How many years have you been a freelance illustrator?
I’ve been fortunate enough to be a freelance illustrator and character designer for over eight years now since moving to the UK. Previously I worked full-time in the animation and toy industries back in San Francisco. I love the flexibility freelance provides- allowing time to either work on my own projects or to play with my daughters at the beach on a sunny day if there’s a break in my schedule. I share a studio with other freelance creatives in Brighton.
What can your work be applied to commercially?
I mainly work on funny, monster-y, gross children’s books for several different publishers. I’m currently illustrating book series for both Penguin (George Brown, Class Clown) and Simon & Schuster (Shark School). A fun, noisy SFX picture book that I’ve illustrated called Ten Monsters in a Bed from Templar has just been published too.
I also create characters for a variety of clients in the entertainment industry- from designing for TV animation pitches for development studios (including Disney TV and Curious Pictures) to creating superheroes and monsters for a campaign advertising Cartoon Network’s first Animation Academy.
I’m super excited to be currently writing and illustrating my own story for HarperCollins to be published next autumn.
Where would you most like to see your illustrations being used?
It would be great to get into designing characters and worlds for gaming and apps. I’d love to add to the beautifully designed game titles that are around lately. More character design work for advertising would be cool too.
What inspires you?
Part of the reason we moved to Brighton a few years back was so we could be close to the sea. Our house is half a street away from the coast and I bike to my studio along the seafront. The weather, the sky, the old fishing boats, the small seaside towns and most of all the mysterious sea creatures underneath the surface are all very inspiring. I also collect old illustrated children’s and nature books from the 60s and 70s. Classic sci-fi movie posters are great for colour and composition ideas too.
Apart from illustration, what other skills do you have?
I studied graphic design and also worked in animation. Both are skills that compliment illustration and open doors to other projects. I also used to do a mean robot, but I’ve gotten pretty rusty over the past few years.
What’s your favourite sandwich filling?
A good ol’ San Francisco Mission burrito- rice, beans, salsa, avocado, grilled chicken, lots of cheese. I had one at least once a week while living in San Francisco. Luckily, burrito joints have been becoming popular in London and Brighton over the last couple of years.