Thursday, January 15, 2009

Clara Smith

What is this illustration for?

This illustration was for Illustration Friday "Pretend". The little girl in the diving helmet is Lula, a reoccurring character in lots of my paintings. She's very cheeky.

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

No but everything comes out a lot easier when there is a flash. Gotta love the flash! Otherwise there is loads of doodling time. My kitchen bench is constantly covered with scraps of paper with little drawings on them.

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I started out with theatrical design making renderings for costumes. I have been painting professionally for ten years but most of that was gallery work in the USA. The "illustrator" hat is a new one for me. I have started on some freelance websites and have mostly done more commercial illustrations so far.

Who or what has influenced your work?

Otto Dix is by far my very favorite painter, ever. I tend to like to darker cartoonists/illustrators like Roman Dirge, Gris Grimly and Charles Addams.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

I like to use lots of different media. I most frequently use watercolor but also use a lot of collage. I love the different textures and patterns that can be achieved with collage. I have tried to learn more techniques on the computer but alas, I am a bit technically challenged at times. I find it much less frustrating to do things the old fashion way by getting my finger dirty.

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

I wouldn't say "block" but occasional frustration when I am having trouble getting exactly what I see in my head to appear on the paper. That is where the obsessive doodling comes in.

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Figuring out the yucky money side of it all. How much am I worth? Am I asking too much? Too little? I am no financier for sure but I love everything else about freelancing. Except maybe the mess I make in my house.

And the best?

Working in my pajamas and being able to take a break to make cupcakes. Yay pajamas and cupcakes!

What are you working on at the moment?

Cupcakes, oh wait no...a children's book.

Where can we see more of your work?

My blog

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