ADC’s Illustration Month has been a big success, showcasing our highly talented ADC Members and their work to the world. Who knew that we had so many phenomenal illustrators within our ranks? While graphic designers and advertising creatives usually get the most fanfare in our circles, it’s been an absolute pleasure to share this group of artists with you all — so much so that we don’t think we will be able to contain everyone in just one month. Stay tuned for even more illustrators to be featured in February!
Our next ADC Member to be featured is a Brooklyn-based artist who is about to make the plunge into authoring and illustrating her own children’s books.
Just about every kid can draw, but not every kid is particularly gifted at it. Where did your childhood artistic inclinations come from?
When I was three years old I announced to my parents that I was going to be an artist when I grew up – and now I am! My parents have always been very supportive of my art. They would let me decorate the house walls with my art and would take me to weekly Saturday art classes for many years.
When did you discover that “Hey, this could actually be a career”?
In high school I really realized that everything is designed by someone and they make a living doing it! As I continued to explore job opportunities in college I realized how many different opportunities there are from game design to publishing to greeting cards to scientific illustration and so much more.
How would you best describe your style? Do you fight against having a particular style, or do you embrace your style as your “brand”?
My style is very kid-oriented. I would describe it as colorful, with graphic shapes, vibrant, and cartoony. I embrace my style as my brand and hope it makes people smile when they see it.
“I embrace my style as my brand and hope it makes people smile when they see it.”
Walk us through your usual creative process.
I usually start with a very small pencil sketch (about the size of a business card or smaller) so I can focus on the composition. I do quite a few of these for each piece I’m about to start, about three to five. Then I scan the sketch and take it into Photoshop. After that I work in Photoshop until I’m complete. I work on the major shapes first, then add details, and finally add texture at the end.
Tools of the trade: do you have any specific pens, pencils or other instruments that you swear by?
I couldn’t do my work without my Cintiq monitor. It allows me to work very quickly and in a more precise manner.
What is the most challenging thing about a career in illustration?
I would say the isolation of being an illustrator can be tough, but that’s one reason why I joined ADC. It’s been great to meet and connect with like minded individuals in person as well as online.
“…the isolation of being an illustrator can be tough, but that’s one reason why I joined ADC. “
Is there a particular project of yours of which you’re especially proud?
My first picture book “Lorenzo, the Pizza-Loving Lobster”. I’m so proud of it because I wrote and illustrated it and I represented myself when I was negotiating the book deal. The book releases in May and I can’t wait to see it in bookstores!
Cocktail party talk: how do you describe what you do to someone who isn’t in a creative field, and what’s the typical response you get from them?
I usually say that I’m a children’s picture author and illustrator as well as an illustrator for other projects and media. The typical response I get is “Really?! You get paid to write and illustrate picture books? I wish I could do that!”
Where do you most often seek out creative inspiration?
I love visiting the museums in New York City. The Met is wonderful and I always find a wing that I have never seen every time I visit. I also find inspiration in the Natural History Museum as well as the zoos. Being in nature inspires me and I think about many projects when I go running.
Which professional illustrators do you look up to and why?
Ruth Chan‘s work is so full of life and cartoony. It always makes me smile. Cale Atkinson‘s heartwarming illustrations are for kids and kids at heart. Andrew Kolb is fun and graphic, and a bit retro too. I love Rob Biddulph‘s use of color and composition! I like how Stephanie Fizer Coleman creates lovely illustration and images for licensing as well.
At the end of the day, what do you love most about being an illustrator?
I love being able to be creative and express my ideas with others. It is so rewarding to see positive responses from others seeing my work.
Illustration Month continues throughout January, and is open exclusively to ADC Members. Not yet a Member? Join today!