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 me 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!
Please welcome talented illustrator, Claire Lordon and check out her answers to my interview questions...
1. Why did you decide to become an illustrator?
Ever since I could hold a pencil I told my parents I was going to be an artist. When I was a freshman at the Rhode Island School of Design I needed to decide my major. I chose Illustration because I love to draw, and at RISD the major is very versatile and flexible.
2 Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere! I love traveling and get much inspiration from nature. I also love animated movies and children's books.
3. Do you have a favorite illustration of yours? Why is it your favorite?
That's really tough. It's like asking a parent who is their favorite child. I will say at the moment my favorite illustration is the scene where I have a penguin named Bento looking at a bath overflowing with toys. I had a fun time making it and whenever I show it to others it always makes them smile as well.
4. What are you currently working on?
I just finished a book dummy about a pizza-loving lobster. Now I just need to print it out and format it so I can start sending it out to agents. I also just finished participating in Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) and have some great ideas that I'm going to continue to develop.
5. Do you work in different mediums? If so, which style is the most challenging?
I don't work in different mediums, but I do work in different styles. The most challenging style I have is the one I choose for children's books because I have to make sure the texture I add to the picture is just enough so that it adds interest, but doesn't distract from the piece. The other styles I work in are more for the licensing/greeting card market and tend to be a bit more flat or doodle based.
It's not an easy path, but it's definitely doable. There are jobs and work out there - finding them can be tough though! Finding your style is very important, but a big challenge. I've heard it over again and it is so true, just keep drawing more and more. Try different styles and eventually you will slowly gravitate towards your unique voice. Once you have found your style make a portfolio showing consistency within your style of various characters, people, and situations. Show your work online and on social media, and contact companies. If you keep working at it opportunities will come.
7. Do you have another job in addition to being an illustrator?
All of my work currently falls into illustration, but not all of it is children's book illustration. Currently I'm also working on a variety of projects including wall art for an international school in Russia. I also design greeting cards for a national company as well as my own Etsy shop. I also license some of my designs to a few companies for plates, phones, etc... Basically anything bright, fun, and kid-oriented!
Claire Lordon is an illustrator and designer living in Brooklyn, New York. She has created digital illustrations, surface designs, and greeting cards for a number of companies.
Claire earned her BFA in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, with a focus in digital illustration, educational media, and surface design.
She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Claire has completed three children's book dummies and is currently looking for children's book illustration opportunities. A lifelong enthusiasm for adventure always beckons Claire to travel and try new opportunities. She has a love of nature and enjoys hiking. Travel and nature continue to inspire her work.
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