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

Thursday 12 March 2020

Meet The Illustrator: Samantha Fry

Name: Samantha (Fry) Campbell

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Refined, gentle, flowing, moody, delicate, muted, painterly, textured

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
I need sound in the background, because silence makes me feel lonely. Either music or a
sitcom show (usually Friends). Tea or coffee is a must, and loose-fitting clothes. To start
working, I need paper, a sharp 2B pencil and sharpener, along with the medium that I will be
using, usually its watercolour or acrylic. My studio has lots of posters and paintings on the
walls, and cute little ornaments/ figurines to help with inspiration.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Caran D'Ache Luminance coloured pencils are AMAZING, definitely one of my favourite
mediums. I have always loved working with acrylic and oil paint too, but I found that the oil
paint fumes were too intense and the clean-up was messy because I don’t use turps. So
lately I’ve really enjoyed working with Procreate on the ipad because it gives you that
realistic painting effect without the fumes/ clean-up, love it!

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Simon Howe, Kayla Harren, Emma Chadwick – their work is stunning! All three artists create
illustrations that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
Na├»ve art period, because I love that style! Henri Rousseau’s work especially. I also love the
skewed perspectives and uneven shapes in that period. I love the bold colours too!

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I pretty much started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil, but I remember that my mum
used to draw beautiful horses in pastel and I felt so captivated by them, and Dad used to
draw little farm scenes with picket fences and trees, so I think that must have made me want
to pursue art all my life. Mum and Dad always made sure I had art supplies so I always had
the opportunity to grow in my hobby throughout my childhood and teenage years. I just kept
drawing because I loved it, until one day I got the opportunity through Magabala Books to
illustrate Alfred’s War by Rachel Bin Salleh, which was my debut book. I am still so grateful
to this day to have been given the opportunity.

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 have a creative space at home (my studio). I mainly use an illustrator board on a desk to
work on, surrounded by lots of coloured pencils, paint brushes, paints, basically everything I
need so I don’t have to get up and search for it, because once I’m up, I lose focus and get
distracted easily.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
Final art, I love the stage when I get to do the highlights!

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Be true to your own illustrations, only you will be able to do what you can do. Diversity in
illustration is beautiful and I believe that our work should reflect part of who we are because
that makes our work unique. Instagram is a great place to follow all sorts of different
illustrators for inspiration when you feel like you’ve hit a wall.

Samantha (Fry) Campbell lives in Darwin. She is descended from the Dagoman people from
Katherine and grew up on remote areas in the NT. She completed a Diploma in Graphic
Design and worked as a freelance Graphic Designer for four years before focusing on her
Illustration career.

For more information please visit Samantha's website