How many years have you been a freelance illustrator?
I have been a freelance illustrator for approximately 20 years. After graduating art college I worked as a retail layout artist for about 6 years before discovering the linocut technique that became a new career path.
What can your work be applied to commercially?
My work has been applied to all kinds of commercial products ranging from something as small as a flash drive to something as large as a bus. My art has been in a TV commercial, on t-shirts, posters, signage, coffee mugs, shopping bags, pens, books, magazines and greeting cards. The bus wrap was for a children’s healthmobile and is driving around Phoenix, Arizona.
Where would you most like to see your illustrations being used?
I love having my work in children’s books. It is a joy to see that children still enjoy reading old fashioned books and connecting with the pictures. I remember the way picture books were portals to other worlds and it’s nice to think that one of my books might inspire a young child in the same way. I would also like to make tarot decks and pursue product licensing.
What inspires you?
Lately I am inspired by strong women in history, ordinary women who have led extraordinary lives. I am working on a graphic novel series on this theme and I enjoy re-telling these life stories in a way that is relatable to a younger audience. I have no explanation for my latest obsession with the period of the French Revolution and I can’t stop making images of Marie Antoinette. I love opera and often listen while working to get the creative juices flowing. Another way that I call the muses is by hopping on my bicycle and going for a long ride.
Apart from illustration, what other skills do you have?
Hmmm, I’m not much of a cook and I don’t know how to knit or sew, but I am learning to paint portraits in oil, so that is a new skill. I would love to be able to paint like the old masters and hope I live long enough to achieve that goal. I put myself through school doing secretarial work and can type 60 words per minute. I am also a very good speller. According to Duolingo, I am 52 percent bilingual French. Do those count as skills? I guess I have been somewhat single-minded in my trajectory.
What’s your favourite sandwich filling?
I try to eat healthy by limiting my intake of meat and gluten, but my dream sandwich filling is hot corned beef and sauerkraut, piled high, with mustard on rye bread with a pickle on the side.