Jo Davies, Illustration tutor for OCA, and author of the level one Illustration course, has just launched a book full of interviews with illustrators. She and her co-writer also kept a blog of the process of writing the book, which is well worth a look at. Jo reports on the book for us here.
‘I have been working with Derek Brazell, Project’s Manager from the Association of Illustrators, for two years to write the book,“Making Great Illustration” which will be launched in October at the Cartoon Museum in London. To begin with we identified 30 of the greatest illustrators from across the world and set out to interview them, face to face, to find about the processes underpinning their practice and to see the places where they work and the things that inspire them. We were escorted by professional photographers who documented the interviews and took both portraits and studio shots creating an impressive body of their own work.
Many of the illustrators we interviewed are known, if not by their names by their work. Quentin Blake, Ralph Steadman, Dave McKean and Ronald Searle are “vintage” illustrators whose names are more recognizable but we hope that readers will also be interested to read about the illustrators behind the images for Waitrose (Emma Dibben), Marks and Spencers (David Downton) and many other exciting and memorable images and projects from around the world. Additionally in each of the sections a top client offers a brief summary of the area that the illustrators work in so that the reader gets a full understanding of the professional world.
One of the biggest things we learned, when researching for the book, is that artists approach the making of illustration in many diverse ways, that their work is a major part of their lives and that they are passionate about their practice. Many of them, even those who have been working for decades, still enjoy new challenges and continue to explore in new directions. We found that the client has varying degrees of influence in the creative process and that personal work is often an enjoyable and necessary dimension of the artists’ lives.
Illustration is an evolving profession embracing many practices which may have in the past been associated with other disciplines in art and design, such as furniture design, animation, installations, textile and stage design and we were keen to reflect this in the book. As well as our input as authors the photographers, editor and designer worked to create a publication that is clearly put together and rich with imagery. We hope is that “Making Great Illustration” will be a source of inspiration for students and other artists and designers and that readers will find the artists and their processes and their lives as fascinating as we did.’
Visit blog to read more about Jo’s and Derek’s visits to the artist’s studios and to read more about the artists and content of the book.
The publishers A+C Black are offering 20% discount for students of the OCA .To claim your offer (20% + free postage & packaging), please contact Macmillan Distribution on 01256 302699 quoting the book title, ISBN and the offer code, GLR 6AY. You can also claim your offer via the A&C Black website, www.acblack.com. Remember to enter the code at the checkout.