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:

my own website:

and my illustration blog:

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