What's this illustration for?
It’s for my recent picture book, Journey of the Sea Turtle, Hachette Australia.
2. Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?
I have so many stories in my head! At the moment, I am obsessed with trying to save Sea Turtles and will be for a long time.. All six species are endangered thanks to plastic bags and coastal developments, amongst other things. I have been painting and drawing them for ages. Then I wrote the story around the paintings.
3. How did you get your start as an illustrator?
Very good Luck! I had a weird collection of surrealistic drawings and applied for an illustrator’s job on Pursuit Magazine in Melbourne. Voila! I got it!
4. Who or what has influenced your work?
The Australian Impressionists mainly. I particularly love Frerderick McCubbin and Arthur Streeton’s later paintings. I am also inspired by the French Impressionist Monet, and Australian Illustrators Robert Ingpen and Shaun Tan. You can tell I’m a bit of a melting pot!
5. What's your favourite media for creating pictures?
I use mainly acrylic paint and/or grey lead pencil on canvas. But I use anything that’s lying around, from house paint to blackboard chalk. I hardly ever use a paint brush, except when I’m painting eyes (they’re hard to do). Fingers, sticks, rag and sponges do the trick just as well. The more fun the better!
6. Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?
Yes. I go for a walk on the beach and/or a cappuccino, preferably both. If that fails, I play my drums flat out to Jimi Hendrix or Pearl Jam’s live CD! Great feeling.
7. What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?
It’s either no work at all, or it’s everything at once. Either way, it’s cool.
8. And the best?
Going for a walk on the beach whenever I want to, or having a cappuccino at Karingal mall. School visits are a great buzz too!
10. What are you working on at the moment?
Finishing off a picture book called Angel of Kokoda, about a little boy in Papua New Guinea. That’s for Hachette Australia, and Stranded, a picture book for Black Dog Books. It’s a true story about the rescue of stranded whales on the coast of Western Australia. It will come out in June, we hope.
11. Where can we see more of your work?
On my website at www.marklwilson.com.au or in all the good and great bookshops across the land (if my publishers are doing their jobs!).