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Thursday 14 July 2016

Meet the Illustrator: Tull Suwannakit

Photo credit: Filip Laureys
Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Whimsical, quirky and a little out of place

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Sketchbooks (and I mean lots of them).  I like to experiment and explore with different formats, sizes, and paper types as a way to help develop the design of my characters. I enjoy having music on while working.  Its almost like having a “friend” that keeps me company while I work for long hours through the night and into the early dawn.  I also have a box of colored pencils that I use for brainstorming and sketching out ideas.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I like to keep my illustration loose and sketchy, almost like doing a journalistic field study.  So I tend to work primarily with graphite pencils and go over with multiple washes of watercolours.
Sometimes, colored pencils are used to help enhance and refine the illustration.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Emily Gravette
Arthur Rackham
Norman Rockwell

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
Victorian era would be a great period to visit and to learn from artists like Arthur Rackham.  There’s something quite illusive and sincere about the illustrations in this era that I find intriguing.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
My Dad drew quite a bit when I was younger, so I guess I picked up the skill from him.

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

Photo credit: Filip Laureys

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
I really enjoy the character design process. I find it to be quite free form, endless and explorative.
It’s always rewarding to see how your character slowly comes to life after countless sketches and random mark making.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Practice, practice and more practice to refine and find the style that best represents you. Don’t be afraid to break away from your comfort zone and experiment with different mediums and techniques.

Tull Suwannakit is a children's author and illustrator based in Australia. Originally from Thailand, he has written and illustrated several books in his native language and currently has two picture books published in Australia, What Happens Next?, which he both wrote and illustrated, and Sad, the Dog by Sandy Fussell, both published by Walker Books. Visit Tull's website and Facebook page for more information about his books and events.