Friday, December 12, 2014

PICTURE PROMPTS: Illustrator Amelia Grace


Welcome to PICTURE PROMPTS! This is my way of 'paying it forward' for all the beautiful illustrations found in picture books all around the world. For the next year you will see my visit with guest illustrators, spotlighting their beautiful artwork and sharing their answers to a few questions I thought my readers might want to know about these illustrators. On the Friday when an illustrator hasn't stopped by for a visit and a hot cup of green tea, I will put up a random PICTURE PROMPT that has inspired me to write a little flash fiction to share with you!
If you are an illustrator, established or just starting out, and would like to participate in my PICTURE PROMPT series, just shoot me an email over to donasdays (at) gmail (dot) com and I will send you the information on how to join the fun!
To start things off, please welcome talented illustrator, Amelia Grace and check out her answers to my interview questions...

Why did you decide to become an illustrator?

My journey to become an illustrator began when I was about three or four years old, and most of my attention was focused on drawing. I spent a lot of time reading picture books and admiring the artwork within them. In my most formative years I developed my skills as an artist, but it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I decided the narrative world of illustration was for me. From that point on, I attended the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD and received a BFA in illustration with a minor in creative writing.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I’m very lucky to work part time in a public library when I’m not illustrating. I’m surrounded by books (and a great number of picture books)! I have an entire collection of reference at my fingertips on a near-daily basis. Plus, I get to see what’s popular with a diverse audience of both children and parents, and I can see how my work might fit in with that.

Sassy Sasquatch sends syrup sailing. (Gouache, 2014)

Artists are trained to look at the world in a way that makes everything inspiring, so it’s hard to really pinpoint specific sources. But still, inspiration finds me a number of ways, including fantasy, nature, sci-fi, design, and the work of other artists and picture book creators.

Do you have a favorite illustration of yours? Why is it your favorite?

Every day is an opportunity to grow as an artist, and therefore my favorite piece is constantly changing. What was my favorite a month ago is probably my least favorite now. But, if I had to pick, I’m pretty partial to this piece:

Untitled, Digital. 2014.

I like this one because of the palette, the use of geometric shapes in the design – it feels more cohesive than some of my other pieces. Conceptually it’s narrative and metaphorical, born of my dilemma of having many ideas but not always being able to capture them.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently involved in a number of projects, mostly self-driven, among them being some children’s book ideas I hope to put into production in 2015. I took part in Tara Lazar’s “Picture Book Idea Month” this past November, so I have a wealth of ideas I plan on investing in. Aside from that, I’m involved in a number of art markets where I sell prints, greeting cards, coloring books, stickers, and jewelry. One of my illustrations was selected to be a part of the Amelia’s Magazine 10th Anniversary anthology project: “Things Which We Do Not Understand”. When I’m not working on those products, I’m (slowly) drawing & writing comics and zines, painting, and designing.

Nature Spirit

Colored inks. 2014. Created for: Amelia’s Magazine 10th Anniversary Gold Foil Print Book

What advice would you give to someone thinking about trying to become an illustrator?

For anyone else interested in becoming an illustrator, I say you should do it! There are many paths that lead to illustrating as a career, and for me that path included going to an art college where I studied under other professionals and practiced my craft. But that may not be right for someone else. Regardless of how you get there, it’s imperative that you never stop making work. That really applies to any type of artist – and it’s advice that has been given to me time and time again. The more work you make, the more opportunities you have to learn what works and what does not.  It is how you develop a style unique to you and uncover what it is you want to say with your work.

Amelia Grace Gossman is a MICA graduate with a BFA in Illustration and a minor in creative writing. Her work is inspired by fantasy and nature, among many other things. She loves whimsy and color. She currently lives in Harford County, Maryland, where she works in a public library, creates art and music, and takes care of 2 cats. See more of her work at, follow her updates on Instagram and twitter with @illustrationamy , and like her facebook page, Amelia Grace Illustration!

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  1. I love the illustration of "nature spirit" and the "too many ideas" illustration. That's how I feel with my stories. You do lovely work!

    1. Hi Jilanne and welcome to my blog! I'm glad you liked Amelia's illustrations. She is so talented and I'm envious of her ability to create such lovely pictures...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!