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Questions and Answers with Carolyn Gavin

What helps you be more creative?


I like large blocks of time devoted entirely to creating from beginning to end so I can really get into a project and not be easily distracted. Taking breaks is then productive and necessary. I also need to go away from time to time to recharge and energize the soul. On these trips, I usually try not to do much, just soaking up what’s around me for future inspiration possibly. Travel, music, the city, colour, type, stitching, fabrics, nature, animals… these are also the things that inspire me and initiate creativity.

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Questions and Answers with Kathryn Macnaughton

Which commissions do you enjoy the most and which are the most beneficial to you, as a working designer / illustrator? 



I’d love to do more book covers. I redesigned 6 John Steinbeck novels for Penguin Publishing. That was a dream job. It was such a pleasure working with the art director (John Hamilton). I had complete creative control and I just loved the outcome of the books.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH CHRISTOPHER SILAS NEAL

Does it matter where an illustrator is based?


Students and young illustrators ask me this question a lot. It really depends on the person. Technically, you can work from Siberia as long as you have a good internet connection. However, being in New York has many benefits including being inspired by other artists and seeing their work first-hand, meeting art directors and editors, and New York happens to be an amazing place to live.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH BRIAN REA

Why should an illustrator take on a rep or agent rather than represent him/herself?


When illustrators have difficulty communicating verbally or maybe lack confidence negotiating budgets I’d say it’s time. It’s a struggle navigating the administrative aspect of running a business and most of us have spent our lives focused on making pictures. But illustration is not a hobby- it’s a job. There is an art to it in process, but we are providing a product that solves a specific need for a specific client. Most agents understand this obviously. But the great agents understand this AND support your career growth as an artist too. For young illustrators, I say try it on your own for a bit without a rep, see what that business side is like. Some find it their way through and manage to make the work and do the business. But if it’s a struggle or if your career gets crazy busy, I suggest shopping for an agent. One that you are comfortable communicating and collaborating with. You are not working FOR the agent. It’s a partnership- so find someone that is a good reflection of you as a person and artist.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH CHRIS GARBUTT

What is success to you?


I suppose in regards to a job or a commission, success for me would be producing something that I was happy with, proud of and enjoyed doing, and that is also received how I hoped it would be by whom-so-ever has it shoved under their noses! Everyone has their own goals, ambitions and benchmarks to measure success by. A friend of mine was recently nominated for an animated feature Oscar, which is fantastic of course. But to me the fact that through his hard work, determination and talent he’d been given the opportunity to create a story and produce a movie that he believed in, and was proud of, was more a measure of his success than any award he may or may not win. Not that I’d ever turn my nose up to an Oscar or any other shiny trophy of course …

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH SEBASTIAAN VAN DONINCK

Have you ever thought about quitting illustration? Why?


Yes I did! Off course. Who doesn’t? Sometimes it gets more difficult on the way. Sometimes I start questioning everything I do and doubting about proceeding. But in the long run, I always come back quickly. It’s stronger then myself. So far, when I’m unhappy with what I do, I will change something within my work, I will not quit being an illustrator, I will become a different illustrator.

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Questions and Answers with Emiliano Ponzi

What makes a good conceptual illustration?


Combining 2 different objects from 2 different paradigms to create a new one that doesn’t exist for real, for example an apple that becomes a face.thinking out of the box, possibly to stay away from overseen concepts. Illustration is design and the mission of design is based on 2 very important principles: functionality and aesthetics so It’s supposed that a good image should have a sense and should be at least nice or, even better, beautiful.

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Questions and Answers with Victoria Semykina

What do you think hinders creativity?


When you have to draw just to earn money and don’t get satisfaction of your work. I always try to find something new and enjoy the process even when I get really boring commission. If I can’t do this I decline the order. From my opinion, it’s a huge mistake to think that you can split your time for just making money and the rest to create something for your personal projects. The work just for money becomes more frequent while the time to create something new squeezes. So, I think It’s important to have a fun with any work you do.

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