Sunday, 23 November 2008

Illustrator of the Week No. 14: Samantha Hahn + Interview

Recently stumbled upon some lovely work by Brooklynite Samantha Hahn, who produces some lovely illustrations for the likes of Glamour Magazine and Hallmark as well as some great pattern designs, more of which can be seen on her site here. Samantha has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about her work, following on from Maral Sassouni's insight into her artwork last month.

1 How did you get started in illustration?
I was born into it! My mom was an illustrator. I got to use her old drawing table. I've always loved to draw and paint. In high school I did school concert playbills and illustrations for the school newspaper, my band flyers, and lots of notebook doodles during math class. It was inevitable that I'd go to to study illustration in college and earn my B.F.A. Then I went for an M.A in art education and became an art teacher. For years after college I did oil paintings but found that arduous and unfulfilling. So I came back to illustration within the last couple of years and have joined a wonderful community of bloggers and artists through posting about my work and inspirations on Maquette.

2 What are your inspirations?
I have so many: Nature, love, lust, beauty, youth, fear, the color peach....

3 What materials do you use in your work?

My favorite materials are simply micron pens. I also love doc Martin concentrated inks. It's been a while but oil paint can be so luscious too. I'm a fast worker and love immediacy so I'm mostly drawns to pens these days.

4 What is your favourite personal project to date?
To me whether I'm doing a personal or commercial project creating the work is catharsis. I think people think a big difference between illustration and "fine art" is that illustrators are portraying someone else's idea but I believe that anything an artist creates with their hand is emotional and representative of their perspective or feelings. I don't care if I'm drawing a pretty face, or the inside of my soul, the process is what excites me. So to make a long answer more concise, I love drawing in my sketchbook. Sometimes I think it's important to have work that I don't seek to share. As an illustrator and blogger I often share every mark I make. My work gets published and I post it on my blog so the work in my sketchbook does not have to fulfill any goal other than my personal need to put a mark on the paper.

5 What other illustrators and artists' work do you admire?
I love:

John Singer Sargent (see above)...oh there are so many...

- Thanks, Samantha!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Amazing Book Models!

Check these out! Models cut out of book covers! More here.


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Noah's Ark!

I don't often post anything I have designed but I made this Noah's Ark picture at work recently, using our Scrapbook Artist program, it was so much fun to make!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Illustrator of the Week No 13: Matte Stephens

I found Matte Stephens' work after seeing a Sneak Peak of his home on Design Sponge. I just love these cat prints, available in his Etsy shop here. Matte's work has a lovely vintage style that harks back to the 50s and 60s that reminds me of the "This is..." Series by Miroslav Sasek (This is New York book cover shown, bottom.)


Monday, 10 November 2008

Book Swapping!

Have just joined a site called Read It Swap It, a place where you can list the books you've read and then swap them for free with other users. It's quite fun and I have had my first request for a swap! A great way to recycle your old books whilst also having chance to try new ones for nothing. Will post my first swap book tomorrow. I will miss the lovely Penguin cover mind you..

Sunday, 9 November 2008

New Penguin Book Designs!

Over on Design Sponge Grace posted pictures of these new pattern-inspired book covers for Penguin Classics. They are designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, and you can buy them here from Waterstones. I want the whole set!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

IllustrationMundo: Nate Williams' Illustration Portal

My recent interview with Maral Sassouni was featured today on the brilliant IllustrationMundo blog, run by illustrator Nate Williams, whose work I have admired for a while, so just wanted to say thanks to both for that!

Originally from the US, but now residing in Argentina, Nate's work has been used by a wide variety of clients including Urban Outfitters (cushion shown below), Converse, Dell, Microsoft and the New York Times.


Saturday, 1 November 2008

Maral Sassouni Interview - PART 4 - Advice for budding Illustrators

In our final part of this week's illustrator interview, Maral Sassouni gives some brilliant advice for illustrators starting out in their career.


Be Prolific
This gives you the freedom to take risks, stretch, experiment. Even in a really rubbish screw-up piece, you can invariably find the seeds of something which you can try in the next piece.

Keep a notebook (carry it around with you whenever possible). Draw in it every day -- or at least jot down your ideas. See what your own recurring images are, what occurs to you in series, what you are drawn to...Then -- mix and match!

Follow your curiosity -- go all the way with it.
(Dorothy Parker said, "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.")(incurable!)

According to an old Armenian saying, "If you chase two rabbits, you catch neither."

Read a lot -- this causes pictures to be in your head, which you then pull out as needed. Draw inspiration and comfort from the written word, and then contribute to that conversation with your won.
(Quote from Daniel Pennac: "Le temps de lire, comme le temps d'aimer, dilate le temps de vivre.")

Walk a lot
This is good for your body, good for your mind... you'll see things. And meet someone! You never know...

Pay attention.

When in doubt, say yes.

- Thanks so much Maral!
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