I thought it would be fun to start interviewing some illustrators and crafters regularly. I see so much beautiful work on my journeys on the internet! Everyone has their own unique style, way of working, and places where they get their inspiration. I thought it would be useful to ask them for a few tips too, which you and I might find useful for our own work and businesses.
While I was browsing hireanillustrator.com just for fun, I came across some lovely nature drawings by Susie Ghahremani in the new illustrator’s section. It loved her work and thought it would be nice to ask her some questions. When I did some more research, it became pretty obvious that Susie is not a newbie at all!
She is an award-winning illustrator that lives in San Diego, California with her husband and zillions of pets. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design where she now also teaches.
Next to illustrating many lovely books, Susie runs her own whimsically illustrated stationery and gift brand titled Boygirlparty
consisting of more than 300 products, impressive! So here is the very first interview with Susie:
What do you make?
I am a painter whose primary medium is gouache. I create illustrations for books, magazines, art shows and my own product line. My work is often inspired by nature and the animal world.
What inspires you and gives you new ideas?
I love travel and being outside in nature. Working in my sketchbook and getting out of my house are always recipes for new ideas.
What advice would you give yourself if you could time-travel back to when you were just starting out?
It doesn’t feel like that long ago, I don’t know how much wiser I’ve become — but perhaps, to follow my instincts on projects and people because they are usually spot on!
Advice you (recently) received from someone else?
Small changes can have a big impact. — from my friend and fellow artist Lisa Solomon who reminds me that the devil is in the details!
3 other people, blogs or websites you love & admire:
Kami Kinard and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s website on writing children’s books is a generous and fun resource: nerdychickswrite.wordpress.com.
Coral Silverman’s critical arts website Culture Crux looks at art beyond illustration: culturecrux.com.
Tiny showcase – great online gallery + shop to purchase beautiful prints for charity. New print every week: tinyshowcase.com.
Any upcoming talent that we should know about?
Student of mine: Jackie Ferrentino.
Recent graduate of MICA: Erin Lux
Can you share a great novel you recently read?
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
and a non-fiction or craft book you are enthusiastic about?
The Hospital Suite by John Porcellino
Do you have any exciting new projects or products you are working on?
I’m currently the featured artist at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators which is very exciting! I am also working on my first picture book that I’ve written myself.
I also have a new collection of greeting cards published by Madison Park Greetings coming out shortly, and several art shows slated for the fall including a juried SCBWI / Society of Illustrators show in Carlsbad, CA this September!
The lovely photos in this post are by Suzanne Strong.