Childrens Illustration – a Students Story

Maxine Lee has very kindly written a few paragraphs for us and sent us a piece of work for us to post on the college news blog. We have actually use Maxine piece in this years student of the year poster, hopefully Maxine will submit one of her pieces for the competition. We wish her the best of luck with her future work.

“I’ve always been interested in arts and crafts but didn’t really pursue it until I had my first son in 1999 – at that point I was dead set on multimedia and web design and did an HND in Multimedia Arts. By the end of that course I was more interested in the arts side and went on to do a BA in Digital Arts which included lots of animation and film work. As soon as Id completed my degree I went on to teach Graphics and Multimedia whilst working freelance as a designer, web designer and digital illustrator for editorial. Basically I was stretching myself too thin and with the arrival of my second son in 2007 I took a step back and realised I needed more focus.

After a long maternity break I went back to work part time but this time as an Art Technician as the lecturing Id been doing beforehand took up lots of my spare time with paperwork etc.. I also decided to concentrate on the one area that I truly love which is illustrating for children. My work up to this point had been almost completely digital as I have had no traditional art training past A Level where I had studied sculpture/fine art. Its been a steep learning curve but I’ve found acrylics suit my way of working best – thick, bright colours and simple characters. I still get frustrated at times but if I could give any advice it would be to plan your colour scheme before sitting down to paint, unless you have a white background, never paint onto a completely white piece of paper, make sure you know every inch of what you are about to paint and relax…I always listen to my favourite music whilst Im working.”