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- author Jackie French

Thursday 5 May 2016

Meet the Illustrator: Terry Denton

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Black ink line drawing, sometimes with watercolour… often funny, sometimes gentle.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Standing desk, sitting desk, chair, watercolours, ink, pens, pencils, erasers, water, light box, scanner, photocopier, A3 printer, music machine, light, iPad pro (my new favourite), storage files for drawings, goldfish, goldfish bowl, water for goldfish bowl, other stuff and even more stuff.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Since I was a kid, and found an old watercolour set around home, I have loved watercolour and black line drawing… I also paint in acrylics and oil paint.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
For Illustration: Bruce Petty, Quentin Blake, E H Shepard (Winnie the Pooh)

For painting: Matisse, Paul Klee and at the moment Elizabeth Cummings.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
Renaissance Italy, around 1450, because of the art and the music. (But not so keen on the diseases and occasional plague.)

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I loved drawing as a kid, and maths and science too. So I studied Architecture. I soon realised that wasn’t for me, I was too much of a clown. And, almost by accident, I fell into illustration. It turned out to be the perfect job for me.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often?

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
When I am working with Andy, the best part is when you start with just a few sketchy ideas and build them into a first draft… through words and drawings… that’s the most exciting bit. The story may go in any direction and there’s a feeling you are not really in control

When I am doing picture books, it’s the colouring of the drawings I love most.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Just draw every day, if possible. Draw what you love to draw, draw what’s around you and, most importantly, draw what you can’t draw. Keep your drawings in a sketchbook and keep looking back through them, and see how, slowly, you are getting better at it. Drawing is just practice.

Terry Denton is a bestselling Australian author and illustrator who has written and/or illustrated more than 100 books. He is the author of the Wombat and Fox junior fiction series and the creator of a series of activity books including the Bumper Book of the Universe. His illustration work includes The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno and Alberta series (written by Ursula Dubosarsky) and the phenomenally popular Treehouse series (written by Andy Griffiths). His latest picture book is Boomerang and Bat: The Story of the Real First Eleven, written by Mark Greenwood and published by Allen & Unwin. Visit Terry Denton's website for more information about Terry and his books.