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

Thursday 9 August 2018

Meet the Illustrator - Chrissie Krebs

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Big eyes.
Big emotion.
Action packed.
Can’t draw cars.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
A cat or a chocolate bar somewhere near me.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Previously I loved drawing in simple lead pencil, but now I really really love my Wacom tablet - I have always been a terrible painter/colour-inner (is that a word?) but now with my Wacom tablet and Kyle Brushes on Photoshop, that has dramatically changed for the better.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Aaron Blabey - Master of facial expressions and laugh out loud humour.
Jon Klassen - Love the textures he uses in his work, also, he has a way of bringing to life those simple character forms which are his trademark.
Mitch Vane - Man I love her ink pen line work. You can feel the crazy energy of what is going on and her characters are full of life.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
Probably the Dada period - 1915 - 1920’s. I loved the whole cheek of that art period - "I’m just gonna grab a toilet and put my signature on it and I am going to tell the world that it is a work of art! That will stick it to the man!" Anything went in that period, people were experimenting and challenging everything. However, I wouldn’t have liked to have experienced a world war.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
When the teacher would announce that it was free drawing time, the kids in my class would form a line at my desk and I would draw them an outline of what they wanted and then they would go back to their desks and colour it in. Even at the time, in my six year old mind, I thought there must be money to be made in this.

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 main desk has my iMac and my tablet. I am usually here sharing the red chair with my cat Ozzie. It’s usually a 70/30 split - He has 70 percent of the chair and I have 30 percent. I usually end up with a terrible backache but I don’t have the heart to move him. I also have an elevated drawing desk next to my computer desk. This is for rough sketching. I have salt lamps on my desk to combat those pesky positive ions in the air as well as some plants. My studio is cluttered with nicknacks like Barbie dolls and retro toys and other things I find interesting. The walls are covered in pictures of those I love as well as some of my original acrylic paintings.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
The beginning. The initial sketching out of ideas and character design. You are truly creating something that had never existed before. It is rather exciting.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
I would say you must love the process of illustrating, not just the end result. You need to practice, not because you have to but because you want to. Also, don’t get disheartened by people that you think are better illustrators than you, some of the most authentic illustration work I have seen has been from 5 year olds that are passionate about expressing themselves. There is a place for your work in the world if you look hard enough.

Chrissie Krebs is an Author Illustrator.  Her books include 'This Is A Circle', 'There Is Something Weird In Santa’s Beard' (Penguin Random House) and, her shiny new book, 'Pig In A Wig' (Omnibus Scholastic).  She has also been lucky enough to illustrate for the exceptionally talented author Michael Gerard Bauer, which resulted in the hilarious picture book 'Rodney Loses It!' (Scholastic), chosen as a shortlisted notable for the CBCA book of the year for early readers in 2018.  Chrissie would love to continue writing and illustrating books for children and expand her genre to junior fiction.  Chrissie is also a secondary school art and textile teacher.  Her favourite food is a Seafood Laksa and her most hated food is sandwiches. So please never invite her to a high tea.  
You can follow Chrissie on facebook and instagram or find out more by checking out her website.