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

Thursday 14 June 2018

Meet the Illustrator: Amy Calautti

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less. 
Nostalgic, cheerful, humourous, little bit kitsch, and fun loving characters.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
I love a mechanical pencil. And my light table, it's saved my hands and eyes from aching when drawing my final draft onto watercolour paper, or when I'm ten drafts in! I use Art Spectrum watercolour tubes and Faber Castell Polychromos pencils. I prefer Archers 300g hot press paper.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
It's hard to choose between coloured pencil and watercolour.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
I love Mary Blair's work - she was a conceptual artist for Disney. I think her most famous work is from Cinderella, Alice In Wonderland and Peter Pan. There are so many illustrators I admire, but, if i had to name a couple more, I'd look up Christophe Jacques (@atelier_la_fermette on instagram). I love his kitsch style. Lastly, I can't get Matt Hunt's illustrations out of my head! They are visually striking, with hilariously cute characters.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
If I had to take a sneaky peak, it would be the the Impressionists. It seems to me like they enjoyed life in general. It would be lovely to spend a day in their company. I would love to visit Monet's garden one day!

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I've always loved art. Back when I was a teenager, I thought I'd like to be a fashion designer, so I studied Fashion at TAFE.  I left two years later with the knowledge that I really liked to draw but had no clue about what path to take. It took several years to start drawing again. When I left my paying job and became a mother, I decided to start drawing every day for a challenge on instagram. Those drawings belong in the hall of shame! A few years later, a friend told me about the 52 week illustration challenge. It planted that first seed of inspiration to be a illustrator.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? 
Gah! It hurts my eyes! LOL. My work space is situated in the playroom. Luckily for me I've claimed a window spot.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
When the watercolour has dried, and I can start my colour pencil work. This is when I can see my work looking more final.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
I'm aspiring myself. My advice is to find your tribe, encourage each other.
Listen to podcasts, watch
You Tube videos, do classes, set goals for yourself. Most importantly, do the work! Be prolific if you can.

Amy lives with her husband and two pet monkeys, (actually children) who bring her endless inspiration. Amy's favourite time of the day, is when the youngest pet monkey takes his nap. Then she sits by by the window in her studio, (actually the playroom) and makes her funny little drawings.
You can see more of Amy's work on facebook and instagram, or visit her website.