Friday, February 6, 2015


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, Leila Nabih, and check out her answers to my interview questions...


Why did you decide to become an illustrator?

I’m a Walt Disney child at heart.  I grew up with its cartoons and animated movies, so naturally as I got older, my dream was to make cartoons and animated movies.  However, society imposed its materialistic beliefs on me and I forgoed my dream for a regular 9-5 career.  I’ll spare you the details.  2013 was a very important year for me as I decided to pursue a career in illustration and children’s books and let go of everything else. I was lucky enough to be able to make this happen with a change in my personal circumstances. 

Where do you get your inspiration?

Beautiful images, inspiring stories, funny situation, but most of all my imagination. I have always been blessed with a very creative mind. It can be anything really, as long as it speaks to me and resonates with who I am and i can visualise it in my own little fantasy world.

Do you have a favorite illustration of yours? 

Yes I do. Here it is. “The girl with the bunny mask”. I love this particular illustration because it was one of my first attempts at illustrating digitally. I wanted to keep it simple and try out a new software i purchased. I drew the girl with pencil on paper first, sketched it and tightened it and when i felt happy with the result, i reproduced it digitally and coloured it. I was and still am very pleased with the result. I can also somehow relate to her, her shyness, hiding behind a mask afraid to show herself to her audience. Totally me in some ways.

If you could invite five other illustrators to dinner, who would you invite and why?

Beatrix Potter  - because i never tire of hearing her life journey into illustration. I’d love to hear about her life directly from her. Alas that is not possible. She is a pioneer in my opinion. Her story is inspiring.

Quentin Blake - because i find his style so free and so unique. I’d love to hear about his journey in illustration as well. After all, he is a legend.

Sarah Kay - because she has been one of the first illustrators whose illustrations left a mark on me as I grew up.

Rachelle Anne Miller - because her illustrations have inspired me to try and work digitally and I’d love for her to teach me a few things and give me a few tips.

Kelly Murphy : I’ve discovered her art recently and it made me swoon. It also encouraged me to explore my sketches further and to develop my pen and ink skills. I especially love the illustrations from her Mouse with the question mark tail book.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a book for a french self-published author. Unfortunately I can’t give anymore details about this project except that it involves three characters: a bee, a dragon and his knight. But if you want to know how it progresses, all you need to do is connect with me on facebook, follow my facebook page or my blog.

I have also got a birth announcement to illustrate, and I'm starting sketches for an alphabet book.

Do you work in different mediums? If so, which style is the most challenging?

I love paper and pencil. None of my illustrations start anywhere else. Sometimes I am just happy to finish off an illustration with pencil and move on to something else. I have tried so many different mediums. I have tried watercolour paint and watercolour pencils, acrylics, inks, chalk pastels, oil pastels, coloring pencils, markers, collage but I have never been able to be happy with the results of my illustration unless I finish them digitally. I still try occasionally to develop my skills with markers or pastels, just because I love the handmade feel of the whole process, and if its for personal wall art only. But if I have to publish this art for a book, I go to digital.

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

Draw everyday. Even the smallest doodles done for each of the 365 days a year will develop into something else and you will be able to notice a difference by yourself. Just draw, anything really, as long as you exercise your hand and mind to illustrate something as simple as a mouse or fruit, or anything else, you’ll improve, find your style and your niche and your confidence.

Do you have another job in addition to being an illustrator?

Not at this point. I got married recently and I am expecting my first baby at the end of March. So besides doing my illustrative work, trying a hand at writing short stories every now and then, I’m happy and content. I know that I will need to take a couple of months off to take care of my new born this year before i start actively working and illustrating again. 


Leila Nabih is an up-and-coming illustrator and an indie author of children’s books. She has left the corporate world of publishing more than two years ago and has decided to invest herself completely into her art and her writing. Of French origins, she has travelled the world extensively, and has now temporarily settled in the far ends of the whimsical Hungarian countryside, waiting for her first baby to be born, and honing onto her illustrative and writing skills.

When she isn’t illustrating or writing, she indulges in crafts of various sorts, always anxious to experiment and discover new horizons that would help her quench her thirst for the creative in her daily life. It could be cooking, baking, collage , sewing or jewellery making.

Amongst her projects feature a few custom made books, portraits, birth announcements, wedding invitations and various nursery art prints. If you’d like to see a sample of her work, do get in touch with her. She is prompt in responding and can always tailor your needs to her art.


Website/ Blog Address: 

Twitter: @LN_Illustration 

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