- What's this illustration for?
This illustration is for a book called Mbobo Tree, written by Glenda Millard and published by Scholastic.
It is about a tree that gives life to its village and a little girl who is found swinging from its branches in a sling made from mattress ticking.
Tiranamba, as she is called never speaks a word until one day the tree is threatened, she finds her voice and her bravery saves the village.
This illustration shows Tiranamba dancing with the villagers who were not troubled by her silence, but believed she would speak when she had something important to say.
- Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?
I start a book by finding a quiet space and reading the text, taking note of the immediate images that spring to mind. They are usually the best ones.
- How did you get your start as an illustrator?
My first illustration job was making handmade cards for a local gallery when I was in high school. While I was at art school, I illustrated a series of cards for a commercial card company and worked for a publisher in Queensland.
- Who or what has influenced your work?
I have enjoyed reading fabulous children's books like Alice in Wonderland, the Magic Faraway Tree and all the A.A. Milne stories and admired great artists like Daumier, Mucha and Rockwell.
Listening to great music, reading image-making stories and just being out amongst it all influences my work.
- What's your favourite media for creating pictures?
I mainly use water colour.
- Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?
Sometimes an idea isn't ready to come straight away, so I move on to another part of the project where ideas have already formed.
- What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?
The unpredictability of the workload.
- And the best?
Drawing and painting for a living.
- Where can we see more of your work?
On my website: www.anniewhite.com