Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Marjory Gardner

What's this illustration for?

It's one of the full page illustrations for a chapter book I've just done for Rigby/Pearson, called "Going for Keeps" by Paul Collins.

Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?

This was a commissioned job (as most of mine are) so I start by reading the manuscript, taking notes re character descriptions (or the art brief if there is one), and then doing rough drawings on tracing paper. My finished roughs look pretty well finished (other than shading and colour) so the editor and I both know what the finished drawings will look like. I usually work in silence at this stage, then listen to Radio National and talking books for the fun, colouring-in stage.

What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

I love working in colour (textas then colour pencil), but also love black line. This illustration was done with a black fineliner, then coloured with grey textas.

Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?

Sometimes I find it really hard to physically draw something (eg vehicles, room interiors, crowd scenes) but it's not "illustrator's block" as such, just frustration borne from the hand not doing what the brain "sees". In that case I'll make a cup of tea or take the dogs for a walk, then come back to it fresh. Without meaning to sound too cynical, there's nothing like the prospect of writing out that invoice when the job's complete, to get the creative juices flowing again!

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Quoting (though I'm getting better at it), cashflow, the fear of running out of work, (and then - occassionally - running out of work!), being disappointed when the print job turns a rainbow into a mudpuddle of colours.

And the best?

Getting paid to do what I love, working my own hours, the thrill of seeing my drawings in print!

Visit The Style File to see more of Marjory's work - or her website

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