This month I would like to introduce to you a wonderful lady, based in Nottingham, who creates some magical little pieces. Her pieces are mainly traditional paintings of some very cute and cheeky characters.
Please let me introduce you to: Amy Blackwell
Above: The lovely Amy (Image provided by Amy Blackwell)
What was it that made you become interested in illustration?
I’m a natural born doodler. I’ve always drawn pictures or made things. When I started to play around with them on computers and making little prints to give to people - that was probably a little turning point. Also I’ve always been a huge fan of kids books and their pictures - they’re my favourite kind of art book.
At what point in your illustration career did you start to define your 'style'? or do you think you don't have a certain 'style'?
A couple of years ago I think. I don’t know if I have a set style but I am a little obsessed with drawing cat shaped things at the moment. I love bold blocks of colour mixed with little patches of detail - maybe that’s my drawing recipe. All the familiar characters are starting to take on new looks too now that I’m playing around with my paints more than my pens - interesting times.
Image below: 'Chic geek cat' (Image courtesy of Amy Blackwell)
What has been the highlight of your illustration career so far?
Putting on shows and making books. 2 highlights :) I finished my first little book (A pocketful of black cats) at the start of this year and I think it’s just unleashed a beast within. I can’t wait to make the next. I’m also in the middle of planning a show this summer with some fellow doodlers! Yes!!
What is your favourite tool to work with/in?
Small paint brushes I think. I love colouring in, which is odd because I never had the patience for it when I was shorter. I can sit and colour in with my paints for hours so long as I’ve got some good tunes or a good drama to listen to on the radio.
Where would you say is the best place for you to 'create' your pieces?
At home on my desk - that’s where it all happens. I’ve got a nice view out of the window and access to all my tools. It’s a very small space to work in but I love it. I’m doing an ok job at keeping it tidy this year too :)
Is there a certain illustrator etc that you would like to work with? Tell me all...!
I can’t think of any artist collaborations but I am REALLY looking forward to putting on a group show this summer with some amazing UK based illustrators. I can’t say much more because a) I don’t want to jinx it and b) there’s still a lot of planning to be done! (Eek)
Image above: 'A fake still life' (Image courtesy of Amy Blackwell)
What event in your life would you say is most inspiring?
I can’t remember an exact event, which is a shame, but something must’ve happened in the first year after finishing university. Something made me pick up the pens again and I’ve not been able to stop since...
Last but not least, pen or pencil? and why !
BOTH! If you asked me that question 2 years ago I would’ve said pen but the times have changed and I couldn’t cope without either. Pencil for the sketchiness and pen for the colourful cheeks - yep, sounds good to me.