This is an illustration I’ve completed for a Dutch magazine illustrating the connection between religion and emotional well being. As I quite often do, I’ve linked detailed pencil work (and watercolour) with a block of colour for punch and drama. This time, I’ve added the block colour with acrylic but I often will add it afterwards digitally.
While I love intricate work, with the need to keep costs down as I am paid by the hour, I need to have an illustrative style that is appealing to art directors on tight deadlines!
I’ve shown examples of my work on this site but haven’t really gone into the things that make me love my job. So here are a few things about my style and my strengths, in no particular order:
1. Portraiture. We humans are amazing creatures and our ability to read other faces and distinguish expressions is so precise that in portraiture, there is no room for error. When you’ve been commissioned to draw an illustration of a celebrity or politician, it has to be exact. And I can do that. However, a slick car or something equally inorganic can be a challenge too but in a very different way.
2. Realism. Yes, I include splashes and stripes of colour into my work to create my art and give it my style but my precise work is usually the backbone of my pieces. There’s no point just copying, you have to add something of yourself too.
3. Other people. It’s a bit of a pity that I have two big likes work wise and they don’t gel together easily. I love illustration and I love interacting with people. It means that when I do meet people, I am able to get on well with them and work together.
4. My skin is thicker than a rhino’s. You wouldn’t do this job if you were a snowflake.
5. The state of deep mental absorption I get when I’m working. I’ve had other jobs in my life where I have sat at my desk watching the clock and waiting. And waiting. And waiting. One of my favourite things about illustration is the quietness that takes over and before you know it, your fingers are hurting and you’ve forgotten to blink for half an hour and there is someone on the page in front of you that you made.
6. Deadlines. I’ve never missed a deadline. I’m the person who will turn up for a train two hours early, just in case. I’d rather get things in early rather than leave to the last minute, and that has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.
7. I like making stuff. That pride a child gets when they hold something up and shout, ‘I made this!’. Well, I still get that feeling every time.
I saw on Illustration Friday this week that the theme is shoes and I excitedly uploaded this one as it is one of my favourite images. However, it’s not one of my most popular ones, but then the ones I like are rarely loved by anyone else. If only, these two opinions would match!