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

Thursday 13 August 2020

Meet The Illustrator: Jedda Robaard

: Jedda Robaard

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Whimsical, lighthearted and gentle.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Pencil – palomino 602
Paper - any
Diary and pen
Comfy Chair
Drawing table
Desktop computer
Light, lots of natural light.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Absolutely! Watercolour. However, these days I am working more and more digitally. But nothing beats the feeling of putting paint on paper and the beauty of the colours in real life. 

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
May Gibbs, Shaun Tan and the Eames (technicality the Eames are designers, but their use of colour and design was awesome) 

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
I’d like to say art nouveau. The combination of organic and geographic forms is beautiful. But as there were barely any women practicing or just not acknowledged, I think the period we are in now would be my preference.

Just look at all the different ways we can create images. It’s mind boggling.
And although we have a way to go with equal representation of female artists (particularly in design) I feel very lucky to be doing what I’m doing right now. 

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator? 
Having worked in design and print I was initially a wanting to get away from the screen and paint more. But once I started to work on books I was hooked on the process. 

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
Problem solving. But as this applies to nearly every aspect of the Book illustration process i.e. coming up with ideas, story boarding, solving page sequencing issues, drawing a character consistently, choosing a colour palette… I’ll pick just one.

Creating and fine tuning the initial story idea is always the highlight for me. 

Can you share a photo of your creative workspace or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
My workplace is just a few steps from my back door. We built the studio (which is situated in my garden) a few years ago. I was lucky enough to design it how I wanted, so I made sure it had lots of light and lots of cupboards.

I have two desks, a drawing desk which I’ve had since I went to art school in 1992.
A table for my computer, a set of shelves for drying work, a very old light box
and an even older Tessa chair (which I share with my grumpy dachshund Evie).

Favourite tools:
Palomino Blackwing (602) Pencil. You can replace the eraser, love that!
Uniball Eye Pen
Faber Castell 3H grey lead pencil, well used!
Moleskin diary
And my Apple Pencil, not my favourite but essential 

A mass of ideas and drawings. Somethings have even migrated from old pin boards to this one. There are photos, sketches, retro souvenirs, schedules, reminders and even the odd crochet mushroom. Anything and everything that brings joy. 

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Being a book illustrator isn’t just about the ability to draw. When I look back at my first drawings, I was mediocre at best! You will learn a lot along the way.

And skills like, a good sense of design and composition, vivid imagination,
and a willingness to listen and take on constructive criticism are equally important. 

Jedda Robaard is an Australian author, illustrator and designer, based on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. She is known internationally for her gentle and whimsical style of illustration. Jedda has been illustrating and writing children’s books since 2011 and has over 40 books published.

Jedda is represented by Jacinta Di Mase Management.

For more information please visit Jedda's website or follow her on facebook and instagram