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Thursday 18 May 2017

Meet the Illustrator: Cara King

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
I would call my style a little bit whimsical with a touch of quirky.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
My watercolours, lots of 2B pencils and my smudgy pencil thing that Sam Cohen (fellow illustrator friend) put me onto.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I use mostly grey lead pencils, fineliners, pencils and watercolour. Sometimes only a touch of colour in my images.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
I adore the work of Charles Blackman and Arthur Boyd and the anitipodean artists that shared the same space and vision. And through the 52-Week Illustration Challenge, I’ve become enamoured with a number of artists work, particularly the free-style watercolour splashings of Leonie Cheetham.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
I would have loved to have been a part of the short-lived antipodean art movement. It was a new style of abstract expressionism emerging in Australia during the late 40s and 50s. The group of artists explored freedom in a time where society was beginning to allow more liberal and interesting ideas to blossom.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I’ve always loved to draw but never thought I could take that extra step. I remember doing a short stint of work experience with Jeff Hook, a cartoonist from the Herald sun back in the late 90s and thought it would be amazing to draw for a living.

A couple of years ago I got involved in Tania McCartney’s 52-Week Illustration Challenge and really honed my skills and style. Through the weekly posting I think I started to develop more as an illustrator – although I still need lots more honing! It’s an ongoing process and I’m continuing to love this journey.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? 
My husband allocated some space from his shed and built a room for me at the front, with a window and door and lots of cupboard space. I love it because I can watch my kids play outside and have my own space to create and not have to pack anything away!

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
I love colouring and giving a bit of shading to my pictures. It’s actually where I really zone out.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
I think it’s important to keep drawing, exploring others work and styles and really enjoy your work. Sometimes I find it hard to have time to even sit down and pick up a pencil, but when I do, I’m rewarded with the way it slows me down and allows me time to immerse in a creative world.

Cara is a Melbourne-based illustrator and founder of Caratoons. She is currently illustrating her 2nd book, as well as working part time as a graphic designer. She’s drawn ever since she could hold a pencil and therefore loves holding pencils. She also enjoys antics with her family, quiet walks on the beach and crazy nights out with friends.  You can read more about Cara on Facebook and visit her website ~ www.caratoons.com