When I illustrate a cover or a book, I draw upon what the author tells me; that's how I see my responsibility as an illustrator. J.K. Rowling is very descriptive in her writing "" she gives an illustrator a lot to work with. Each story is packed full of rich visual descriptions of the atmosphere, the mood, the setting, and all the different creatures and people. She makes it easy for me. The images just develop as I sketch and retrace until it feels right and matches her vision.
My real background was in art studies. At the beginning I was a painter, then I was this graphic designer, then I became an illustrator, then I was a comic artist. But for me it's a different way of expression, a different field of art. They're not separated; everything for me is related.
When you start writing a picture book, you have to write a manuscript that has enough language to prompt the illustrator to get his or her gears running, but then you end up having to cut it out because you don't want any of the language to be redundant to the pictures that are being drawn.
An illustrator in my own mind - and this is not a truth of any kind - is someone who so falls in love with writing that he wishes he had written it, and the closest he can get to is illustrating it. And the next thing you learn, you have to find something unique in this book, which perhaps even the author was not entirely aware of. And that's what you hold on to, and that's what you add to the pictures: a whole Other Story that you believe in, that you think is there.
I love the process of cutting everything out with a scalpel yourself: I don't want to have my stencils drawn up in Illustrator, then laser-cut. I like the fact that it's slightly wrong; I think it gives it a beauty. The individual and handmade will always be worth more than what a computer can do, at least until computers can learn how to make mistakes.
I was going to go to a four-year college and be an anthropologist or to an art school and be an illustrator when a friend convinced me to learn photography at the University of Southern California. Little did I know it was a school that taught you how to make movies! It had never occurred to me that I'd ever have any interest in filmmaking.
I did not have the dreams that the other artists working with me had, of 'moving uptown,' becoming an illustrator or a gallery painter, or those others who said, 'I'm going to go uptown and be a writer, I'm going to work for The New Yorker one day and escape this ghetto.' For me, there was no escape.
For me, the perfect film has no dialogue at all. It's purely a visual, emotional, visceral kind of experience. And I think one can create wonderful depth and meaning and communication without using words. I started out as an illustrator and a cartoonist and caricature artist, so for me the visual is primary.
I used to sit in the studio with a copy of the (Saturday Evening) Post laid across my knees ... And then I'd conjure up a picture of myself as a famous illustrator and gloat over it, putting myself in various happy situations, surrounded by admiring females, deferred to by office flunkies at the magazines, wined and dined by the editor...
God is a great illustrator especially when I look at the humankind; different races, different genders, different heights, different weights and different shapes.His illustrations are simply breath taking, full of details and very inspiring. His creativity is beyond great and He's a mighty God.
Artists are not helper monkeys; they're not in it to visualize 'your' story, because it stopped being 'your' story the moment you engaged in a collaborative medium. From here on in, it's also the artist's story, and if you're working with an illustrator who's any good at all, you as a writer have to tamp down any control-freak tendencies you suffer under and relax into the process.
I am an author-illustrator of children's books - and yet - I must confess I don't do the books for the kids. When I'm working on a book I'm somewhere else - at the circus - or a rustic old farm - or deep in a forest - with no thought of who might read the book or what age group it would appeal to. I write them so I can illustrate them.
I knew that I wanted to be an illustrator since I was in kindergarten. I can remember the exact day. The art teacher usually came to our classroom once a week, but she was absent that day. Instead, our regular teacher gave us each a huge piece of paper and crayons, and we could do whatever we wanted.
What interests me in all these papers is not Susan Burling Ward, the novelist and illustrator, and not Oliver Ward the engineer, and not the West they spend their lives in. What really interests me is how two such unlike particles clung together, and under what strains, rolling downhill into their future until they reached the angle of repose where I knew them. That's where the interest is. That's where the meaning will be if I find any.
The experienced illustrator subscribes to the principle of the application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. Should inspiration whisk down your chimney, be at your table. The first ten thousand drawings are the hardest. Put another way, you have ten thousand bad drawings within and should expel them as quickly as possible.
As an artist, illustrator, and photographer, most of my daily work was formed around the Art & Entertainment business, which was about packaging ideas that looked like they were crafted as artist ideas. In the distributed products, my artist credit was hidden inside the package of the artist or entertainment personality.
John Van Hamersveld
I decided honestly that comic art is an art form in itself. It reflects the life and times more accurately and actually is more artistic than magazine illustration - since it is entirely creative. An illustrator works with camera and models; a comic artist begins with a white sheet of paper and dreams up his own business - he is playwright, director, editor and artist at once.
Fortunately, I'm able to make a living from comics, so I'm privileged enough to be quite choosy, though most cartoonists can't afford to be. It's really an uncomfortable situation, since I'm not an illustrator, though I do get calls from morally indefensible businesses offering me money to decorate their ambitions. It's extremely rare, almost unheard of, in fact, that I am asked to do a comic strip. Do writers get calls to pen Toyota advertisements? Do composers get asked to write chamber pieces about exercise machines?
I begin with understanding the intentions of the story. That helps me to zero in. Then I gather research for each individual character and analyze the time period with comparisons to the figure and the facial structure. It helps to be comfortable with computers because the massive amount of research is kept electronically and shared with my staff this way. Very little is printed out. I work with an illustrator to come up with the proper silhouettes and details of the clothing from the time period to time period. And on and on.
Ruth E. Carter
You've got to give kids really beautiful children's books in order to turn them into revolutionaries. Because if they see these beautiful things when they're young, when they grow up they'll see the real world and say, 'Why is the world so ugly?! I remember when the world was beautiful.' And then they'll fight, and they'll have a revolution. They'll fight against all of our corruption in the world, they'll fight to try to make the world more beautiful. That's the job of a good children's book illustrator.
Norman Rockwell spent his career painting pictures that helped people understand their own feelings...pictures that enriched their own experiences and celebrated their own lives. But the art establishment branded him an 'illustrator', a sentimental one at that. Real artists, they said were doing art for art's sake, not for the sake of the bourgeois public. Real artists were putting swiggles, smears or daubs of paint on the canvas. They were doing 'innovative' and 'creative' work. If they were hideous and grotesque; we know that's what life really is!
A random guy I met at a party I went to in high school told me not to study creative writing because in his opinion studying creative writing as a major sucks the love of writing out of you (he was a creative writing major, so he said he would know). I did not want the love of writing sucked out of me, so I followed his advice (however, I did take a few creative writing workshops at IU and I enjoyed them very much). Instead, I had the love of art sucked out of me. Years later I met that guy from the party again in New York City where I moved after college to be an illustrator, and we got married.