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

Thursday 11 June 2020

Meet The Illustrator: Chloe Jasmine Harris

Name: Chloe Jasmine Harris

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Retro inspired, bright, playful, naively sweet and a bit quirky.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Definitely my cintiq, which is a digital drawing tablet that I use for the sketching/editing part of creating an illustration. I’m a bit of a technophobe, so I was reluctant to make the switch to sketching digitally, but now I couldn’t imagine life without it, it’s completely changed my art making practice for the better!

My printer is also an essential for me as I use it to print my digital sketches out onto watercolour paper. Knowing that I can simply reprint the sketch and start again if I don’t like the way the painting is turning out, really does take the pressure off.

And finally, my sit/stand desk and drafting table. I would find drawing/painting so difficult without them, and I know my back and neck very much appreciate the set up! Especially when you’re working long days on a project, an ergonomic workplace is incredibly important.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I tend to work primarily in watercolour, which is the medium I used when creating Henry Turnip. Recently I’ve been exploring gouache and digital illustration, and would love to eventually incorporate these more in my art making.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Sang Miao – I love Sang’s loose, gestural and wonderfully expressive painting style 
Adelina Lirrus – The details in Adelina’s work are mesmerising, as well as her ability to create such immersive worlds for her characters.

Katie Harnett – I love Katie’s intuitive, energetic and childlike style. (Childlike in the best way possible!)

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
I’d love to visit the impressionism period. I’m so drawn to impressionists painterly approach, and their ability to capture light, energy and movement so beautifully.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
Probably my mum! She is a fantastic drawer and always encouraged expressing your creativity through art when I was growing up.

I was also inspired by the books we read together as a kid. Jill Barklems, Brambly Hedge series, and Shirley Barbers books were absolute favourites of mine. I was always in awe of the way both of them created such richly intricate worlds for their characters, Illustrations to get completely lost in. I’m sure reading these books helped inspired me to start creating my own narrative illustrations from a young age.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
These are my handmade book shelves that my partner very kindly crafted for me and are my favourite part of my studio. They are home to my ever-growing... borderline out of control collection of children's books! I find it super inspiring to work in space surrounded by artwork, particularly children’s book art in every corner.

(photo credit: Christie Moore)

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
The painting is my favourite part. I find it the most relaxing and fun part of the process. The sketching period often requires a lot of problem solving, brainstorming and creative thinking, so getting to see the work you’ve been drawing for months come to life through paint is always exciting!

For Henry Turnip, I was painting up to 10 spreads at one time, painting all the crocodiles in, then all the badgers etc. I did this so that the colours would stay consistent throughout the whole book, and I loved getting to see all the spreads slowly come together at the same time.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Be patient! It takes quite a long time to develop a style, but it will slowly evolve through lots of practice. Don’t be hard on yourself if you feel like you haven’t found it yet, or if your work doesn’t look cohesive. That’s all totally ok and it’s just part of the process.

Put yourself out there! I know it can be super daunting to share your work on a public platform for the first time, especially if you’re an introvert like me! Though I’ve found that the more you share your work with the world, the more opportunities will start coming your way.

And finally, create work that your passionate about and that fills you with joy. Try not to create work just because you feel it will be trendy or get a lot of likes on instagram!

Chloe is a Sydney based freelance and children’s book Illustrator who studied Fine Arts at the National Art school. She is a represented artist of the Illustration Room. Her debut book Maple the Brave was published in 2019 and Henry Turnip will be published 1st of June 2020.

For more information, please visit Chloe's website or follow Chloe on instagram.