Friday, February 3, 2012

Heath McKenzie PIO issue 267 Nov 2009

What's this illustration for?

An ABC of Pirates - quite a big job with much experimentation and fine tuning to be done! It was quite a journey getting it completed, but I'm very happy with the results.  

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

With projects such as this - some ideas pop straight into your head, others need to be dragged out and can continue to change shape right through to the colouring stage! I start wherever I need too! Sometimes it's sketching characters and getting their look down, otherwise it's just jumping in and scribbling things out until something that feels right appears!  

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I met illustrator Ann James at a Uni lecture, she mentioned her gallery Books Illustrated and the folio appraisals that can be booked there. From there it was down to compiling a folio and knocking on doors to show my wares!  

Who or what has influenced your work?

Jamie Hewlett, Lauren Child, Animation concept art, many many movies, lots of music and my life to date!
What's your favourite media for creating pictures?

Computer - all freehand on drawing tablet, but computer nevertheless!  

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

Quite often! Sometimes I try and battle it out which often results in me roaming aimlessly online, staring into space or pacing about the house getting generally frustrated! Sometimes it's best to just do anything else and come back a little later!  

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?

Learning the many things no one tells you! All sorts of mysterious things about payment schemes, royalties, rates and conditions, various bits of technical slang about file types and sizes - and more!  

And the best?

The bit where it's pretty much just you, sitting at home (in my case) able to draw away happily!  

What are you working on at the moment?

Pausing for breath after the Pirate adventure just completed, advertising logos, book covers and chapter book illustrations are all waiting in the meantime to be attended to.
Where can we see more of your work?

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