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

Thursday 5 April 2018

Meet the Illustrator: Liane Tancock

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Whimsical, humorous, inky, colourful and playful.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Bottles of ink, plenty of dip pen nibs (often lots of the same nib if it's a particular favourite), my Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils, a nice cup of tea, and an audio book playing in the background.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Most definitely ink and watercolour.  I love the strength and flexible line you can get with a dip pen.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Beatrix Potter - I find her illustrations so touching. E. H. Shepard for his expressive, loose handling.  And Chris Riddell for his sheer grace of line.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
I would like to time hop and be an invisible observer of lots of different artists' working days, to see ideas as they develop into what we know as their work today.  Imagine seeing the development of Winnie the Pooh from initial sketches to the published book... when do I leave??

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
My background is in fine art - I was a landscape painter for many years and turned back to drawing, making very detailed ink drawings of found natural objects.  However, it was catching a very bad cold, and having to stay in bed, that changed my work.  While in bed I drew a hoovering mouse and it snowballed from there.  Characters started to fill my head and I am forever grateful for that cold which led me to my current work.
Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often?  Talk us through it.
It's sort of an organised chaos.  I like my studio to have the feel of a nest, filled with favourite images and objects.  Found things from nature are stacked in a series of blue boxes on my table.  I always think a room needs books, so I always have many, many books scattered around.  I love having an audio book playing in the background - I find it difficult to work to music but audio books help me cut off from the real world and disappear into a world of imagination.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
I love all the parts of the illustration process, but I particularly love that moment when an idea for a new character comes into my head and it's straight to the sketchbook to work through ideas.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Draw, draw and draw some more.  Never discount an idea, always get it down on paper - it's often on later reflection that we can see the idea clearly.  That's why it's always a great idea to have a sketchbook and pencil/pen next to your bed.  It's surprising how many new ideas, as well as solutions to paintings you're working on, can come to you as you're about to drift off to sleep.

Liane is a Bristol, UK based illustrator and aspiring children's book illustrator who lives with her Studio Assisant (dog) Mr Jake.  She has a BA (hons) Fine Art degree from UWIC, Cardiff, and produces cards and Giclee prints of her illustrations.
You can follow, and learn more about Liane, on facebook.