5. What is your favourite media for creating pictures ?

Dip pen and ink , gouache on Arches HP.

6. Do you experience illustrator's block- if so what do you do about it?

No.

7. What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Irregular payments and no work.

8. And the best?

The work is always interesting.

9. What are you working on at the moment?

A picture book I have written.

10. Where can we see more of your work?

On the Australian Society of Authors style file www.asauthors.org and at www.illustratorsaustralia.com and maybe your local/school library.

Peter Allert














What's this illustration for?

This illustration was for a friend of mind who requested I draw her mother’s sixteen-year-old cat that had passed away last year. Capturing the personality of such a close family member certainly put the pressure on. I understand her mother was very please with the result.

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

Sometimes if I have an idea or subject I would like to work on I think about it for a while, forming it slowly in my mind. Then when I’m ready to start I’ll have a good idea of what I want and trying to achieve. Flashes of inspiration can come at this time and ideas can grow as you work on them.

On other occasions if someone has an idea of what they want I’ll try my best to deliver it. I’ll complete some basic layouts first and then start creating. The above illustration started by looking at a series of photos and then choosing the best angle and mood. I don’t think about colour much until I’m in the thick of it.

How did you get your start as an illustrator?


Just started to draw subjects I was interested in when I was young, experimenting with lines and shapes. I got into a lot of trouble at high school for drawing instead of focussing on my work. I left it for a long time and over the last couple of years focussed on building my skills again and a portfolio. I’m very pleased I started again.

Who or what has influenced your work?

There are so many things in this world that have influenced me, nature, people, different ideas about life and especially other artwork. I particularly go to other exhibitions and see what other artists are doing. I also keep up to date with the latest art magazines and book displaying different techniques. Understanding how other artists have approached a particular subject and what they used to create their piece.

If I had to say one person in the last couple of years who has influenced me I would have to say Shaun Tan, a genius on so many levels. If you illustrate, paint, or write, you would not do yourself a disservice by looking up his work.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

A trusty HB and water colour pencils. I’m experimenting with paints at the moment but I like the detail and control of a sharp pencil. I also use quality water colour paper.

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

Yes I do. I wash dishes, iron, sweep the leaves, and generally avoid my workspace. That said, I just start and before I know it I am in the zone and the hours fly by. I don’t know if this works for everyone but I have music playing the background, it tends to keep one part of my brain busy while the other works.

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

The worst thing for me would be not reaching a client’s expectations and at the same time a certain personal quality of work I like to achieve in myself.

And the best?

It challenges me and forces me to do better. Also, the feeling I get when other people are please by my work. Like most artists I want my work to touch people in some way.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m keeping myself busy with some personal projects at the moment but always willing to look at new subjects and ideas.

Where can we see more of your work?


I have recently set up a website www.peterallert.com.au , hope you enjoy.