What's this illustration for?
Three people who spent time at Fabrica (the United Colors of Benetton's communication research centre) based in Treviso, Italy, came back to Australia and were inspired to start http://australiaproject.com. Each participant was asked to make a visual statement about the Australian culture. I wrote this text to accompany the image;
The size of new Australian houses is four times bigger than those in Europe. There is a waiting list for locally built V8 cars. Australian children are among the most obese in the world. Meanwhile the effects of rampant consumption are starting to manifest in global warming and unstable weather patterns. The question has to be asked; when will we start moderating our consumptive cultural tendencies?
Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?
Well, nearly all of my work is for editorial publishing, so there is a text to work from in most cases. Some times there is a brief synopsis of the article if it is still being written. The intro and conclusions are the best place to start; they usually have the essence of the story in there somewhere. Writers use metaphors liberally so theses are always worth considering for a visual interpretation.
How did you get your start as an illustrator?
I realised at an early age that this is what I do. I studied in New Zealand at a very intensive course, and have freelanced almost from the time of graduation.
Who or what has influenced your work?
Influences change over time. At present I am loving the strong colours and simple but beautifully designed images of 30s and 40s advertising posters.
What's your favourite media for creating pictures?
After years struggling with an airbrush I now have grown to love Photoshop. I always do preparatory drawings and scan them as a template. The computer is the rendering tool and all the design and planning is pencil on paper.
Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?
It's more I have days when I just can't draw. I ride to the beach and back. Then I re read the words and see what happens.
What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?
Can't think of anything.
And the best?
Being able to say no to some jobs. Being able to steer your career to some extent. Being able to ride to the beach if you can't draw that day. Being the master of your own destiny. being able to draw pictures for a living, and lets face it that can usually only happen as a freelancer.
What are you working on at the moment?
Small filler illos for readers Digest, an ongoing commission. A full page illo for the Federal reserve bank magazine in the US. On going work for Screen Australia. A cover for the NSW Law Journal. A children's book.
Where can we see more of your work?
http://www.nigelbuchanan.com/ There is a blog which I try to keep up to date there too.