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

Thursday 10 September 2020

Meet The illustrator: Tannya Harricks

Name: Tannya Harricks

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less. 
Textured, painterly, loose and expressive. 

What items are an essential part of your creative space? 
- Natural light!
- I have all of my art materials on hand, including lots of scrap paper and a pile of art books.
- a huge crate of empty glass jars that I collect for storing my linseed oil and solvents and the pile gets out of hand and there are jars everywhere.
- colour pencils and charcoal are always at hand.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium? 
Oil paint 

Name three artists whose work inspires you. 
Elaine De Kooning
Cecily Brown
Richard Diebenkorn 

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why? 
Bay Area Figurative Painters in the 1950’s/60’s I find the art that came from the group of painters in this period very liberating and exciting. The San Fransisco Bay artists inspired and influenced each other, often meeting at each others studios for life drawing/sketching. Their style was very expressive – influenced by the post war Abstract Expressionist painters. 

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
When I studied Graphic Design in the early 90’s I was taught by Illustrator Dee Huxley and I thought that illustrating picture books would be the best job ever. I had no clue how to go about getting work in that area so my career took many directions within the arts. Many years later an email from illustrator/author Donna Rawlins and author Sue Whiting led me to my first picture book illustration opportunity with Walker Books. So I thank those 3 women for the inspiration and 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 had lots of different studio spaces over the last 10 years including a corner in the garage, a spare bedroom and a vacant corner shop. I am about to move into my current studio space that is a little cabin in my garden which I am very excited about. 

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
I love the beginning of the process – research, sketching and storyboarding. The ideas are bubbling and it requires thinking and problem solving. 

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator? 
Connect with industry organisations and groups. Take every opportunity that you can because you never know where it will lead.

Tannya is an artist/illustrator based in Sydney and has illustrated Dingo, Mallee Sky and Kookaburra for Walker Books and Waru for Ventura Press.

Dingo was joint winner of the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature at the NSW Premier’s Literary Award (2019); won the Royal Zoological Society of NSW’s Whitley Award (2018); and was shortlisted for the 2019 CBCA New Illustrator Award.

For more information. please visit Tannya's website