A showcase of Australian Children's Book Illustrators who have appeared in the Industry Newsletter PASS IT ON
Monday, July 20, 2009
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?
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.