Illustrator Joanne Young took some time to talk with us about her work…
I am a freelance illustrator/Artist based in Ely, Cambridgeshire. I work from my studio in my flat, which I share with my boyfriend and my cat Pippin.
In 2009, I graduated from Norwich University of the arts with a first in illustration, before moving on to study a masters in children’s book illustration at Cambridge School of Art. My work has been long listed twice in the Book Illustration competition run by the House of Illustration and Folio Society, for last year’s Brave New World and for their current brief Heart of Darkness, (the winner and 5 runners up will be announced this September.)
I work in a mixture of pencil, coloured pencil and pen & ink with Photoshop, which I select by what seems most appropriate to the project. I specialise in narrative illustration for editorial and book Illustration for adults and children. Clients have included the Times Eureka Magazine, Walker Books and Black Dog Publishing. I also do pieces to be included in shows, which I primarily show in and around Norwich and Cambridge. My work tends to concentrate on creating atmospheric pieces that play with the ideas of scale, tone, shadow and pattern.
A typical day for me is to get up when my boyfriend goes to work, (potter around my flat for a little bit) then head to my spare room, which my studio is in around 9. If I have a commission on, I will typically work on it non-stop throughout the day and into the night if needed. On quieter days, I will work on promotional material and aim to contact clients, as well as working on personal projects and ideas.
At the moment though, I am taking some time out to work my own picture book ideas, which generally starts with a lot of sketching, playing around with different techniques, until I figure out a direction I want to pursue. I tend to complete a finished image that gives me an idea of the atmosphere, and then I work on the rest of the book from there. At the moment I am playing around with character ideas.
I am also working on a series of pen & ink drawings of buildings, which I am hoping to exhibit soon. They concentrate on experimenting with new ways of creating texture and contrast through stippling. My latest drawing was of an Ely workhouse, and I am hoping to produce more drawings of buildings in and around Ely and Cambridge, as well as a few other buildings from places I have visited, such as the Orthodox Church I saw when I visited Kiev, Ukraine.
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