Why I Write (Draw)

I don’t read a huge amount of blogs, but the ones I do, I love. So I was honoured to be asked by Bridie (who inspires me so much with tales and life words from a lovely family) from Miss and Misters to join a “Blog Hop” – answering the same questions, and passing onto other bloggers. So here I am, answering why I write, or in my case draw. Thanks Bridie!

What Am I Working On?

At the moment my day (of work, which I have two of a week, plus every nap my baby has) is filled with the following work:

  • Portraits, which have sort of become my “bread and butter”, that I sell on Etsy
  • Creating the online magazine for Illustrators Australia (Outline)
  • Creating characters or portraits for people’s businesses/logo design etc
  • Book projects, I’m currently working on two board books for babies, one educational book and one picture book… my dream work (as mentioned in an earlier post!) and hopefully this area will continue to grow, and…
  • Card designs, which I sell through a company
  • And sometimes, fun/play stuff, which sometimes I turn into prints or cards for markets etc, or stuff for the 52 Week Challenge.
This week's challenge is on DOTS

This week’s challenge is on DOTS

So I can’t say it is one thing, rather a medley of bits and pieces threaded together through mainly something to do with drawing. The days are flat out – work work and (play) in a frantic, yet satisfying sort of hazy blend. I do love it. Very much.

How Does My Writing (drawing) Differ From Others In My Genre?

Well this must be one of the harder questions, because developing your own style and footprint on your artwork is a tricky delicate thing. I’ve spent a long time trying to refine my style, learn from artists that inspire me, watch what is going on with kids books, but also keep a style that works for kids books and my own taste. I’m not sure if I’m there yet. I look at what I created a few years ago and know I’m closer. When I loose faith I think of the awesome Ira Glass words that keep me going…

You just gotta keep making, and then one day it will be distinctly yours methinks. Maybe you don’t even know when you’ve arrived.

Why Do I Write (draw) What I Do?

I find my imagination has always been sparked by kids books, and illustrations are really like little stories. So really, I just like playing with ideas and critters, creating work that makes me feel something sparky, and maybe sometimes others do too. These range from cats and dogs floating in space, to thinking about how much I love my kid, to just playing with art mediums and seeing what turns out.

Now that this world is turning into my job, I’m also trying to make the right choices in what I am drawing – along with playing, I’m thinking “what can be turned into a birthday card?” “could this bird become a character in the book?” etc. Because time is precious, I work fast and explosively, so the studio is a bomb site of projects and sometimes I’ll lift something off the ground and glue it onto another thing and see what turns out. Like this to this:

The lovely Tania McCartney shared a full break down of using the above contraption here if you’d like to have a detailed look.

How Does My Writing (drawing) Process Work?

As mentioned above, time is a rare and precious commodity, so it’s really straight into it on my two full days of work a week. I’m really lucky that we have a little studio space separate the house, and I can knuckle down and turn on the radio and start (emailing, drawing, printing etc). I jump around from project to project in little chunks of time so I get something done for all my work bits and pieces each day, and don’t get lazy or zapped by any of them. My breaks are things like vacuuming. Exciting times! But at the end of the day, when I used to work at a desk in publishing, I’d feel wiped out and exhausted – now I feel excited and satisfied (most of the time).

Sharing the Love

Now remember how I said I don’t read a lot of blogs? I searched around for people to ask, and I’m afraid rather than the three people I was meant to ask, currently I just have one – my dear pal Kerry Belviso, but I think her post is going to be amazing, so hopefully that makes up for me. Kerry is an amazing Kinesiologist who works with people to meet their full potential – she’s a lovely lady too. I may have a couple more to add later this week 🙂

Thanks very much to Bridie for asking me to be a part of this.

Illustrator Inspiration

Part of my work is creating the Illustrators Australia quarterly magazine Outline, and my is it a fun one. I get to choose a topic and interview inspiring members and industry representatives about their work, and learn so much in the process.

You can now read these interviews (not the full magazine) via IA’s website here. It’s a great free resource for illustrators and well worth a look (I may be biased about this).

One example artist is below, the wonderful work of Belinda Marshall.

with distance a4

Illustrators Australia Exhibition

Next Friday, Illustrators Australia will be hosting their annual 9 x 5 exhibition in Abbotsford – all members get sent a piece of wood to paint on, and some are just plain outstanding – check out Sonia Kretschmar for instance! Details are on the flyer below, and my little scrappy one is on the right :). You can also bid on them here.fluorish

Illustrators Australia A3 Show

As part of the excellent Illustrators Australia group, I’m part of the A3 show currently showing in Northcote, Victoria. There is some great art there at very good prices – if you are looking for an A3 artwork – originals or prints – for your wall, get on down! My entry, and show poster above.