A showcase of Australian Children's Book Illustrators who have appeared in the Industry Newsletter PASS IT ON
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
What's this illustration for?
This is the opening illustration for a children’s book entitled '‘Surprise!” published by Miscellaneous Press. It was a lot of fun to illustrate, but I can’t tell you much about it or it would ruin the surprise!
Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?
Often images spark in my head as I’m reading a text for the first time, and I find those to be the most potent, but mostly I just start. Start sketching, start researching, start something, and some sort of idea will usually come to the forefront.
How did you get your start as an illustrator?
Even though I’ve been painting all my life, I only really got into illustration about 4 years ago. I got a folio together and took it around to publishers, then waited for the phone to ring. Luckily, it did. I started out doing educational work and still do some of that, but am moving more into the trade market (very) slowly but surely.
Who or what has influenced your work?
I love looking at artist blogs and am heavily influenced by my peers. What I am drawn to seems to change often but I think parts of each seep gently into my own work. Current favourites are Anna Walker, Amandine Piu, Natascha Rosenberg. I think also having lived in a few different countries and an obsession for travel is a big influence too.
What's your favourite media for creating pictures?
At the moment I use watercolours and collage of different papers – japanese patterns or old books mostly, I love the different textured effects. I sometimes throw in some acrylics and ink for good measure too.
Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?
Not so much (she says knocking on wooden desk) - I tend to do a lot of sketching first to come up with at least one decent idea, and if I’m really stuck I will ask someone else’s opinion (I am lucky enough to have a critique group, and a husband) and usually another perspective will send me on my way again.
What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?
Doing your taxes. And the isolating nature of working from home. At times I can go a bit stir crazy!
And the best?
You can choose your own hours, do things like grocery shopping during the day when everyone else is at work, and the commute from bed to studio is very easy. Being able to pick and choose your projects is great too.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a four book series for Five Mile Press which is all about being healthy, due out later this year.