This month's calendar page is ready! Get yours now and stay on top of all the exciting events that are happening in May! This month's illustrator is the lovely Audrey Dowling. We are so excited for her debut picture book, which will be released by the end of this year! Audrey was also kind enough to let us as her one million questions. Read the interview below!
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Interview with Illustrator Audrey Dowling
PuddleJump: Hi Audrey! Can you share a picture of where the magic happens?
PuddleJump: What are your five most important work tools?
Audrey: My graphic monitor and PC: my Wacom is only a 13” but it’s still 10 000 times better than the Intuos I had before. It allowed me to improve my skills and work speed so much; Graphite pencils: I love the Derwent graphic pencils and the Pentel Graphgear mechanical pencils. HB is always my favourite and 6B or 8B for shading and darkening; Oil pastels: I have tried a lot of brands, but nothing beats Sennelier’s colours and texture; Eraser: so important, because I erase and start over A LOT! The Tombow Mono eraser barrel is a must when working small details; and Sketchbook/notebook: I have an obsession with them, I always carry one in my bag, and I use them just as much for doodling as for writing, which takes a big part in my creative process
PuddleJump: What's your mantra or favorite quote?
Audrey: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” I love Samuel Beckett. Any line from his books can work as a quote. I love this one particularly as it can be applied to any aspect of one’s life.
PuddleJump: What are you working on right now?
Audrey: I am in the home stretch of finishing the illustrations for my first picture book. It will be published by the end of this year.
PuddleJump: That's so exciting! We can't wait to see the finished book! What other art-related thing are you excited about right now?
Audrey: I am really looking forward to seeing the amazing artwork that will be exhibited at “Welcome to the Flock”. It is a multi-artists exhibition I am taking part in, that will run from the 9th of May to the 30th of June in the Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford, Ireland. Based on the theme of migrating birds, the aim is to draw attention to the plight of thousands of families who have been forced to migrate to safer places in the world.
PuddleJump: What's the best illustration advice anyone has ever given you?
Audrey: That little voice inside your head regularly telling you that what you do is rubbish…? Do not listen to it. Or at least know that all artists, even the best, hear it. Accept the fact that it is part of the process, keep working and you WILL improve. There is only one direction in art, up.
PuddleJump: Can you share your latest promo card with us? Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired the illustration?
Audrey: This is a personal piece. I wanted to do something for a classic story, and Peter and the Wolf had a huge impact on me and my imagination when I first saw it as a show when I was a kid. So it was a very easy choice for me.
PuddleJump: When not making art, what do you do? and what do you do for fun?
Audrey: I read a lot, it goes hand in hand with illustrating for me. And I also love to hike, being in nature, or to stay in cafés for hours, doodling, writing, daydreaming, people watching …
PuddleJump: Early bird or Night owl?
Audrey: Definitely early bird. I love the quietness of the house in the morning, being the only one up when everybody is still asleep.
PuddleJump: Favorite color?
PuddleJump: What inspired you to become an illustrator?
Audrey: My children.
PuddleJump: What do you LOVE to illustrate?
Audrey: I love doing faces, portraits and plants, leaves, flowers. When I doodle idly, they are the first things I tend to draw.
PuddleJump: Castle or pirate ship?
Audrey: Castle, no hesitation. I am not comfortable on or in water, and I am sea sick.
PuddleJump: Fairy wings or buried treasure?
Audrey: Fairy wings.
PuddleJump: Thunderstorm or snow?
Audrey: That is a tough choice, I love both. But thunderstorms would probably awaken my imagination more.
PuddleJump: Tea or Coffee?
Audrey: Tea with milk, no sugar, thank you. If you have Earl Grey, you win my heart.
PuddleJump: What was the last picture book you read?
Audrey: “Do not open this book” by Andy Lee. I loved it!
PuddleJump: What are your favorite (kidlit) chapter books?
Audrey: I am obsessed with the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. He’s amazingly funny and dark. Read them, if only for the dedications
PuddleJump: What do you want to get better at?
Audrey: Work faster and I am still trying to discover what my style is.
PuddleJump: What do you listen to while you work?
Audrey: Most often I watch series or movies. At the moment, I am watching Fear the Walking Dead while drawing cute elves and reindeers. Dichotomy at its best!