'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 7 September 2017

Meet the Illustrator: Gabriel Evans

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Traditional, contemporary, textured, energetic, versatile, detailed.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
There are the obvious items including paints, brushes and paper. Other essentials include my trusty hairdryer to speed the paint’s drying process, good music – the wrong genre can ruin an illustration, and, of course, good lighting. I’ve heard neat, organised studio spaces are also essential – is this true? I’ve never managed to get it that orderly so can’t be sure...

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Watercolour and gouche – these two mediums, especially the former, are such wonderful and expressive mediums to work in. The creative possibilities are endless.

Name three artists whose work inspires you. 
Ronald Searle – his ink work was exceptional.
Quentin Blake – his line work is so deceptively simple.
Jon Klassen – I love how his characters tell stories through their eyes.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
I would love to visit the Impressionists era – 1860-80s – and paint with these guys. Their ideas and determination is inspiring - plus I love working outside. Also, spending time with them would help me expand my French vocabulary beyond asking for directions to the park.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
There’s no specific person or moment that inspired me. Even as a child it struck me how influential an illustrator is. How an illustrated scene or character can leave a young reader wondering, questioning and learning. From a very young age, I thought it would be an amazing profession (if my potential careers in the circus or as a steam engine train driver didn’t take off).

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
My studio is currently in upheaval as I’m negotiating new spaces to record YouTube art videos. I would hate for people to experience the present disorderly mess.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
 When the story-boarding and final drawings have been approved and I’ve started painting the final images. There’s a freedom and excitement.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Don’t limit yourself to a single style of painting. Explore, experiment and research. Look at other artists that illustrate completely differently to you. The wider you spread your creative net the stronger your own personal art becomes.

Gabriel is an artist and illustrator of over twenty books. He illustrates for publishers including Walker Books, Scholastic and Penguin Random House. He works in traditional mediums from a small, messy studio and travels Australia giving workshops and talks on illustration. When he’s not painting he’s growing trees, exploring beaches and drinking tea.
You can follow Gabriel on facebookinstagramyoutube and visit his website for more information.