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