A showcase of Australian Children's Book Illustrators who have appeared in the Industry Newsletter PASS IT ON
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
What's this illustration for?
This was an experimental personal piece.
Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?
I have learnt that it's better just to start, no matter how you are feeling. If you wait until all the conditions are right, and the planets are aligned, nothing will happen!
How did you get your start as an illustrator?
My report card in Year 8 said that I was no good at art! But then I only really remember doing coil pots. I chose art in year 11 and just started doing portraits and drawings. Then at the end of year 12 I was accepted in to Graphic Design at uni and did that for a year, but realised it wasn't for me and applied to QCA to do Visual Art that year. I did a degree in Visual Art and Queensland College of Art. Later on I studied at Saint Martins College of Art in London, doing short courses in childrens book illustrating and painting, and shortly after was first published in New Woman Magazine as an illustrator.
Who or what has influenced your work?
Many artists. I would say my first major influence was William Dobell. I remember seeing a portrait of his in person, at about the age of 10, of Dame Mary Gilmore, and it was quite powerful. It both scared and fascinated me. I could barely look at it. I work in the area of caricature also, using the same technique as the illustration pictured here, and it has definitely influenced me.
Other influences would be Illustrator Annuals, Art Magazines, 1950s and 60s style, Chuck Close, Frances Bacon, Mark Ryden, Eddie Guy, Eric Carle, Hundertwasser, Ralph Steadman, Richard Lindner, Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Anna Laura Cantone, Shaun Tan, Del Kathryn Barton.
What's your favourite media for creating pictures?
gouache and watercolour collage, and also large scale (2m x 2m) graphite pencil portraits
Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?
I look at illustration and art books for inspiration, and usually it doesnt take long to get going again. Also its good to to have a change of scenery.
What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?
And the best?
Doing something you love.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am starting an online business through Etsy.com, and seeing how my originals will sell online.