Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pass It On - Illustration of the Week

PASS IT ON is a weekly, interactive, networking e-zine for children's writers and illustrators and this week there is an interview in it with meeeee!! Thanks to the lovely Jackie Hosking!

Here it is.....
Please describe your chosen illustration

~What medium did you use?
~How long did it take?
~What is it for?

This is an illustration from my (as yet!) unpublished book, “The Garden of Moon”. The illustrations are created using scanned images including flowers, leaves, and grasses I collected during a year long stay in a seaside village in Northern Spain. They are re-coloured and collaged in Photoshop to create my imaginary world in the sky. This book has been a project a long time in the making but once I have the idea and picture in head it takes me about a week to create each one.

When did you know you had a talent for illustration?

~How old were you?
~How did you know? Did someone encourage you?

I remember trying to copy the Flintstone characters when I was quite young but I didn’t take up art until I was in Year 11. My art teacher was very encouraging but I don’t think I really believed her! I learnt fashion illustration and later studied graphic design and animation. It wasn’t until I won the Graphic Novels and Illustrated Picture Books Category at the CYA Conference in 2010 and I saw my illustrations on display with other illustrators that I felt like I could call myself an illustrator.

Have you ever studied your craft at an institution of any sort? Which institution?

I studied Fashion Design at Canberra Institute of Technology where I learned about colour and texture then later I studied Electronic Design and Interactivity at RMIT where I majored in Animation. A picture storybook is just like an animated film where character’s move and stories grow and change and come to life before your very eyes.

~How long was the course?
Fashion Design was three years and EDIM was two.

~How affordable was the course?
It was TAFE and I got support from Centrelink so it was very affordable.

~Would you recommend it to upcoming artists/illustrators?
I didn’t travel any logical road to becoming an illustrator but I think both courses and my life experiences have shaped me into the artist I am today.

~Do you run courses or workshops yourself?
I manage an indigenous art centre in remote Western Australia where I foster artists both young and old.  I run a children’s program where children are encouraged to be mentored by their mother’s and grandmother’s.

What computer programmes do you use?
 ~Can you recommend any?

My favourite program is Photoshop but really even better than any program is my scanner. I have friends who take to their computer like an obsessed cult fan but I try to never forget that my computer is only a tool. My scanner allows me to put the real me into my illustrations. It keeps them rough and unpolished and as a result my scanner is very scratched and dirty but we’ll be friends till it dies.

Have you illustrated any books?

I have written and illustrated two unpublished children’s book that both won prizes at the CYA Conference. I also have made several handmade books. I would love to partner with a writer and illustrate other people’s stories. Collaborating is a huge part of learning and working with other people makes you strive to be better at what you do.

Who is your favourite Australian children’s book illustrator and why?

Chris McKimmie is a writer and illustrator whose books are surprising and unexplained. His characters often faced with difficult battles (floods, separation, being different) but are brave and adventurous. He writes like a kid and his illustrations are scratchy and raw with added additions from family members. When I am reading books to my five year old he often says, “But they forgot to draw …..” So I tell him he should draw it and we can add his page into the book. When I see these little kids illustrations in Chris Mckimmie’s books I imagine he has had the same conversation with his kids or grandchildren. His books are inspiring and make me feel like anything is possible!

What’s your website or blog address (if you have one)?

Would you like to tell us anything else about yourself and/or your work?

I learnt to stilt-walk when I was fifteen even though I am afraid of heights. I learnt violin from a tiny little nun who scared me to death but taught me how important practicing your craft is and my five year old Jonah can outdraw me any day!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Illustration Friday - Myth

Narcissus (mythology) 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Narcissus or Narkissos (Greek: Νάρκισσος), possibly derived from  meaning "sleep, numbness," in Greek mythology was a hunter from the territory of Thespiae in Boeotia who was renowned for his beauty. He was the son of a river god named Cephissus and a nymph named Liriope.He was exceptionally proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis saw this and attracted Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus died. Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself.

NB....Beginning to get frustrated by the limitations of scanning. Never seems to scan exactly like the original. Beginning to think photographing work is a better idea. Any tips...anyone??

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Illustration Friday - Ocean

A weekend in Adelaide, spanning time in the easy comfort of old friends. Children never forget and so when on Saturday when Jonah realised we were going to my friend Robyn's house, he insisted we have a repeat game of Picture Tag. (see: The Spanish Indian Jungle).

By Jonah (age 5), his mum (me!) and her great friend Robyn Finlay.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Illustration Friday - (On) Edge

A new year has begun slowly and with uncertainty. To say I'm feeling a little "on edge" would be putting it mildly. I feel strange talking about this here but as you've all been so lovely I feel I need to tell you the end of the story that drifted into my IF submission a few months ago. On the 22nd December as my dad, my sister Tara and I held her close, my beautiful mum died peacefully. She had battled for six years with lymphoma. She was strong and fearless and even though I am missing her like crazy I know she had battled enough and is now at peace. We have spent three months living in my parents house with my sister, my dad and my family. Today is the day we edge our way into the real world, beyond the comfort of being so close in grieve and love. I'm not sure I'm ready but I know she's out there somewhere watching over me.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

International Book Giving Day

Doing my bit for International Book Giving Day by designing a couple of bookplates.
Check out their website to see how you can help celebrate too!

Bookplates are available at their zazzle website