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

Thursday 21 March 2019

Meet the Illustrator: Kerry Ide

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less. Fun and colourful, sometimes quirky, hidden meanings, cheeky characters.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?  Traditional tools: sketch book, mechanical pencil, inks, brushes and watercolour paper. Digital tools: my Wacom tablet, stylus, scanner, computer with Photoshop and my iPad for reference images. Time and space - something I need to allow my creativity to flow but I don’t always get.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium? My favourite medium would have to be described as mixed media. A combination of hand drawn ink images and digital colouring using my ink drops.

Name three artists whose work inspires you. I would have to say the very first artist that inspired me was Monet. Since returning to the world of drawing I have been inspired by Bobby Chiu and Aaron Blaise. Bobby is a concept and character designer who works in the film industry. He also developed ‘Schoolism’, an online school to support artists and give them top quality training. I admire both his art and what he is achieving in the art world. Aaron Blaise is another digital artist I admire. He worked for Disney on many films including ‘Brother Bear’. He loves to draw animals and he freely shares his knowledge with the art community as well.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why? I would love to meet with Monet, so a trip to the impressionist period would be cool but, with my love of digital media, I would most like to head into the future to see what new art methods have been invented. This would be amazing.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator? Two things. Firstly, I loved sharing picture books with my children, they bring so much joy. Secondly, about six years ago when I was searching for a new career path I did an online Diploma in Graphic Design. Part of the course was a subject on illustration. I took so long to complete this subject because I was just loving drawing again, I discovered digital drawing and I was inspired and in awe of what you could achieve with this medium.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it. I often do my rough sketches relaxing in an arm chair but the majority of my work takes place at the computer. Once I have finished my sketch and inking, I scan my image in to the computer. I then use Photoshop and my Wacom tablet and stylus to colour my images using ink drops (that I make by hand) on watercolour paper. My iPad is always close by for reference photos. By the way, my desk is never this tidy, I am a messy artist.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process? There are three stages to the illustration process that I love. Firstly, when I have the time to explore an idea and get that light bulb moment and just know I’ve hit on a great illustration. Secondly, after I finish a sketch and I am building up my ink work. I find this therapeutic and relaxing. Finally, I love, love, love the colour process. I never feel my drawings really shine until I have coloured them and I believe for me this is where the magic takes place.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator? Never give up!!! Believe in yourself and what you have to contribute. You are unique, no one does art like you. Listen to the advice and criticism of others but trust in your own knowing and follow what you know to be true for you. Support other artists - this is not a competition, there is room for all of us.

Kerry is a self-taught artist. During her studies of graphic design, her attention was captured by the world of digital art and she has remained captivated by the versatility of this medium. Kerry’s inspiration for her illustrations comes from the amazing animals that inhabit this planet. Her artistic mission is to use her art to help create an awareness of the current environmental threats that these creatures are facing. Kerry hopes that no more of our precious animals become extinct.
You can find follow Kerry on facebook and instagram or find out more via her website.