Thursday, January 15, 2009

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.

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