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Thursday 5 November 2020

Meet The Illustrator: Cecilia Adams

: Cecilia Adams

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less. 
Traditional, pencil, wash, with a nod to the Impressionists.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
A space I can close off. . .handy for a Zoom meeting, too small for yoga! L-shape desk for drawing board (made by my husband years ago), printer, scanner, computer. Anything I need for inspiration. Faber-Castell pencils, Winsor & Newton designers gouache and series 7 brushes, paper for roughs, A4 autograph, tracing paper, Artistico + Fabriano 300gsm traditional white paper to finish.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Pencil and gouache since College days. Brilliant for design and wash. 
Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Laura Carlin for amazing concepts, composition and execution of work. Caroline Magerl for beautiful line and wash. Beatrix Potter for her timeless illustrations. . .and many other talented people I keep discovering. 
Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
Impressionism. Would love to share a coffee in Paris with Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Berthe Morisot and I’d take Sir Arthur Streeton along too! I’m in awe of their work and practice, painting what they actually saw. So lucky to have seen original works in London, Paris and Hong Kong. 

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
Dad introduced me to drawing/shading when I was ten. All pencil points had to be perfect on his sandpaper. I attended children’s art classes at Brisbane Central Technical College for six years and concurrent year with the revered Vida Lahey in an upstairs room in George Street. I always wanted to be an illustrator. Dad told me I had to earn a living! Advertising beckoned. After studies in Commercial Illustration, my first position was in the Myer Art Department.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
There’s finished work on the board, tools of trade, references hanging above and other things I love. A step away, my view. . .pond with granite ‘Monet’ bridge, glimpses of town through tall gums, mountains. All I need. 

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
My favourite part is collecting ideas and creating the storyboards. I attended several workshops on this process with the late Narelle Oliver in 2014. . .really the start of this journey. I love the freedom of sketching, working on ideas, characters, setting, page turns. . .then worry the finished work will lose the spontaneity. 
What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator? 
Don’t give up but stay true to yourself. I’ve written and illustrated a couple of stories that are part of my life. A dalmatian with a black patch looking for his home. The expat cat wanting adventure in Hong Kong. ‘Expat Cat’ placed third in the 2019 CYA competition Aspiring – Illustrations All types. These little successes keep you going. Meet with like-minded people. I’m a member of Book Links/Write Links, Brisbane and Stanthorpe Writers Group, and keep learning. 
Cecilia Adams is a qualified graphic designer/illustrator passionate about children’s books. After a career in advertising, Government/University positions, she works from her studio, Communication Art in Stanthorpe. With three grandchildren in Brisbane, London and Hong Kong, a dalmatian and the expat cat, she is not short of inspiration. 

For more information please visit Cecilia's website or follow her on instgram and facebook