Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Naomi Zouwer PIO issue 281 March 2010

What's this illustration for?
I made this illustration for fun; I was experimenting with painting a pencil drawing in Photoshop.
Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?
With this particular illustration I was inspired by a graphic style on a postcard a friend gave me and an old photo of my grandfather (Opa) dressed up as a horse for a pantomime. He had a broken foot at the time - which would have been in the 1930’s when he was a boy in Holland.
How did you get your start as an illustrator?
The first ever job I had as an illustrator was to design a CD cover for a friends band, I was at art school at the time and he thought I would be good at it because my paintings were pretty illustrative. That was in 1995 and since then, I’ve done all sorts of odd jobs like activity books, magazine covers, and brochures, most recently I contributed illustrations to 3 children’s books for National Library of Australia. I feel like I’m just beginning my career as an illustrator now.
Who or what has influenced your work?
I love anything vintage, particularly 50’s graphics. I am inspired by art, I love going to galleries and looking through art books. All sorts of things including objects, images and places influence me.
What's your favourite media for creating pictures?
Pencil is probably my all time favourite media, but I love painting with oils the best. Unfortunately, I don’t have a studio at the moment, just whatever scrap of bench space I can find around the house so oil painting is on hold and watercolours are doing the job for the moment. Painting in Photoshop is also great fun, I started doing this as a background artist for a 2D animated television series a few years ago and I’ve loved playing with it ever since.
Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?
I like to dress my kids up and take photos of them – it’s funny my mum used to do this to me and I didn’t like it one bit – there are a lot of photos of me dressed up as a sewing gypsy or in a kimono with a scowl across my face! The other thing I do is flick through old photos and favourite books, go see an art show or go for a walk.
What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?
The worst thing is not knowing when the next job is going to be. It’s also terrible when I have a good idea or am feeling really inspired and creative and I can’t do anything until the kids are asleep or I have to wait until night time, but by then I’m usually completely knackered.
And the best?
I love dictating my own hours and having my two kids at my ankles, being able to be there for them while they are very little is great.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have quite a few projects going at the moment - four children’s books by two different authors and a graphic novel.
Where can we see more of your work?

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